Many Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada that marry foreign nationals abroad can have some worry whether Canadian Immigration will recognize their foreign marriage. The proof of marriage or marriage certificate is the most important document to provide to Immigration when applying for a spousal sponsorship application. Without this, you cannot apply. As a result, it is extremely vital for spousal sponsorship applications to verify whether Immigration will recognize your marriage or not. Therefore, in this article, I will address whether Immigration will recognize foreign marriages and the eligibility requirements to sponsor your spouse to Canada.
Will Canadian Immigration Recognize my Foreign Marriage
As a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, you have the right to sponsor your spouse, common-law partner, and many other family members, so long as both of you are eligible to proceed with the sponsorship. This type of sponsorship is classified under the family class sponsorship. Furthermore, if you are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada who has married a foreign national outside of Canada, you may want to know whether your marriage will be recognized by Canadian Immigration when applying for spousal sponsorship.
Thankfully, Canadian Immigration as well as the Canadian government does in fact recognize foreign marriages. However, under certain circumstances they may not. To explain, in order to sponsor your foreign spouse to Canada, you will need to provide proof that both of you are legally married to one another according to the laws of the foreign country where you got married. Additionally, in order for Canada to adequately recognize the marriage, the marriage will have to comply with the federal laws of Canada with regards to marriage.
For instance, in Canada, polygamy has been outlawed and is illegal. Therefore, if you are married to more than one person, your marriage will not be recognized by Canadian Immigration or the Canadian government. Furthermore, marriage to any blood or adopted relatives including parents, children, grandparents, brothers and sisters, has been outlawed and is illegal in Canada. Therefore, if you are married to a blood or adopted relative, your marriage will not be recognized by Canadian Immigration or the Canadian government.
Another important factor to consider in terms of marriages is that proxy marriages are no longer recognized by Canadian Immigration. A proxy marriage is a marriage that has either taken place by proxy, telephone, internet or fax. Additionally, these marriages can also take place by having an individual represent you during the marriage ceremony. Therefore, if you are married by proxy, unfortunately Canadian Immigration will not recognize your marriage. In order for Canadian Immigration to recognize the marriage both spouses must be physically present.
Conclusively, if you have any concerns or doubt regarding your marriage and whether it was a legal marriage in the foreign country, it is highly suggested that you contact the relevant authorities of that country to determine whether the marriage was legal. This should be done and confirmed prior to applying for the spousal sponsorship. Additionally, should you find out that the marriage is not legal in the foreign country, then Canada will not recognize the marriage either and you must get married legally. However, if your marriage is legal, then you must proceed to see if both spouses meet the eligibility requirements to proceed with the spousal sponsorship.
Eligibility Requirements to Sponsor your Spouse to Canada
You must determine whether you are eligible to sponsor your spouse to Canada prior to applying for a spousal sponsorship. This is the most important part of the spousal sponsorship process. It is vital for the spousal sponsorship application that the sponsor abides by these eligibility requirements in order to have a successful application. The list below is the eligibility requirements in detail that the sponsor must meet in order to sponsor their spouse.
You may be eligible to sponsor your spouse if you are:
- A Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada or a Registered Indian in Canada;
- At least 18 years old;
- Currently residing in Canada;
- Have the ability to prove that you have sufficient funds to provide basic necessities for your spouse and their dependent children while in Canada.
It is important to recognize that if you are a Canadian citizen that currently is living outside of Canada, then you must show an intention of living in Canada when and if your sponsored spouse becomes a permanent resident in Canada. In addition, if you are currently a permanent resident of Canada that is currently living outside of Canada, unfortunately, you will not be eligible to sponsor. In order to sponsor your spouse as a permanent resident of Canada, you must currently reside in Canada.
If you have met all of the eligibility requirements and have proven that your marriage is legal and does comply with Canada’s federal laws on marriage, then your marriage will ultimately be recognized by Canadian Immigration and the Canadian government and you can proceed with applying for a spousal sponsorship.
Contact Akrami & Associates
It is essential that you have met all of the aforementioned requirements before you attempt to apply for a spousal sponsorship with a foreign marriage. Spousal Sponsorship applications are difficult applications to pursue on your own and it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to submit the application. Here, at , we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients determine whether their marriages are legal and reunite with their foreign spouses in Canada. If you believe that you may be eligible to sponsor your foreign spouse and you have determined that your foreign marriage is legal, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advice.
With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!