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.


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

8 thoughts on “How to Visit Canada to Get Married

  1. 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,

  2. 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

  3. 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


  4. 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.

  5. 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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