Gay Marriage in Canada
Canada is the first North American nation to legalize same-sex marriages. Any Canadian citizen or permanent resident who wants to marry a foreign partner can do so. The foreign partner can arrive on a temporary visa and then can get married in the country. Also, neither of the partners needs to be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to get married in Canada. Both can simply arrive on visitor visas to get married in Canada.
The process of getting the marriage license and certificate involve some paperwork. Firstly, you’ve to apply for a marriage license in the city you want to marry. You can apply at any Registry Services office. Some cities like Toronto allow you to do it online. The marriage license is valid for 90 days from the date of issue. Both the partners will have to go together with the Registry office along with all the required documents to sign the application. If things are in order you’ll be issued a marriage license the very same day.
Both will need original copies of valid IDs which may be the passport, birth certificate, valid citizenship card or a driver’s license from any country. Both will also have to give the full names of their parents including the mothers’ maiden names and the parents’ birth places.
Check your Eligibility
To be eligible to get married under the Canadian law, the partners need to be single and above eighteen years of age. If any of you is previously married and widowed, then you must provide the marriage certificate and the death certificate of the former spouse. (Certificates should be in French or English or translated and signed by a professional translator with affidavit to confirm the authenticity). Things are slightly difficult when either of you is divorced. If any of the divorces took place in Canada, the original copy of the Divorce Decree or a court-certified copy from the court where the divorce was granted is to be submitted. If the divorce was outside Canada, an endorsement from the Minister of Government Services will be needed.
Once the marriage license is in your hand, you can arrange for the wedding ceremony. You will also need two witnesses aged 18 or over. The minister or marriage commissioner presiding over the wedding will fill out the marriage registration forms, which will be recorded at the Division of Vital Statistics. You may be given a Statement of Marriage after that as a temporary document to prove you are married. To get your marriage certificate, you will have to apply to the Division of Vital Statistics.
Though one can easily get married on a tourist visa in Canada, staying on is an entirely different chapter. Canada has some of the toughest immigration rules which if not fulfilled will not allow you to live legally in the country.