How to Visit Canada to Get Married

In 2005, Canada became one of the few countries in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. Since then, many same-sex couples from abroad have visited Canada to get married because their home countries will not allow it.

Same-sex couples can have any kind of wedding they’ve ever dreamed of in Canada.

Visiting Canada to get Married

People from other countries who wish to come to Canada to get married need to apply for a  Temporary Resident Visa or visitor’s visa  For a list of countries whose citizens are exempt from needing a visitor’s visa to enter Canada, click here.

You will also need to apply for a Canadian Marriage License before being married in Canada, which can be done online. You must first determine the city and province where you’d like to be married, and apply through their online marriage license services. For more information and a list of provincial websites, click here.

Being married elsewhere

If your home country does not recognize same-sex marriages, you will not be entitled to the same rights, freedoms and benefits that married couples will have despite having been legally married in Canada.

Earlier this year the issue of non-residents’ marriages being legal in Canada made the news in a big way. Because a government lawyer said that if a same-sex couple’s home country didn’t recognize the marriage, it wouldn’t be valid in Canada, the opinion appeared to come from the government itself. But this has since been confirmed to be a hiccup caused by unclear legislation and one person’s opinion – your marriage is still very much legal in Canada.

Canada Visitor Visa, Canadian Marriage License, Marriage in Canada, Same-Sex Marriage in Canada, Temporary Resident Permit, Visiting Canada

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

18 thoughts on “How to Visit Canada to Get Married

  1. Juliet Tenshak

    My fiance is Canadian and resides in Canada and I am Nigerian. We want to get married in Canada and move to Nigeria for two years before coming back to settle down in Canada. Is this possible, what type of visa do I need to apply for and what are the requirements?

    1. Vahe Mirzoyan

      Hello Juliet. You would need an Outside Spousal Sponsorship that would allow you to travel in and out of Canada during the application process.
      Regards, Vahe

  2. Roukaya Alwi

    I am a US citizen who wishes to marry and Indian citizen in Canada. However we also have been planning on attending university in Canada as well so under what visa should we apply for in order to be able to get married and then continuing studying? Is that possible? If not what would be the best method.

    Thank you.

    1. Vahe Mirzoyan

      Hello Roukaya. What you want to do is very achievable. You do not need a visa to come to Canada since you are a US citizen. Your partner would need a visitor visa or a study visa to come to Canada. Once in Canada you can get married. If you both go to school in Canada, and then graduate and get a post graduate work permit, you can build up some work experience that will lead you to Permanent Residency.
      Best regards, Vahe

      1. Roukaya Alwi

        Hello Vahe,
        Thank you for your kind help.

        However I have another quick question regarding the procedure of immigrant marriages. If when asked at the immigration office as for the purpose of entering Canada should we mention that we are going to attend college or should we mention that we wish to get married? Both are truthful answers it just depends upon what would reflect well onto us and cause no further issues.

    1. Vahe Mirzoyan

      Hello Victoria. The most important aspect for a successful visitor visa, is to show that you intend to go back home after your visit is over. If you need our profession legal help with your applications to make sure that you are not making any mistakes, and so that you will have a legal team taking care of all the matters that may arise, then please contact us to book a consultation with one of our immigration professionals. You can book an appointment by calling us at 1-855-886-8472 or online at
      Regards, Vahe

  3. aimee


    I am born and raised in Canada. I have a two year work permit in Tanzania and I have a Boyfriend from Uganda. We have been together for a year now but we plan to go to Canada this July and August. Hopefully his Tourist Visa will be accepted. We plan to marry in Canada and then come back to Tanzania so I can finish my work contract. Is this possible to do all of this? The plan after marriage in Canada is to go back to Tanzania work for another year and then hopefully he can come with me back to Canada to live permanently. Let me know if this sounds feasible.


    1. Vahe Mirzoyan

      Thanks for your note Aimee. What you want to do is feasible, however when coming to Canada as a visitor you need to make sure you that he does have a valid Temporary Resident Visa when entering to Canada. Once you are married we can proceed with a Spousal Sponsorship application, however if you have lived together for more than 1 year and we can prove it then we can start the Common Law sponsorship now.
      One of our immigration professionals will be in contact with you shortly to see how we can help you with your immigration needs.
      Best Regards,

  4. Tanya Tesoro

    Hello, my partner ( from Mauritius ) is going to study in Canada ( we’ve been living together for 3 years in Malaysia ) and he will be staying there for 2 years on student visa. I have passport from Kazakhstan and going to visit Canada as a Tourist. Is it possible for us to get married there and later on transfer my tourist visa to spouse visa? Thank you

    1. Vahe Mirzoyan

      Thank you Tanya for your inquiry.
      In order for me to give you the most accurate advice, I would need to learn more about your qualifications and your situation. Please complete this form for me, as it will give me all the information I need to proceed. You will be contacted once your assessment form has been reviewed.
      Best regards,

  5. Refik Glamocic

    Hi i have intresting case im usa citizen but i have my girlfriend in canada Alexandria state .i want to get married with her but she is on visa sponsor from her daughter . She come from tanzania she has visa for 10 yrs .so what i can do to get married with her . What i need and what she needs .i will be thankful if i have an right answer.

    1. Mira Freiwat

      Hello Refik,

      Thank you for your post. You can still get married to her, would need to then Sponsor her as your spouse so that she will be able to accompany you in the US. This way, she won’t need her Visa to visit Canada, she will be eligible to come anytime as a Green Card holder. MF

  6. Adam

    Hi Michael. Thanks for posting this information. Given the current status of things, is it still easy for a foreigner to come to Canada to get married.

    I am a Canadian living in Colombia. My partner and I would like to come to Canada to get married and invite her parents too. My fiance already has a 3 year tourist visa, but her parents also need to apply.

    My questions are:
    – When we apply for the tourist visas for her parents do we mention that they are going to attend our wedding?
    – When we cross the border do we mention that we are going to get married in Canada when asked about the purpose of our trip?

    1. owen

      Hello Adam,

      Thanks for the question. You must always be truthful when you answer questions on paper or in an interview with an immigration officer. We would be happy to help you and your family obtain visitor visas to come to Canada, and once you fill out our free online assessment form, one of our immigration professionals will be in touch with you shortly


  7. canadian visitor visa

    People from other countries who wish to come to Canada to get married apply for a temporary resident permit or canadian visitor visa.

  8. Vicky

    This is an interesting article. While it’s great that people can come here ti get married, it’s really a shame that their vows will not be recognized when they go back home. Perhaps this is a reason that Canada is such a desireable place to move for so many…


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