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Marriage & Immigration to Canada

Vancouver, British Columbia, CanadaA Canadian citizen and permanent resident of Canada who is married to a foreign national can sponsor a foreign national for permanent residency as long as the marriage is legal both under the country's federal law where the couple got married and under Canadian federal law.

Minimum marriage age requirements in Canada:
19 in British Columbia, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, the Northwest Territories, and Yukon.
18 in Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Saskatchewan.

Parental consent is required for a person who is under the minimum age of marriage in their province of residence.

If you are under the age of 16, you cannot apply to immigrate to Canada by getting married to a Canadian citizen/permanent resident because the marriage is not recognized for a Canadian immigration purpose.

Marriage and Family Members:
You may not marry your grandfather/grandmother, father/mother, brother/sister, half-brother/half-sister, son/daughter, grandson/granddaughter, great-grandparents, and great-grandchildren.

Arranged Marriage:
Family members or a marriage broker usually arrange such marriages. The participants may not have met before the marriage, but will be familiar with each other's background. Such marriages are recognized for immigration purposes because they are legally recognized where they occur.

Civil Union/Commitment Ceremony:
Although civil unions and commitment ceremonies are similar to marriages, they are not recognized as marriages for Canadian immigration purposes.

Same-Sex Marriage (Gay and Lesbian Marriage):
Same-sex marriage is legal in Canada. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) allows you to apply as a spouse if your sponsor is a Canadian citizen/permanent resident. This only applies if you get married in Canada. For more information, check Same-Sex Immigration for Gay and Lesbian.

Polygamous Marriage:
Polygamous marriages and potentially polygamous marriages occur when either of the participants already has a spouse, and has gone through or intends to go through a further marriage ceremony without divorcing. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) does not exclude recognize marriages that took place where the sponsor or spouse was already married to another person. Therefore, the first marriage is the only one that can potentially be recognized.

Tribal Marriage (Customary Marriage):
Tribal marriages or customary marriages carried out according to tribal custom are valid for immigration purposes if they are legally recognized where they occur.

For more information about sponsoring your spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner, please check Family Class page.

If you would like to sponsor your spouse/partner, please fill out a Family Class Free Assessment.