Marriage / civil union Celebration – Foreigners – What to Do?

Our ‘Imperial’ Wedding Celebration Room Montreal – For MORE PHOTOS


Given the large number of immigrants, the cosmopolitan city of Quebec has always been and still continues to be a land where many couples want to unite in marry, form a civil union, live together in a de facto union.

The public notary, civil marriage celebrant, is a specialist who can guide you in your choice of a matrimonial regime and who can officiate your civil marriage, while respecting the conditions required by Quebec laws for the wedding ceremony and civil marriage or civil union celebration.

Statistics have shown that the number of civil marriages between a resident of Quebec and a resident abroad has increased over the past 20 years and, with the galloping development of social media networks, this trend still continues to increase. It is strongly recommended for residents of Quebec and for Canadian citizens who choose civil union or civil marriage with a resident from abroad to consult a specialist who can explain the steps and the consequences of their choice before officiating the wedding.

The good news is that the same conditions which apply to civil marriages between residents of Quebec will also apply when one of the two comes from abroad.

A Canadian citizen, a Canadian permanent resident or a refugee resident in Quebec may marry or may enter a civil union with a non-resident, both spouses having the same rights and obligations as a couple of Quebec residents. The spouse who comes from abroad will have to submit to the laws of Quebec.

The conditions which must be fulfilled by the spouses are the same:

  • Age: they both must be 18 years of age or older, or, in case they are 16 to 18 years of age, they need authorization from the court (only for marriage, not permitted for civil union)
  • Lack of family ties between the two (father, mother, brother, sister, son, daughter)
  • The existence of a public, free and informed consent before a marriage celebrant and in the presence of two witnesses
  • Be free of any previous bond of marriage or civil union with another person

However, depending on the future spouse’s country of origin, some additional documents may be required. Common examples include certificate of celibacy, and other certificates (divorce, death).

It’s important to know that the marriage may be cancelled if one of these conditions isn’t fulfilled (one of the spouses is not divorced or is below 18 years of age, or the marriage has been forced and so on). A marriage with a Quebec citizen does not guarantee obtaining a Canadian citizenship.

Under Canadian law, after the wedding ceremony, each spouse will keep his/her name and surname therefore they will not have to change documents such as contracts, driver’s licence, credit cards and so on.

Regarding the patrimony of the new family, if the spouses did not go to a notary’s office to check their options and to choose a wedding prenuptial contract, they must submit to the legal matrimonial regime in force in Quebec: partnership of acquests.

The married couple must also choose a residence and take part in the household life and in the children’s education.

If you are a couple and you want to know the specific variables for your particular situation or if you want to choose another matrimonial regime, contact a marriage celebrant who is recognized by the authorities.

Me Leopold Lincà public notary, wedding officiant in Montreal, will present you the best options for your couple.


Contact us now!