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:
- the marriage is legal under the law of the country where it took place
- the marriage would have been legal if it had taken place in Canada.
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:
- A certified copy of your birth certificate.
- If you were not born in Canada, certified true copies of your Canadian citizenship card and Record of Landing form.
- A statutory declaration of your present marital status and the name and citizenship of your future spouse.
- A certified copy of a divorce certificate or divorce judgment if divorced or a death certificate of a previous spouse if widowed.
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.
Authentication and Service of Documents Section (JLAC)
Departments of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
125 Sussex Drive,