Canadian citizenship entitles you to get a marriage visa to marry your Vietnamese bride and sponsor her application for marriage immigration to Canada. Applying for a marriage visa and preparing for marriage immigration can be a time consuming task and you will need to be organized particularly with your Canada documents. To qualify for a marriage visa you must fulfill these basic criteria:
- You must be a Canadian citizen or legal permanent resident aged 18 years or over
- You must be financially independent and able to support your Vietnam wife for 3 years after she gets her permanent residency
- You must also support any dependent children for 10 years or until they are 25
- You must have adequate housing where you, your Vietnamese wife and any dependants can live without relying on state benefits
When you get your marriage visa you can legalise your Vietnam marriage in Canada.
Getting Ready for Marriage Immigration
Before you leave Canada, you need to prepare for your marriage immigration. You should go in person to your local Registrar of Marriages to obtain an Affidavit of Marital Status. This certificate costs $50 and proves your single status by confirming that you are not still involved in matrimony with another spouse. You can use it within 3 months of the date of issue.
If you fail to do this in Canada, you can do it in the Canadian Embassy or Consulate in Vietnam prior to making an application for a Vietnam Marriage Licence.
You will also need an original or certified copy your Birth Certificate.
If you have been married before you must produce one of the following documents to support the Affidavit of Marital Status:
- If divorced, you will need your Divorce Decree
- if widowed you will need your Certificate of Marriage and Death Certificate of your previous spouse
Furthermore, you will have to undergo a marriage search in the Statistics Bureau in the province you live in, to certify that you have not applied for a Marriage Certificate from age 18 to date.
The last thing to do is to obtain a medical certificate issued by an authorized medical organization or physician. It should state that you have no sexually transmitted diseases (in particular HIV/AIDS), no mental or infectious disease and are fit to marry.
Changing Your Canada Documents
You need to prepare your Canada documents for use in Vietnam. They need to be notarised, “authenticated” and “legalised “in order for them to be valid there.
The first thing you need to do is get a notary stamp and signature from a public notary in Canada. Get them “authenticated” by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT). The purpose of the authentication process is to prove the validity of the documents issued in Canada.
The last thing to do is to get your documents translated into Vietnamese and “legalised” by the Vietnamese Embassy. After that your documents acquire legal validity in Vietnam.
Documents in Need of Legalisation for Marriage in Vietnam
- Affidavit of Marital Status
- Divorce Decree (if relevant)
- Former spouse’s Death Certificate and previous Marriage Certificate (if relevant)
- Your Birth Certificate
- Name Change Certificate (if relevant)
- Your Canadian passport cannot be legalized as it is already an internationally recognised document. You must however have photocopies of the ID and bio page notarised as true copies of the original.
- Medical Certificate
- Marriage Search Certificate
Vietnam Visa Requirements
As a Canadian citizen you do need a visa to visit Vietnam. You can get a tourist visas from the Embassy of Vietnam. It is valid for one month from the day you expect to enter the country. Your visa will be issued within 5 working days. You must make sure that your Canadian passport is valid for at least six months with at least two blank pages available. Should you need to extend your stay you can apply for a month’s extension at no extra cost when you are in Vietnam.
Once you have prepared all relevant documents and obtained your Vietnam visa you can make arrangements to join your Vietnamese bride.
Getting Married in Vietnam
You may decide to marry your Vietnamese bride in Canada, however, getting married in Vietnam is an inspiring experience and relatively straight forward providing you are organized and ensure that you and your Vietnamese girlfriend have the correct documentation.
Whilst your Vietnamese bride is excited about planning the marriage ceremony you should make her aware that under both Canadian and Vietnamese Marriage Law, only the civil registration of your marriage will be recognised as legal and only a legal marriage will allow you to bring your Vietnamese wife back to Canada as your wife.
The legal age to get married in Vietnam is 18 for Vietnamese brides; if your Vietnamese spouse is under 18 you will need a statement of parental consent.
To register the marriage legally with the Vietnamese authorities takes a lot of work and you should not underestimate the time or work involved.
The first step in planning your wedding in Vietnam is to go to the Registrar’s office with your Vietnamese bride and apply for an Application for Marriage. You should take your passport and all of the documents you brought with you from Canada. Your Vietnamese wife needs to present a Vietnamese Affidavit of Marriage Status as well as her passport, birth certificate, family book and a certificate for permanent or temporary residence, her medical certificate and proof that she is no longer married.
The decision on whether the marriage will be allowed lies with the People’s Committee. They have 60 days to make a decision about whether to register the marriage or not by consulting the Judicial and Security Service. Should they come to a positive decision, the Marriage Certificate is signed by the Chairman of the People’s Committee, registered in the Marriage Register and returned to the bride and groom.
Document Check: Canadian Bridegroom
- Original Affidavit of Marriage Status (valid for three months from the date of issue) issued in Canada or by the Canadian Embassy in Vietnam.
- Original valid Canadian passport
- Original birth certificate
- Original death certificate of deceased spouse if widowed
- Original divorce decree or annulment papers if divorced
- Marriage search
- Medical certificate
Document Check: Vietnamese Bride
- Affidavit of Marriage Status
- Copy of ID, family book and a certificate for permanent or temporary residence
- Original birth certificate
- Original death certificate of deceased spouse if widowed
- Original divorce decree/annulment papers if divorced
- Medical Certificate
There are no official marriage ceremonies in Vietnam although you can arrange one. Once the People’s Committee have made their decision and entered your marriage in the Marriage Register and you have signed the Register, you are legally married. Marriage to your Vietnamese wife does not automatically qualify you for Vietnamese nationality; you should also be aware that Vietnam is not a country that recognises dual citizenship.
Permanent Resident Application
When your Vietnamese wife comes to Canada she can change her name to that of your own and you can start the marriage visa process. Any Canadian man wishing to bring his Vietnamese wife to Canada must sponsor her for permanent residence. The process takes between 6 and 18 months. Spousal sponsorship is a part of the Canadian marriage immigration system that allows individuals to come to Canada under the Family Class of immigration. In your case, you will sponsor your Vietnamese wife to live in Canada, as long as you meet the requirements of a spousal sponsor. The marriage
visa spousal sponsorship program is an agreement between the Canadian government and you. This agreement is a promise on the part of the sponsor that you will provide your spouse with food, clothes and shelter i.e. all of the basic requirements in order to live in Canada. The marriage visa sponsorship agreement includes financial support and health care because your Vietnamese wife will have no access to the social care system. In the spousal sponsorship agreement you promise to sponsor your Vietnamese wife for at least three years from the day she becomes a permanent resident. You also have to sponsor any dependent children moving with her to Canada for a period of 10 years or until they are 25, whichever comes first.
Spousal Sponsorship Requirements
To qualify for spousal sponsorship, you must meet the following requirements:
- You are over 18 years old and a Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in Canada.
- You are single and free to marry
- You married your Vietnamese wife in Vietnam and intend to live in Canada with her
- You are not on any Social Assistance program
- You are not in default of any previous sponsorship agreement
- You have sufficient funds and you are not bankrupt
- You are not in prison
You may not qualify if one of the following points applies to your situation:
- You previously failed to provide financial support when you signed a sponsorship agreement to sponsor another relative
- You failed to pay alimony or child support
- You received government financial assistance for reasons other than disability
- You were convicted of a violent criminal offence, an offence against a relative or a sexual offence
- You failed to make payments for an immigration loan
- You have declared bankruptcy and have not recovered from it yet.
If you qualify for spousal sponsorship, you can fill out the application forms available from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). Read the guide and complete the application. Remember to support the application with relevant documents.
Canada Visa Application
Your Vietnamese wife must fill out the marriage visa immigration forms. As part of the application process, she will need to undergo a medical exam and a criminal check. The medical exam is required to make sure that applicants do not have a medical condition that is dangerous to Canadian public health and safety, or would require elaborate treatment by the Canadian health services. The examination results are valid for 12 months and need to be done by authorised doctors. Your Vietnamese wife must present a valid police certificate from Vietnam police authorities showing she has no criminal record.
The next step is to pay you application fee to Canada Citizenship and Immigration. You can pay your fees by bank transfer or online. If you choose to pay at the bank, you have to order a receipt of payment, also called immigration form IMM 5401. Remember to bring this form with you to the bank when you pay your fees. If you pay online, make sure you print the receipt of payment form and include it with your application.
Visa Application Fees
The marriage visa application fees are as follows:
- $75 for you as a sponsor
$475 for your Vietnamese wife
- $150 for a dependent child your Vietnamese wife who is under 22 and not married
- $550 for a dependant of your wife who is 22 or older, or who is under 22 and married $490 for the right of permanent residence fee which your wife will be have to pay before the status is granted.
The last step is to mail your application along with the receipt for the fees paid and all supporting documents to the Canada Citizenship and Immigration Case Processing Centre (CPC) in Mississauga, Ontario. You will be notified when your application is received and you can check the status of your application online.
Applications are refused if you provide false information on your application form.