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Registering a foreign marriage in Canada

Discussion in 'Family Class Sponsorship' started by BCgirl2012, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. We are wondering if it's possible to register a foreign marriage in Canada? We got married in my husband's country and we'd love it if we can register it here in Canada.

    Thanks :)
  2. What do you mean by "register"?

    As far as I know, just change your status with the CRA to married and that's it! I'm getting married later this year also in another country, but don't plan on submitting any documents here to anyone. Will keep an english translation of the foreign marriage certificate in case anyone asks.
  3. Well, in some countries you can register with the vital records office, not as a new marriage, but as an existing one. If this was the case here in Canada, in meant we could have a Canadian marriage certificate. I've searched around, and haven't found anything similar here.

    I've changed the status with CRA already. They haven't asked for documents yet, but I get this year they might come back and ask, since this year is my first year of filing married. I hope before my husband's visa will be ready before I submit my taxes: I've heard horror stories about the complexities of filing married when one spouse doesn't have either ITN or SIN.
  4. I've never heard of a vital records office in Canada before!

    From what i've been told, CRA doesn't usually bother asking for a marriage certificate. Like many tax-related things it works on the honour system, but if you ever get audited that's where it would be needed.

    If your spouse doesn't have a SIN it's not a big deal (in most cases). You can indicate spouse is a non-resident, and enter their "world income" for tax benefit calculations. I've heard also putting 000 000 000 for SIN also indicates a non-resident.
  5. This is the Vital Statistic Agency for BC. Not sure about other provinces.

    Thanks for the info about the tax. I remember a thread about filing married tax with a PR sponsorship application pending on this forum. People didn't have an easy time with it.

    Thanks for the tip about the SIN. I'll probably have to do it this way, unless my husband lands before tax day!
  6. In Alberta, this is where you go:


    Note that if you were married abroad and were required to submit your original marriage certificate as part of the PR application process, then you may have to wait to register with vital statistics which would be the "delayed registration".

    Note that this is not a requirement for PR sponsorship. If married in Canada, this is automatically done for you. In all honesty, it's only required for divorce if married abroad.

  7. Thanks! I was just hoping to be able to get a Canadian marriage certificate :) I'll check with the vital office once my husband arrives here.
  8. Just found some more info here, general to all of Canada: http://travel.gc.ca/travelling/documents/marriage-overseas

    Marriages that are legally performed in a foreign country are usually valid in Canada, and you do not need to register them in Canada. If you have questions about the validity of your foreign marriage, contact the Vital Statistics Office of your province or territory.

    So the only time you should be checking with vital stats office, is if you have reason to question the legality of the overseas marriage. Not sure where this would apply.
  9. I don't think the legality would be in question after going through the pr process.

    I just want to know if it's possible to have a Canadian marriage certificate as well. That's all :)
  10. It doesn't look like it: http://www.vs.gov.bc.ca/questions-marriage.html

    My marriage ceremony was not held in British Columbia. Do I have to register my marriage in British Columbia?

    The Vital Statistics Agency only registers marriages that take place in this province. The Agency does not record any marriages that take place outside British Columbia.
    You can obtain a legal marriage certificate from the jurisdiction where you were married. This can be used to provide proof of marriage as required.

    If you really want a Canadian marriage certificate, you may need to look at the option of getting married a 2nd time here!
  11. I will look into it. I remember reading somewhere on their website that it's not allowed. I won't make a big deal out of it, but I'll ask them to see what are the options!

    Thanks :)

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