If your marriage took place outside of Canada, Citizenship and Immigration of Canada will recognize the marriage if:
- It is legal according to the laws of the place where it occurred
- It complies with Canada’s federal laws on marriage
- According to Canada’s federal laws on marriage:
- Close relatives (for example, grandparent-grandchild, parent-child, brothers-sisters) cannot marry each other
- A person can only be married to one person at a time
If there is any doubt of the validity of marriage in the place that the marriage occurred, you will need to prove that your marriage is in fact legitimate. If your marriage is illegal in the country in which in the ceremony occurred (ie. Same-sex marriage), this will not be recognized by the Canadian government. Citizenship and Immigration Canada might recognize your relationship as a common-law or conjugal relationship for sponsorship purposes.
If you want to sponsor your spouse for immigration and he/she is over the age of 18, you will be able to apply for this process.