Get married in USA or CANADA??

Canada Immigration Forum (discussion group)            
Subject: Get married in USA or CANADA??
  First time here...Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated.

Background info: I am Canadian citizen and fiance is a United States citizen (NY). Our intentions are obviously to be married and we hope to live in Canada. Before we get the ball rolling we would like to make sure we take the best route to seeing this happen (ie: least hassle).
Here are some questions we have:

1. Would it be best to marry in Canada or the USA?
**I´ve heard that USA is faster at processing marriage certificates, so would it speed up the process for PR. or
Would it be best to marry in canada if we intend to reside in Canada anyway?

2. If we decide to marry in the USA should I inform US customs of this when I cross over the border? I know it is always CRUCIAL to be truthful with customs agents but will they suspct that I will not leave their country after the ceremony??

2. Should my fiance apply for a Visitor visa before we get married? I´ve heard of people that keep getting it renewed while their PR application is in progress.

3. Can my fiance come back and forth between both countries while the PR application is in progress--assuming he has a valid visitor visa? Should a multi entry visa be applied for to allow for this?

I´m sorry this is lengthy. Just wanting to do things properly THE FIRST TIME!


(in reply to: Get married in USA or CANADA??)
If your fiance is a US citizen, he does not need visitor visa to enter Canada. He only needs to show his passport and tell the Canadian immigration officer he is visiting you. That part is easy.

Yes, he will be able to travel back and forth to Canada. I wish I had that privilege to see my family (I´m not US citizen).

Regarding where the marriage is going to occur, my guess is that you are right: you should marry where the certificate is issueed in the most expeditious fashion. In Ontario it took about 1 month to obtain our marriage certificate when we married 4 years ago, but I don´t remember if they had a faster service for a higher fee. At that time we paid the lowest price, therefore the lenght of 1 month. Check that out with your fiance in NY.

Hope this helps...

(in reply to: Get married in USA or CANADA??)
The typical questions at the border are:


Since you are Canadian/US citizens, those are merely rethoric questions. Do not take them THAAAAAAT seriously. I would reply the purpose of my trip is to visit my fiance. Telling them you are marrying your fiance does not hurt either.

Good luck with your wedding and I wish you happiness in your future family.


(in reply to: Get married in USA or CANADA??)
Yes my fiance is an american citizen and because of such he doesn´t need a visa to visit me in Canda.

When I asked about the Visitor visa I meant about getting the visa before we were married with the idea that after the ceremony we would reside together in Canada (and then apply for PR under spousal terms while in canada).
(**ie: if we are living here after the marriage and applying for PR shouldn´t he have a visitor visa?)

Otherwise, won´t his presence in canada for such a period of time be considered unlawful since he does have a PR application in progress and in essence is wishing to stay permanently?

Not sure I explained myself clearly :(

(in reply to: Get married in USA or CANADA??)
Yes, we have both been through all the questions at the border. We see each other 3-4 weekends per month so we are pretty experienced with border questions. For the most part they are generally polite and non-threatening. Maybe my thick canadian accent makes me sound legit!! hehe

Thanks for the replies ozz.

(in reply to: Get married in USA or CANADA??)

In Canada (atleast in Ontario), you currently have to wait 3 months after getting married to even be able to apply for your marriage certificate and after you apply it takes awhile for you to receive it unless you are able to get it expedited. The department that is in charge of handling birth certificates/marriage certificates/death certificates has had a huge number of people applying for birth certificates and that is affecting how quickly people receive the other ones. In the U.S it varies from state to state, but it is much quicker to receive your marriage certificate (usually about 2 weeks, I think).

As for the border, I know from experience the Canada border officials are usually pretty understanding. Granted when I crossed the border before getting married I didn´t tell them then that I was going up to get married (this was mainly because I was leaving Canada to go back to the U.S about 2 weeks after getting married so I could pack and move all my belongings up). When I crossed the border the second time with my belongings I told them I was going up to live with my husband while applying for Permanent Residence, showed them my record of marriage that the church gave us when we got married, and I was issued a visitor´s record/visa good for 6 months. My friend on the other hand entered Canada with her fiance, told the people at the border she was coming to Canada to get married and to live in Canada while her PR application was processed...she was issued a visitor´s record/visa without any problems. I´m not sure how the officials at the U.S border are, but since you are the fiance of an American citizen you may need to get a visa from the U.S consulate in order to enter the U.S:

In regards to the visitor´s visa, as I said earlier, your fiance will more then likely be issued one at the border. Since she´s a U.S citizen, I don´t believe that there is the need to apply for one before hand. Once you have some proof of your marriage (either a marriage record or marriage certificate) if you just inform the border officals that she is coming to Canada to live with you while her application for permanent residence is processed she should be issued a visitor´s record valid for 6 months - which she can apply to extend while her application is being processed.

Once your fiancee is issued a visitor´s record, she should have no problem going back and forth between the two countries with just a normal visitor´s record. Since getting married and being issued a visitor´s record, my husband and I have crossed the border multiple times without any problems.

I hope this information helps. And here´s a bit of advice: depending on when you are intending on getting married, the two of you should begin looking at the immigration forms and begin gathering the necessary supporting documents (i.e - pictures, copies of emails/letters you´ve sent each other, copies of phone bills showing you called each other, proof that you´ve had an on-going genuine relationship, etc.) as soon as possible. It defenitely makes the process a bit quicker rather then waiting until after she moves up. Also she should start looking at how to obtain police certificates from all the states she´s lived in for more then 6 months as well as how to obtain her FBI clearance. As I said before, looking into these things beforehand makes it a bit easier once you will be filling the forms out.

(in reply to: Get married in USA or CANADA??)
Oops. Sorry about refering to your fiance as a she, I´m just used to talking to my female friends who are looking at immigrating to Canada to live with their husbands, so it´s a bit of a habit. Sorry, everything I said still should apply to your fiance.
(in reply to: Get married in USA or CANADA??)

Thank you kindly for your reply. I was hoping to hear from someone first hand what their experience(s) were with regard to this matter.

We have been discussing marrying in the US for the very reason that in Ontario the wait time for a certificate is 3 months (if you´re lucky). We definately want to speed that along so we are leaning to marriage in the States.

I wasn´t sure if a visitor visa had to be obtained prior to getting to the border. I suppose I have visions of him being denied at the border and all that kind of drama. Definately don´t want that! I thought that a visa had to be applied for in advance of a trip (not just at the border crossing).

We are definately beginning to collect some of the things you´ve mentioned (even though we aren´t getting married for a year or so). We really just want to have all our i´s dotted and t´s crossed before we tie the knot!

Thank you for the advice...:) Very much appreciated...Let´s see, is there anything else I should know?? Hmmm let me think on that!

(in reply to: Get married in USA or CANADA??)
It is true that it takes 12 weeks before you can apply to have your mariage certificate in ontario. Then you have to wait another 8-12 weeks for them to deliver it to you! Unless you can find a way to speak to someone who will be nice enought to expedite you demand because of immigration purposes! But it will take minimum 4 months.
Find out if you can give them a copy of the mariage licence (the bottom part of the origianl licence) then show them the legal document when you go to the interview. That´s want we did for us immigration and it was ok.

(in reply to: Get married in USA or CANADA??)
Thank you Eve for responding.
We have pretty much decided to get married in the States so we can get the documents faster. It´s a little disappointing to know we can´t marry here in ontario but we are prepared to do what is necessary to speed up the process!

Cheers and happy holidays!

Canadian working in US and wanting to bring future wife over (in reply to: Get married in USA or CANADA??)
I have been in New York for 2 years now and hopefully in the next year or so I plan to ask my girlfriend to marry me. What would be the best way to get her into the country. She will have her degree at that point. Would it be best for her to get a working visa, or is there a temporary one she can get while she looks for work?