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Get Your Marriage Certificate Recognized Outside Canada: 5 Things to Know

Home » Legalization » Get Your Marriage Certificate Recognized Outside Canada: 5 Things to Know
Category: Legalization
Posted: December 3, 2020

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Reading Time: 4 mins
If you are legally married in Canada, it is possible to have your marriage certificate recognized outside the country. There are legal and appropriate ways to do it. The process may seem tedious at first, but the trick is you only have to be guided accordingly.

There may be a specific reason why you want it to happen. It may be because of a visa application, immigration purposes, or simply, you want to register your marriage abroad. Regardless of that reason, the methods seem pretty straightforward.

But you may ask, why do you need to have your marriage certificate recognized internationally in the first place? The answer is simple. Foreign countries always require it.

Before you move on with achieving this goal, please go through this article to know the important things you have to understand first.

#1 This recognition comes in other names

The validation process is usually called Marriage Certificate Authentication Legalization in Canada. However, especially in other countries, it is known as Marriage Certificate Apostille or Marriage Certificate Attestation. The former is widely used in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, while the latter is popular in Mexico and the Netherlands. They are all equivalent, so you have nothing to worry about.

#2 Make sure to have the correct certificate

Having the correct Certificate of Marriage will make the process hassle-free. And by “correct”, it means that the certificate you should have is the one issued by your provincial government’s Vital Statistics office. It can be the regular certificate or the long-form type, as both are accepted. This rule became effective on April 1, 2020. It’s also worthy to note that even notarized or certified copies made by a local notary public cannot be authenticated.

Some applicants do not move forward with the application because they submit the Certificate of Marriage that was provided at a wedding ceremony. Again, this is not the certificate you need. Also, note that wallet-sized certificates are not acceptable as well because of their size. Global Affairs Canada will not authenticate these kinds of licenses or certificates. 

If you don’t have the correct certificate as of the moment or if you lost or misplaced your certificate, you don’t have to worry about it. All you have to do is contact the Provincial Vital Statistics office and request it from them. Normally, the processing time takes about 20 business days.

#3 Keep in contact with the embassy consulate of the country you’re going to

After having the correct Certificate of Marriage authenticated by Global Affairs Canada, you need to have it legalized by the embassy consulate that represents the country you’ll be using your certificate in. It helps to know in advance its specific location and contact details. Many embassy consulates are in Ottawa. You are required to get in touch with them as you need to request document legalization from them. This step comes with a corresponding fee.

Keep in mind that the requirements and processing times may differ, so it’s always best to stay updated. Once your certificate was already authenticated and legalized, it will be returned to you via shipping or other delivery solutions.

#4 Canada has not signed the Hague Apostille Convention

As of the moment, Canada is not among the countries that follow the rules brought about by the Hague Apostille Convention, an international treaty that seals public documents with the appropriate stamp. However, Canada has its own processes to legalize and authenticate documents. Both serve the same purpose.

#5 Other documents should be authenticated, too

It’s not just the Certificate of Marriage that needs to be legalized and authenticated. Take note that you have to prepare the following documents as well so as to be ready when you’re already undergoing the process:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Death Certificate (If Applicable)
  • College or University Degree
  • Divorce Certificate
  • Police Check

To make sure that your documents are complete, it’s best to confirm the requirements with the requesting party in the foreign country you intend to go to.
Should you need complete help and assistance in having your marriage certificate authenticated and legalized outside Canada, Globeia is more than happy to provide complete service. With our help, you don’t have to worry about deadlines, timelines, and the specific steps to take. We will be in direct contact with you so you’ll get updated on your application. Our process also lets you connect with the embassy consulate in the speediest way possible. Feel free to contact us if you have questions.
Address: 1185 Victoria Park Avenue, Scarborough, Ontario M4B 2K5
Phone: 416-288-8070

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Take note that this article only intends to inform and educate readers, so as to help them with similar problems they might have. Any text or information from this publication should not, in any way, be taken as legal advice. We also disclaim any responsibility for the damages that may occur out of the details laid out here. It’s always ideal to consult with an experienced legal counsel to learn more about a certain subject and the processes involved. In addition, we do not take any responsibility to update content that was posted in the past.

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