Things to Know Before Getting Married in a Foreign Country

If you are planning to get married in another country, you may require an affidavit confirming that you have not been married in Ontario. 

What’s an Affidavit?

An affidavit is a statement of facts you personally know, like that you’re single and able to be married. It may even have details about your upcoming nuptials. You can swear an affidavit on a religious text like a Bible or other approved text or affirm it, which means declare the document is true.

Who Can Take Affidavits

Licensed Ontario notary publics or, depending on how it will be used, commissioners of oaths can take affidavits. Notary publics administer oaths and declarations, as well as attesting to and certifying documents are the real thing.

Who’s an Affiant

You’re an affiant, as soon as you make an affidavit. 

What’s Included

Affidavits can be a form or a written statement. When you go to court, for example, you make an affidavit stating what you know and what evidence, exhibits or witnesses you have. Unless you are using a form, the statements in your affidavit appear in chronological order and are often numbered. Your affidavit will be signed by you and the notary public who witnesses your signature, online via video call or in person. The notary will sign, stamp and add a notary seal to the affidavit and give you an original to submit or for your records.

Getting Local Marriage Advice

To get off on the right foot, contact the nearest foreign embassy, high commission or consulate for the country where you will be married. Planning ahead will ensure you have everything you need when you arrive and your documents are authenticated in advance. If you’re overseas already, ask a Canadian embassy or consulate for assistance. They have information on local laws, customs and lawyers you can consult.

Documents You May Need for Your Journey

The Canadian government recommends taking:

  • a valid Canadian passport and birth certificate
  • Ontario marriage search letter 
  • single status affidavit
  • statement in lieu of a certificate of non-impediment to marriage abroad
  • premarital blood test certificate
  • statement of parental consent if you are a minor
  • divorce certificate 
  • or death certificate if you are widowed.

How to Write an Affidavit of Single Status

Your notary public can give you an affidavit of single status to complete and sign for notarizing. You may need to have notarized documents authenticated by the Ontario Official Documents Service in Toronto and legalized by the embassy or consulate where you intend to be married. Ask the local embassy or consulate before you leave Canada.

Doing a Provincial Marriage Search

Service Ontario can advise you on getting a provincial marriage search if you need one. The search confirms you have not registered any marriages in Ontario.

Getting a Statement of Non-Objection

You may also be asked for a certificate of non-impediment to marriage abroad. That verifies no one objects to the proposed marriage or civil union. Global Affairs Canada in Ottawa can give you a statement in lieu of the certificate, but does not actually issue a certificate itself. Enquire if you need to bring this with you. Some countries require the certificate to be issued in Canada, before you go abroad. Plan well ahead to ensure you have your documents when you need them.

What to Know About Foreign Marriages

  1. Canadian embassies and consulates do not perform marriages.
  2. Legal marriages in a foreign country are usually valid in Canada. 
  3. You do not need to get remarried if you return here. 
  4. Your Canadian citizenship is not affected by a foreign marriage, but you could become a citizen of a foreign country if you get married there. 
  5. Your Canadian citizenship may not be recognized in a foreign country. Ask a Canadian embassy or consulate in the country where you are marrying if you are concerned about how that will affect your legal rights.
  6. Be sure you understand the customs, beliefs and legal rights in your new home, especially if you are a woman, divorced or lgbtq2s+.
  7. Marrying a foreign citizen does not automatically make them eligible for Canadian citizenship. Speak to an immigration lawyer if you wish to bring a foreign spouse to Canada to visit or live.
  8. Same-sex marriages are not common outside Canada. You may be required to enter a same-sex civil union instead or be prohibited from marrying.

Before You Arrive for Your Notary Appointment

Before you go on camera for your remote notary public video call with Axess Law or leave home to visit our notary in person, be sure you have with you:

  • the document you plan to swear or affirm
  • any exhibits or documents you will attach
  • and current photo ID, such as a driver’s licence or passport.

Good luck! We hope you enjoy many happy years together.

Getting an Affidavit to Go to Court

Axess Law Ontario notary publics can witness your single status affidavit by remote video call or in person. Talk to our licensed notaries via online video conference 7 days a week, day or evening, or make an in-person appointment at our Ottawa, Toronto, Scarborough, Vaughan, Etobicoke, Mississauga Winston Churchill or Mississauga Heartland law offices. Dial 877-522-9377 or in Greater Toronto 647-479-0118 or use our online booking form for appointments.

Click here to learn more about Axess Law’s notary public services.