Marriages celebrated abroad are recognized in Quebec to the extent that these marriages were celebrated in accordance with the laws of the countries where the celebration took place and that the marriage also respects the rules for marrying in Quebec. The celebration must also have complied with the laws of Quebec. These marriages may be registered with the Registry of Civil Status by presenting the original of your foreign marriage certificate.
How to have your marriage celebrated abroad recognized in Quebec
To have their marriage certificate inserted in Quebec’s registry of civil status, the spouses must be residents of Quebec and present a proof of residency in Quebec as well as the original marriage certificate or a certified copy to the Registrar of Civil Status. If the document is not written in French or English, the original or the copy must be accompanied by an official translation in French or English by the Ordre des traducteurs, terminologues et interprètes agréés du Québec. It is recommended that the spouses send the marriage certificate obtained outside Quebec to the Quebec registry of civil status in order to facilitate certain procedures with Quebec departments and organizations.
What documents are required for the insertion of a marriage certificate celebrated abroad in the Quebec registry of civil status?
For insertion of a marriage deed or a civil union deed, you must fill out the form Application for Insertion of an Act of Civil Status Made Outside Québec in the Québec Register of Civil Status (PDF, 52 Kb) and provide the following documents:
- the original of the document certifying the marriage or civil union issued by the registrar of civil status of the country or province where the marriage or civil union took place (original or a copy of the deed or marriage certificate or certificate of civil union or any other equivalent certified copy);
- a certified copy issued by the clerk of the court regarding the judgement of a prior divorce, marriage annulment or dissolution of the civil union, as applicable;
- the originals of documents certifying the births of the spouses or civil union partners issued by the civil status officials of the countries or provinces where the births took place, if the spouses or civil union partners were born outside Quebec (original copies of deeds or birth certificates or any other certified equivalent documents);
- a photocopy of a valid identity document with photo of the applicant;
- a photocopy of the proof of residence for the applicant;
- a photocopy of a proof of Quebec residency of the person concerned by the deed to be inserted, if it is not the applicant.
The registrar of civil status will then study your request and make a written decision, with reasons.
Consult your notary: a reliable source.
Mtre Mona Salehi, Notary and Civil Marriage Celebrant in Montreal
Direct line: 514-903-8560
Mtre Mona Salehi is a member of the Chambre de notaires du Québec, the Association professionnelle des notaires du Québec and the International Union of Notaries.
Please note that this article is not legal advice or opinion. For advice appropriate to your situation and before making a decision or taking any action, you are advised to consult a notary.