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Overseas Marriage and Canadian Citizens

Generally speaking if you get married legally in a country which appears on this list, your marriage will be legally valid in Canada.

Validity of Foreign Marriage

Overseas marriages by Canadian citizens are recognised as legal and valid within Canada provided:

Certificate of Freedom to Marry

Most countries require a couple applying for a marriage licence or for permission to marry to produce a certificate stating that they are free to marry, often called a Certificate of Non-Impediment.

The Canadian system does not have an official form of a certificate of non-impediment, however you can apply for a "Statement In-Lieu of Certificate of Non-Impediment to Marriage Abroad".

Applications must be accompanied by:

Note: There are a number of countries who will not accept this document and require instead that you get a letter or statement at the Canadian Embassy, in the country where you will marry, to the effect that there are no impediments.

Registering a Foreign Marriage

You do not need to register a marriage which took place overseas when you return to Canada, in fact it is not possible to do so. The foreign marriage certificate will be accepted within Canada for all legal purposes, just as a domestic one would.

Useful Contacts

Authentication and Service of Documents Section (JLAC)
Departments of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
125 Sussex Drive,
Ottawa,
Ontario, Canada
K1A 0G2