New Relationships & Out-of-Province Issues

Law

New families may have ties to other provinces or countries. See the sections below to learn about:

  • How to determine if you are a “resident” of Alberta
  • How family relationships are treated differently under the law across Canada
  • Albertans getting married outside of Alberta
  • Adopting children from outside Alberta
  • Using assisted reproduction methods outside of Alberta
  • Sponsoring new family members to come to Canada
  • Being sponsored by a new family member to come to Canada

Choose the Process tab above for forms and steps to take when dealing with marriage across borders, reporting forced marriage, and immigration sponsorship.

Please read “Who is this Information Page for?” just below to make sure you are on the right page.

LegalAve provides general legal information, not legal advice. Learn more here.

Last Reviewed: May 2017
Who is this Information Page for?

This Information Page describes legal situations that may arise when starting new family relationships when one of you does not live in Alberta. This includes:

  • How to determine if you are a “resident” of Alberta
  • How family relationships are treated differently under the law across Canada
  • Albertans getting married outside of Alberta
  • Adopting children from outside Alberta
  • Using assisted reproduction methods outside of Alberta
  • Sponsoring new family members to come to Canada
  • Being sponsored by a new family member to come to Canada

If you are dealing with separation matters across borders, see the Family Breakdown & Out-of-Province Issues Information Page. That Information Page deals with topics such as:

  • Getting a divorce
  • Dividing property
  • Custody, access, and parenting time
  • Child support
  • Spousal support

If you are dealing with other family legal matters across borders, see the Ongoing Family Relationships & Out-of-Province Issues Information Page. That Information Page deals with topics such as:

  • Jointly owning property across borders
  • Powers of Attorney and Personal Directives
  • Guardianship and Trusteeship
  • Estate planning if you have property outside of Alberta
  • Death of an Albertan outside of Alberta
  • Inheriting foreign property

To find legal information and lawyers in other provinces or countries, see the Solving Legal Problems & Out-of-Province Issues Information Page.

You are currently on the Law tab of this Information Page, which has information about when Alberta laws apply. For information on processes you may need to follow for your cross-border matters, click on the Process tab above. There is also important information in the Common Questions and Myths tabs above.

What the words mean

These words are not listed alphabetically—they are in the order that makes it easiest to understand the complete legal picture.

If you are looking for a specific term, you can use the Glossary, which is in alphabetical order.

jurisdiction

This term refers to the right or ability of a government or a court to make decisions about things. It describes either:

  • a particular government’s right, power, or authority to make laws; or
  • a particular court’s authority to deal with an issue.

For more information, see the “Jurisdiction: What is it and why does it matter?” section below.

federal law

Laws that are made by the Government of Canada and apply to all Canadians, no matter which province they live in. Examples include: the Income Tax Act, the Criminal Code of Canada, and the Immigration Act.

provincial law

Laws that are made by a provincial or territorial government. In Alberta, provincial laws are made by the Government of Alberta and apply only in Alberta. Examples include: the Alberta Adult Interdependent Relationship Act, the Alberta Family Law Act, and the Alberta Wills and Succession Act.

ordinary residence (also called “habitual residence”)

Where a person lives his or her daily life. This is different from where a person might occasionally stay, or even where a person often stays. It is where a person’s life is centred. Even if they are not always there, it is the place where they regularly return.

When deciding if a person is an “ordinary” or “habitual” resident, a court will consider different factors. These may include:

  • where a person was born;
  • where a person has spent, and continues to spend, most of his or her life; and
  • where a person has ties to family and the community.

spouse

A person who is legally married to another person.

common-law partner

In Alberta, the term “common-law” only applies to certain couples and only for certain federal laws (such as the Income Tax Act). Under most federal laws, the term “common-law” refers to a couple who has lived together in a romantic relationship:

  • for at least one year; or
  • for less than one year but they have a child together.

Under Alberta’s provincial laws, there is no such thing as “common-law” partners and “common-law” relationships. In Alberta, similar rights and responsibilities come from being in an “Adult Interdependent Relationship” (see below).

Be Aware

Under the federal Indian Act and the federal Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act, the term “common-law” is used only for a couple who has been living together in a romantic relationship for at least one year (regardless of whether or not they have had a child together).

Adult Interdependent Relationship (AIR)

The term used in Alberta to describe what many people might think of as a “common-law” relationship.

A person is in an Adult Interdependent Relationship if he or she has been living with and in a “relationship of interdependence” with another person:

  • for 3 years; or
  • for less than 3 years if they have signed an Adult Interdependent Partner Agreement; or
  • for less than 3 years if they have a child together (by birth or adoption).

A “relationship of interdependence” is a relationship where the partners are not married but they:

  • share one another’s lives;
  • are emotionally committed to one another; and
  • function as an economic and domestic unit.
Be Aware

The relationship does not have to be romantic or sexual to meet these requirements; it can be non-romantic (also called “platonic”). For information about non-romantic AIRs, see the Non-romantic Adult Interdependent Relationships Information Page.

cohabitation

Living together in the same home.

sponsorship

The ability of citizens or permanent residents of Canada to help family members (including spouses and romantic partners) immigrate to Canada. To sponsor a family member, you must be able to support your relative financially when he or she arrives. Also, for 3 years you must:

  • be able to meet basic needs—such as food, clothing, and shelter—for yourself and your relative; and
  • make sure your relative does not need to ask for financial help from the government. (If they do, you will be held financially responsible.)

conjugal

A word used to describe a relationship—a “conjugal relationship” means the people involved have sex. This is also called a “romantic relationship.” This is different from a “platonic relationship,” which is a relationship of any kind that does not include having sex.

conjugal partner

This is a term used often by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to refer to a person with whom you have been in a conjugal relationship for at least one year. For the purposes of sponsorship, you don’t always have to have been living together during that year (that is, you do not have to meet the definition of “common-law partners” above). You can sponsor your conjugal partner if there has been a significant degree of attachment between you. In other words, the relationship cannot be just sexual. You must have been in a genuine relationship for at least 12 months. But in that relationship, marriage or cohabitation has not been possible due to some kind of significant barrier. For example: sexual orientation or religious faith.

Canadian citizen

A person who has the right to live and work anywhere in Canada permanently, without limits. Citizens can vote, hold office, and enter and exit Canada at any time.

permanent resident

A “permanent resident” of Canada has the right to live and work anywhere in Canada. A permanent resident was born in another country, and he or she is still a citizen of another country. A permanent resident cannot vote or hold office in Canada, or remain outside of Canada for more than 3 years out of 5. When a permanent resident has been “physically present” in Canada for at least 4 years, then he or she can apply for Canadian citizenship. See the following resource for more information.

Interactive Physical Presence Calculator
Government of Canada
English

Interactive Calculatrice de la période de présence effective
Government of Canada
French

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

The department of the Government of Canada that:

  • governs the arrival of immigrants (including granting permanent residence and citizenship);
  • provides protection to refugees;
  • issues travel documents (such as work permits, study permits, and visas for visitors, as well as passports for Canadians); and
  • offers programs to help newcomers settle in Canada.

Until 2016, this department was called Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). Because the change in name is still quite new, some resources and even the IRCC website may still show the old name.

The laws that may apply to you

As you work through your legal issues, you may wish to read the laws (also called “statutes” or “acts”) that apply. The laws included on this Information Page are:


Web Family Law Act (and associated Regulations)
Government of Alberta
English

Web Constitution Acts, 1867 to 1982
Government of Canada
English

Web Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
Government of Canada
English

Web Citizenship Act
Government of Canada
English

Web Hague Convention of 29 May 1993 on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (available in many languages)
Hague Conference on Private International Law
English
This information is available in multiple languages. Choose your language from the “Other languages” menu on the top of the page.

When reading laws, you also need to know about the “regulations” associated with those laws. Each of the links above takes you to a page that lists the laws as well as the regulations that go with them. For more information on laws and regulations, including what they are and how they work, see the Our Legal System Information Page.

Jurisdiction: What is it and why does it matter?

What is “jurisdiction”?

This term refers to the right or ability of a government or a court to make decisions about things.

In terms of government, “jurisdiction” refers to a particular government’s right, power, or authority to make laws.

  • The Government of Canada has “federal jurisdiction”—the laws made by the Government of Canada generally apply to everyone in Canada.
  • The provinces and territories of Canada have “provincial jurisdiction”—the laws made by those governments generally apply only within that province or territory.

The exact topics that each jurisdiction can make laws about is set out in Canada’s Constitution Act, 1867. Governments cannot make laws about topics that are not in their jurisdiction.

Similarly, governments of other countries make laws that generally only apply in their geographic area.

In terms of the court system, “jurisdiction” is also used to describe a particular court’s authority to deal with an issue. This is related to the governmental jurisdiction:

  • Federal courts (such as the Federal Court of Canada and the Tax Court) deal with the laws passed by the Government of Canada.
  • Alberta courts (the Provincial Court of Alberta and the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench) have the authority to deal with Alberta laws. But they cannot deal with the laws of another province. In other words, “jurisdiction” is the geographic area where the judge has authority to make court orders.
  • Alberta courts can also deal with laws passed by the Government of Canada, if they have been given the authority to do so. For example: Alberta courts have the authority to deal with the Criminal Code of Canada (which is a federal law).

In general, courts cannot make orders using laws that are not in their jurisdiction, and courts cannot hear a matter about a person who is not in their jurisdiction.

Why does it matter?

A basic concept of law is that, in general, courts can only use the laws that apply in the geographic area where those courts are located. A court in Alberta is meant to apply the laws of Alberta. It cannot simply decide one day to apply the laws of Newfoundland or of the Netherlands to the case it is considering. It has no jurisdiction to do so.

Also, people are governed by the laws in the geographic area where they live. A person who lives in Camrose, Alberta will be governed by Canadian federal laws, Alberta provincial laws, and the city laws passed by the City of Camrose. A person living there cannot simply decide to be governed by the city laws of Moncton, the territorial laws of Yukon, and the federal laws of France instead.

With some family-related legal issues, jurisdiction can complicate things.

For example:

  • You may spend time in more than one province or country.
  • Your family members may be divided between multiple jurisdictions.
  • You may have a court order from another jurisdiction that you want to change or transfer.

In these cases, you will likely need to learn about the law in more than one jurisdiction. To find legal information and lawyers in other provinces or countries, see the Solving Legal Problems & Out-of-Province Issues Information Page.

More information

For more general information about what jurisdiction is and why it matters, see the Our Legal System Information Page and the following resources.

PDF The Canadian Legal System: Legal Information for Frontline Service Providers
Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta
English


Web Canada's Court System
Government of Canada
English

Web Powers of the National and Provincial Governments
Government of Canada
English

Web Distribution of Powers
The Canadian Encyclopedia
English

French resources:


Web L'appareil judiciaire du Canada
Government of Canada
French


Web Partage des pouvoirs
The Canadian Encyclopedia
French
Alberta residency: What is it and why does it matter?

What is “residency”?

In law, there are different ways to determine where a person lives (also called “resides”). Different laws use different methods to decide where a person resides.

The most common way is to look at a person’s “ordinary residence” (sometimes also called “habitual residence”). This is the method used for most of the laws discussed on this Information Page.

In Alberta, and in many other Canadian jurisdictions, “habitual” or “ordinary” residence refers to where a person lives his or her daily life. This is different from where a person might occasionally stay, or even where a person often stays. It is where a person’s life is centred. Even if they are not always there, it is the place where they regularly return.

When deciding if a person is an “ordinary” or “habitual” resident, a court will consider different factors. These may include:

  • where a person was born;
  • where a person has spent, and continues to spend, most of his or her life;
  • where a person’s extended family lives;
  • where a person has social ties to the community;
  • where a person has economic ties to community (such as bank accounts);
  • where a person has a home (and if that home is listed on a driver’s licence and in voter registration);
  • if a person has more than one home, how are they used? (For example, is one home a vacation home?);
  • where a person has property;
  • in which province a person is registered for health care;
  • where a person attends a religious institution; and
  • where a person works.

When it comes to children, factors that can be considered also include:

  • where the child’s roots are;
  • where the child’s extended family lives;
  • where the child has the strongest bonds (such as connections to daycare, school, church, service and health care providers, and community);
  • where the parents/guardians have a home, job, and social life;
  • where there are other court orders already in place;
  • whether there is a difference between court processes that will affect how quickly and inexpensively the issue can be resolved; and
  • whether there is a difference between the laws that will affect the welfare of the child.

In many cases, the issue of where a person is ordinarily resident will be clear. But sometimes it is not as easy to tell. For example: if you have 2 homes in 2 different provinces.

If you are asking a court to determine residency, you can include documents related to the above issues with your court paperwork.

Why does “residency” matter?

As described above in the “Jurisdiction: What is it and why does it matter?” section, Alberta laws do not generally apply to people who do not live (or “reside”) in Alberta. The Alberta Courts generally do not have the authority to make orders for families that live in another jurisdiction, or to make orders about property that is located in another jurisdiction.

When dealing with legal issues across borders (also called “interjurisdictional” issues), you may need to look at the issue of “residency.” In other words, do the people involved usually “reside” in Alberta? Or do they “reside” in another jurisdiction? This can affect how you need to deal with your legal issue.

You may also need to learn about how “residency” is defined in other jurisdictions. For more information about how to find non-Alberta legal information, see the Solving Legal Problems & Out-of-Province Issues Information Page.

More information

For more general information about residency and why it matters, see the following resources.

Web What’s my province of residence?
H&R Block
English
This is a private source. Learn more here.

Web Determining an Individual’s Residence Status
Government of Canada
English
This resource can be a challenge to read. Learn more here.


French resources:

Web Détermination du statut de résidence d’un particulier
Government of Canada
French
This resource can be a challenge to read. Learn more here.


Living together in Alberta: How is it different from other provinces?

In Canada, there are both federal laws and provincial laws that may affect couples who are living together, but not married.

  • Federal laws apply to everyone in Canada.
  • Provincial laws only apply in that province or territory.

Under federal law, you become “common-law partners” (also called “unmarried spouses”) after one year of living together in a romantic (or “conjugal”) relationship. You also become common-law partners when you have a child together (including adopting a child together), even if you have been living together for less than a year. As a result, for federal purposes (such as filing taxes), your “marital status” becomes “common-law.” This happens no matter where you live in Canada.

Every province has a different law about living in a “marriage-like” relationship without getting married. If you and your partner move to another province, you could have completely different rights and responsibilities.

These differences could include:

  • The length of the relationship. How long must you live together before you are recognized as “partners” under the law?
  • The nature of the relationship. Do you have to be in a romantic relationship to be recognized as partners? Alberta is different than other provinces in recognizing non-romantic (“platonic”) partnerships under the law.
  • The name of the relationship. For example, some provinces use the term “common-law partners.” Others may call the people involved “unmarried spouses.” In Alberta, the term for this sort of relationship is an “Adult Interdependent Relationship.”

If you are moving to Alberta from another province

Just because you were something similar to “Adult Interdependent Partners” in another province does not mean that you will automatically be Adult Interdependent Partners when you move to Alberta. You must first meet the Alberta requirements. For information about this, see the “What the words mean” section above and the Living Together: Common-law Partnerships & Adult Interdependent Relationships Information Page.

If you are moving to another province from Alberta

You will need to learn about the laws in that province. To find legal information in other provinces, see the Solving Legal Problems & Out-of-Province Issues Information Page.

Getting married outside of Alberta

In Canada, the federal government and provincial governments each have power over certain aspects of marriage. Therefore, when you get married, there are certain federal laws and certain provincial laws you must follow.

Federal laws

Federal laws of Canada set out rules about who can and cannot get married in Canada. For example, the federal government had the power to legalize same-sex marriage across the whole country. The federal government also decides which marriages are not allowed. For example: marriage between people who are related (by blood or adoption), and being married to more than one person at a time.

Provincial laws

Each province also has its own law about marriage. These provincial laws usually set out things such as:

  • minimum age requirements;
  • the marriage process;
  • marriage licence requirements; and
  • marriage registration requirements.

In Alberta, this law is called the Marriage Act. For detailed information about the law around marriage in Alberta, see the Getting Married Information Page.

Because each province has a different provincial law for marriage, you will need to learn about the law in the province where you want to get married. Even if you live in Alberta, if you get married in another province, you will have to follow the marriage rules in that province. To find legal information about getting married in other provinces, see the “Getting married outside of Alberta” section of the Getting Married Information Page.

“Destination weddings”

The term “destination wedding” generally describes a wedding that takes place in a jurisdiction outside of where the couple usually lives. It could be in a different province, or it could be in a different country entirely. Depending on where your wedding will take place, you will need to learn the laws about getting married in that place.

For more information, see the “Getting married outside of Alberta” section of the Getting Married Information Page.

More information

For more information on the different federal and provincial laws that affect marriage, see the following resources.

Web Wedding Law: By the Authority Vested in Me
Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta
English

Web Marriage FAQs
Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta
English
Having a foreign marriage recognized in Canada

If you were married outside of Alberta and you are trying to deal with a family law issue in Alberta, you may have to prove that you were legally married outside of Alberta.

For marriages that took place in other Canadian provinces and territories, this is quite easy to do: you only need to provide your marriage certificate.

On the other hand, if you were married outside of Canada, this can be more complicated. Most of the time, if all the legal requirements of the foreign country were met, marriages performed in that country will be recognized here. However, if the marriage laws of that other country conflict with the marriage laws of Canada, the marriage may not be recognized. For example, polygamy (being married to more than one person at a time) is not legal in Canada. Therefore, if you married someone who was already married to someone else in a foreign country, your marriage will not be recognized in Canada.

For more information about having a foreign marriage recognized in Canada, see the following resources.

Web Will the Canadian government recognize my foreign marriage?
Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants
Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Gujarati, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Tamil, Urdu
This resource is from outside Alberta. Learn more here.

Web Marriage FAQs
Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta
English

For information about the requirements for a legal marriage in Canada, see the Getting Married Information Page.

For more information about getting your foreign marriage recognized in Canada, see the Process tab of this Information Page.

If you are unsure whether your marriage outside of Canada meets the Canadian marriage requirements, you may want to speak with a lawyer about your rights as you deal with your family law issues. For more information, see the Working with a Lawyer Information Page. If you think that you cannot afford lawyer and would like to learn about other legal help that is available in your community, see the Community Legal Resources & Legal Aid Information Page.

Forced marriage across borders

Different countries have different laws and traditions about marriage. Sometimes people may be taken from Canada to another country and forced to get married there.

“Forced marriage” is different from an “arranged marriage.”

Arranged marriages

Arranged marriages are very common in some cultures. In these situations, a person does not find their own marriage partner. Instead, family members or friends select a possible partner for their adult child intending for them to get married. However, both possible partners in this arrangement have the right to choose whether or not they want to marry the recommended person. Therefore, in arranged marriages, there is consent from both people in the relationship.

For more information about arranged marriage, see the following resource.

Web Before Getting Married
Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta
English

Forced marriage

Forced marriage happens when one or both of the people do not consent to the marriage. They are made to marry the person someone else has selected even though they don’t want to. In Canada, both people must consent to getting married to each other for a marriage to be valid.

People might try to use abuse, threats, and pressure to force one person to marry another. Sometimes, people are sent or taken to a foreign country for the purpose of being forced to marry, and they have no idea until they get there. Once they get to the foreign country, their “friends” or family members might take away their belongings to prevent them from returning home.

Forced marriages are “voidable” marriages. This means there was a legal flaw or mistake in the marriage. A voidable marriage can be annulled. An annulment legally changes the situation to be as if the marriage had never happened in the first place. For more information on annulments, see the Ending a Married Relationship under the Divorce Act Information Page.

If a person was forced to marry in a foreign country, he or she can seek an annulment to undo the marriage once he or she returns to Canada. Getting a marriage annulled involves going to court and can be a complex process. It may be helpful to have a lawyer. For more information, see the Working with a Lawyer Information Page.

For more information about forced marriage, see the following resources.

Web Forced marriage
Government of Canada
English

Web Mariage forcé
Government of Canada
French

Web Forced Marriage
Children's Legal & Educational Resource Centre
English

Web It's a Choice: Forced marriage is a form of violence
South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario
English

PDF Crimes not Cultures
United Cultures of Canada Association
English
Start on p. 55.
Remarriage: If you were divorced outside of Alberta

If you were previously married, you cannot get married again until the divorce is final. You will need to prove that your divorce is final with some sort of official document.

If you were divorced in Canada

If you were divorced in Canada, you will need a Divorce Certificate. This will prove that your divorce is final, and that the appeal period is over. To get the Divorce Certificate, contact the Court that granted your divorce.

If your divorce was a long time ago, you may not know your court file number, or you may not remember in which court it was given. It is also possible that you may not remember seeing any final paperwork, and you are not even sure if the divorce was ever finalized. In such cases, the easiest solution is to contact the Central Registry of Divorce Proceedings in Ottawa. They will be able to help you get a copy of your Divorce Certificate, if there is one.

Web The Central Registry of Divorce Proceedings
Government of Canada
English

Web Bureau d'enregistrement des actions en divorce
Government of Canada
French

If you were divorced outside of Canada

Canada generally recognizes a divorce from another country if:

  • the divorce was legal under the laws of that country; and
  • one or both spouses lived in that country for a full year immediately before applying for the divorce.

For information about how to get the documents you need to prove your foreign divorce, see the Process tab of this Information Page.

Be Aware

There is no need to “register” a foreign divorce with the Alberta courts. If your divorce order includes custody, access, or support, then those parts of the divorce can be registered with the Courts and enforced in Alberta. However, the divorce itself does not need to be “registered.” For more information about registering parts of your divorce order, see the Family Breakdown & Out-of-Province Issues Information Page.

Domestic contracts across borders: Cohabitation, pre-nuptial, and marriage agreements

A “domestic contract” is a legal agreement between 2 or more people that allows the parties to create their own terms for their relationship. This may include rights and responsibilities they have toward one another during the relationship, as well as after the relationship ends.

When starting a new family relationship, you may consider having a domestic contract. You can choose to make one of the following.

  • A cohabitation agreement. This is used if you are not married and do not plan to marry in the near future.
  • A pre-nuptial agreement. This is used if you are not married but plan to marry in the near future.
  • A marriage agreement. This is used if you are already married.

When making a domestic contract, remember that the laws that govern family issues are different in every province.

Example #1

In Ontario, the law is clear that issues such as where the children will live can only be decided if and when you separate. Parties cannot address these issues in a cohabitation or pre-nuptial agreement, since they are still together. If you think that you might move to another province, you may wish to look at the laws for that province before coming to an agreement. You will want to ensure that your agreement will be valid in that province. One way of having some certainty is to have a “law that governs” clause. This clause will lay out which province’s or country’s laws will decide any future issues that might come up.

Example #2

There are differences between the provinces when dealing with fairness and unconscionability. “Unconscionability” is a term used to describe situations of extreme unfairness. In other words, it would be against our conscience to let this thing happen. Fairness and unconscionability have not yet been factors to overturn a domestic contract in Alberta, although they may become relevant in the future.

  • In Alberta, an agreement will generally be upheld in court as long as the following 3 things are in place. 1) The parties to the contract are fully informed of their legal rights. 2) They each get full disclosure about the other party’s assets. 3) They each get independent legal advice.
  • But this isn’t the case in British Columbia. In British Columbia, the Court has struck down family law agreements because the agreement was too unfair. So, if you think you may move to another province, consider looking at the laws of that province to ensure your agreement will be valid in that province.

Example #3

An Alberta, the division of matrimonial property is governed by the Matrimonial Property Act (MPA). Under the MPA, if the parties sign an agreement about dividing property, the parties must get independent legal advice. If they do not, the agreement will not be valid. Also, the MPA applies only to couples who are or were married. If you were never married, you cannot use the MPA to divide your property when you separate.

Because of such differences in law, the issue of domestic contracts across borders can get complicated. As a result, you may want to contact a lawyer if any of the following apply to you:

  • you already have a domestic contract that you wrote in another province and are moving to Alberta;
  • you have a domestic contract that was written in Alberta and are moving to another province; or
  • you are in the process of making a domestic contract and you know that you will be moving out of Alberta or to Alberta.

For more information about finding and working with a lawyer, see the Working with a Lawyer Information Page and the Solving Legal Problems & Out-of-Province Issues Information Page.

Marriage in Alberta: How is it different from other provinces?

In Canada, many of the rights and responsibilities that come with marriage are different in each province. There are several topics you may want to learn the laws about, including:

  • broken engagements and suing for “breach of promise to marry”;
  • property rights as married spouses (including “dower rights” in Alberta);
  • substitute decision-making if one spouse loses capacity; and
  • inheritance rights.

For information about how these topics apply in Alberta, see the Getting Married Information Page.

For information about how these topics apply in other provinces or countries, you may have to do some additional research. See the Solving Legal Problems & Out-of-Province Issues Information Page for good places to start and organizations that can help.

Being sponsored by your spouse or partner to come to Canada

Canadian citizens and permanent residents can “sponsor” their spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner for permanent residency in Canada.

  • You and your partner are considered “common-law” partners under federal law if you have been living together for at least one year in a romantic relationship. You can also become common-law partners by living together for less than one year if you have a child together.
  • You can also be sponsored as a conjugal partner if there has been a significant degree of attachment between you. In other words, the relationship cannot be just sexual. You must have been in a genuine relationship for at least 12 months. But in that relationship, marriage or cohabitation has not been possible due to some kind of significant barrier. For example: sexual orientation or religious faith.
  • You can be sponsored by your spouse at any time after a legal marriage is granted.
Be Aware

A person does not become a Canadian citizen or permanent resident simply by marrying someone who is a Canadian citizen.

For information about being sponsored by your spouse or partner to come to Canada, see the following resources.

Web Do I become a Canadian when I marry a Canadian?
Government of Canada
English


Web Canadian Law & Modern Day Foreign Brides
Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta
English

Web The Legal Rights of Immigrant Women
Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta
English


For information specifically about marriages between Canadians and Americans, see the following resources.

Web U.S.-Canada Marriages
Allen & Hodgman
English
This is a private source. Learn more here.

For information about how to get citizenship after you have permanent resident status, see the following resource.


Sponsoring your spouse or partner to come to Canada (including his or her children)

Sponsoring your spouse or partner

Canadian citizens and permanent residents can “sponsor” their spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner for permanent residency in Canada.

  • You and your partner are considered “common-law” partners under federal law if you have been living together for at least one year in a romantic relationship. You can also become common-law partners by living together for less than one year if you have a child together.
  • You can also sponsor your conjugal partner if there has been a significant degree of attachment between you. In other words, the relationship cannot be just sexual. You must have been in a genuine relationship for at least 12 months. But in that relationship, marriage or cohabitation has not been possible due to some kind of significant barrier. For example: sexual orientation or religious faith.
  • You can sponsor your spouse at any time after a legal marriage is granted. A person does not become a Canadian citizen or permanent resident simply by marrying someone who is a Canadian citizen.
Be Aware

Sponsoring someone is a serious legal and financial obligation and should not be entered into lightly. You may want to get legal advice if you are considering this. For more information, see the Working with a Lawyer Information Page.

Sponsoring your spouse or partner’s children

If your spouse or partner has dependent children, you can also sponsor them to come to Canada at the same time.

If your spouse or partner has a child in Canada, that child will automatically be a Canadian citizen. However, the non-Canadian parent will still need to make sure they have legal status to stay in Canada.

There is more information about this in the resources below.

More information

For information about sponsoring your spouse or partner to come to Canada, see the following resources. There is more information about how to sponsor your spouse or partner (including the forms you will need) on the Process tab of this Information Page.

Web Do you want to sponsor your family to join you in Canada? (Fact sheet)
Community Legal Education Ontario
Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Somali, Spanish, Tamil, Urdu

Web How do I sponsor a spouse or common-law partner from inside Canada?
Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants
Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Gujarati, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Tamil, Urdu

Web How do I sponsor a spouse, common-law or conjugal partner, or dependent child living outside of Canada?
Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants
Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Gujarati, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Tamil, Urdu

Web Can I sponsor my same-sex spouse, common-law or conjugal partner?
Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants
English





Video Permanent Resident: Spousal Sponsorship in Canada
Kahane Law Office
English
This is a private source. Learn more here.

Web Bring Family to Canada with Family Sponsorship: Immigration Canada
Kahane Law Office
English
This is a private source. Learn more here.

Web Spousal Sponsorship Lawyers in Calgary, Canada
Kahane Law Office
English
This is a private source. Learn more here.

Web Sponsoring Your Common Law Partner To Immigrate To Canada
Kahane Law Office
English
This is a private source. Learn more here.

For information about sponsoring your spouse or partner and his or her children, see the following resources.

Web Sponsoring a Spouse with a Dependent Child FAQs
IMMIgroup
English
This is a private source. Learn more here.

Web Dependent Child Sponsorship
Campbell Cohen Canadian immigration
English
This is a private source. Learn more here.

Web Le parrainage de l’enfant à charge
Campbell Cohen Canadian immigration
French
This is a private source. Learn more here.

For information specifically about marriages between Canadians and Americans, see the following resources.

Web U.S.-Canada Marriages
Allen & Hodgman
English
This is a private source. Learn more here.

For information about protecting yourself from marriage fraud, see the following resources.

Web Marriage fraud
Government of Canada
English

Web Fraude relative au mariage
Government of Canada
French

Web U.S.-Canada Marriages
Allen & Hodgman
English
Giving birth to a child in another province in Canada

If you live in Alberta and travel outside of Alberta while you are pregnant, you may want to be prepared in case you go into labour outside of the province. There are 2 things to be aware of.

  • Health care coverage outside of your home province
  • Registering the birth of the child in the other province

Health care coverage

For information about how Alberta health care will work if you give birth in another province, see the following resources.

Web AHCIP coverage within Canada
Government of Alberta
English


Web Claim forms – Health Care Insurance Plan
Government of Alberta
English

Web Travel and Your Provincial Health Plan
Kanetix Ltd.
English
This is a private source. Learn more here.

Web Are you covered by health insurance in Canada?
MoneySense
English
This is a private source. Learn more here.

For information about health care coverage if you move between provinces while pregnant, see the following resources.


Web Moving from one province to another – How does it affect your health care?
Canadian Association of Blue Cross Plans
English

Web Canada Health Act - Frequently Asked Questions
Government of Canada
English
See “What should I do if I am moving to another province or territory?”

Web Loi canadienne sur la santé - Foire aux questions
Government of Canada
French
Voir : “Que dois-je faire si je déménage dans une autre province ou un autre territoire?”

Registering the birth

A child’s birth needs to be registered with the province where he or she was born. Registering the birth is the first step before you can get other legal documents (such as a birth certificate and health care card). The registration form is filled out at the time of birth.

If the birth happens in a hospital, the staff will get you the form you need, and submit it to the government.

If the birth happens outside of the hospital, you will need to contact the government agency responsible for birth registrations. See the following resource for contact information.

Web Vital Statistics contacts
Government of Canada
English

After you have registered the birth, you can request other documents. See the following resource for information about your next steps.

Web Having a Baby
Government of Canada
English

Web Avoir un enfant
Government of Canada
French

More information

For detailed information about being pregnant and having a child in Alberta, see the following Information Pages.

Giving birth to a child outside of Canada

If you live in Alberta and travel abroad while you are pregnant, you may want to be prepared in case you go into labour in another country. There are 3 things to be aware of.

  • Alberta health care coverage outside of Canada
  • Registering the birth of the child
  • Citizenship considerations
Be Aware

Some countries may not allow a pregnant woman to enter the country if they think there is a risk that she may give birth there. For more information, see the following resources.

Web Visit the U.S. while pregnant and the risks involved
U.S. Customs & Border Protection
English

Web Travelling With Children
Government of Canada
English

Web Voyager avec des enfants
Government of Canada
French

Alberta health care coverage outside of Canada

The Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) can reimburse you for some medical expenses out of the country. However, there are limits to how much AHCIP will cover. If your expenses are over this amount, you will have to pay the difference. For more information, see the following resources.

Web Health coverage outside Canada
Government of Alberta
English


Web Out-of-country health services funding requests
Government of Alberta
English

Registering the birth of the child

Each country has different processes for registering the birth of a child. Before leaving the country, you will likely want to make sure you have all the documents you need for your child (such as a copy of the registration of birth or a birth certificate). For information about how to do this, talk to hospital staff. You can also contact the Canadian embassy or consulate in that country.

Web Embassies and consulates
Government of Canada
English

Web Ambassades et consulats
Government of Canada
French

You do not need to register the birth of your child in Canada. However, you may want to get a citizenship certificate for your child. To do so, you will need a birth certificate. For more information about applying for a citizenship certificate, see the following resources. There is also important information under the “Citizenship considerations” heading just below.

Web Birth abroad
Government of Canada
English


Web Apply – Proof of citizenship
Government of Canada
English

French resources:

Web Naissance à l'étranger
Government of Canada
French


Citizenship considerations

Will a child born outside of Canada be a Canadian citizen?

The law about Canadian citizenship has recently changed. In both 2009 and 2015, changes to the federal Citizenship Act affected who is eligible for “citizenship by descent” in Canada. “Citizenship by descent” means that a child becomes a citizen simply by being born to a parent who has citizenship.

If at least one parent is a Canadian citizen, then a child born outside of Canada may be a citizen as well. For more information, see the following resource.


If you are uncertain about your own citizenship or your child’s citizenship, the following tool can help you determine if you or your child are Canadian citizens.

Web See if you may be a citizen
Government of Canada
English

Be Aware

Canadian permanent residents may have many more citizenship complications if they give birth abroad. This is something for non-citizens to keep in mind if they are planning to travel while pregnant.

If you still have questions, contact Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

Web IRCC Call Centre Services
Government of Canada
English

For more information about how the current law affects both citizens and non-citizens, see the following resources.


Be Aware

The government has recently proposed a bill (Bill C-6) to change the Citizenship Act again. Bill C-6 is currently under review in the Senate. For more information about the proposed changes and the status of the bill, see the following resources.


Will a child born in another country automatically be a citizen of the other country?

In some countries, people are automatically given citizenship if they are born there. It does not matter if neither of their parents are citizens of that country. This is called “birthright citizenship” or jus soli (which is a Latin term that means “right of the soil”).

Birthright citizenship is more common in North America and South America than it is in the rest of the world. In many cases, both Canada and the United States automatically grant citizenship to people born there.

See the following resources for more information about which countries give automatic citizenship to people born there.

Web Birthright Citizenship in the United States: A Global Comparison
Center for Immigration Studies
English

Web Jus soli
Wikipedia
English
Be aware that this resource is from Wikipedia. This means it can be updated by anyone, and may not always be accurate.

Web Countries that grant citizenship to those born there
Dubai Media Incorporated
English


Web Birth tourism
Wikipedia
English
Be aware that this resource is from Wikipedia. This means it can be updated by anyone, and may not always be accurate.

Can a child born outside of Canada have dual citizenship?

If you have determined that your child will be a Canadian citizen at birth, then you may have questions about dual citizenship.

Many countries allow dual citizenship, but not all. If your child is born in a country that automatically grants citizenship to people born there, then you will want to:

  • find out if dual citizenship is allowed in that country; and
  • decide if you want your child to have dual citizenship.

See the following resources for a few of the things you may want to consider.

Web Do I have to give up my citizenship when I become Canadian?
Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants
English

Web Pros and Cons of Dual Citizenship
Buzzle
English
This is a private source. Learn more here.

Web Does Having Dual Citizenship Impact Your Taxes?
Intuit Canada
English
This is a private source. Learn more here.

Web Travelling as a dual citizen
Government of Canada
English

Web Voyager avec une double citoyenneté
Government of Canada
French

Be Aware

Under the current Citizenship Act, people with dual citizenship can be at risk of losing their Canadian citizenship in certain circumstances. However, the government has recently proposed Bill C-6 to change that. Bill C-6 is currently under review in the Senate. For more information about the proposed changes and the status of the bill, see the following resources.


Whether or not to have dual citizenship is a major decision that can have serious legal consequences. Also, laws about citizenship, travel, and taxes change often. You may want to talk to a legal organization or lawyer in the other country. See the Solving Legal Problems & Out-of-Province Issues Information Page for more information about your options.

Be Aware

The United States taxes all of its citizens, no matter where they live. This means that Canadians who have U.S. citizenship will need to file U.S. taxes every year, even if they never live in the U.S. There is also a high cost for renouncing U.S. citizenship. This is something to keep in mind before travelling to the United States while pregnant. For more information, see the following resources.


Web What dual citizenship can mean for your taxes
Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada
English
This is a private source. Learn more here.



Adopting children across borders

Adoption is governed by provincial laws. This means that each province makes its own rules about adoption. The information in this section is for adoptive parents who live in Alberta. If you are planning to move or if another province or country may be involved with your adoption, you will want to learn about the laws in that other place. To find legal information in other provinces and countries, see the Solving Legal Problems & Out-of-Province Issues Information Page.

Adopting a child from another Canadian province

Provinces generally require that adoptive parents be residents of that province. However, there may be special situations where an adoptive family from another province would be considered.

To find out about the possibility of adopting a child from another province, contact the adoption authority in that province. For a list of adoption authorities and agencies in other provinces, see the following resources.

Web Adoption authorities
Government of Canada
English

Web Entités responsables en matière d’adoption
Government of Canada
French

Web Private Adoption Agencies in Canada
Canada Adopts
English

International adoption

You may wish to adopt a child from another country. This is a complex process, even if the child you wish to adopt is related to you.

International adoptions must meet many legal requirements. Laws that apply can include:

  • the laws of the country the child is from;
  • Alberta law (the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act);
  • federal immigration regulations, because Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is responsible for the process that allows the child to enter Canada; and
  • the Hague Convention of 29 May 1993 on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention), for those countries that are members. Canada became a member in 1997 and Alberta brought the terms into force that same year.

For more information about adopting a child in another country, see the “International adoption” section of the Adopting a Child Information Page.

Assisted reproduction across borders

“Assisted reproduction” refers to procedures and treatments used to help people make (or “conceive”) a baby. This can involve using the parents’ own sperm and eggs. Or, people who want to become parents may use sperm, eggs, or embryos from a donor to make a baby. People can also use a “surrogate,” who is a woman who carries the baby before birth but does not intend to be the child’s parent. The surrogate then gives the baby to the intended parents once it is born.

Some people decide to go outside of Canada for assisted reproduction. There are many risks to going outside the country for assisted reproduction. Depending on which country you go to, the laws may be different. You will likely want to speak with a lawyer in the country you plan to travel to. To find legal information and lawyers in other countries, see the Solving Legal Problems & Out-of-Province Issues Information Page.

Depending on the type of assisted reproduction you are travelling for, you may need to find out:

  • how the country you are travelling to determines who a parent of a child is;
  • the impact on the citizenship of the child; and
  • if a surrogate or a donor would get any rights as parent.

It is also important that you consider your health and safety, and the health and safety of your future children. Some of the questions that you may need to ask if you are travelling abroad are:

  • Is the information you received about the donor or surrogate reliable?
  • Are you sure that the donor or surrogate is healthy?

For detailed information about these issues, see the “Fertility tourism” section of the Assisted Reproduction: Fertility & Surrogacy Information Page.

Aboriginal & on-reserve considerations

The law about the property rights of common-law couples who live on-reserve has recently changed. The Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act (FHRMIRA) gives new on-reserve property rights to spouses and common-law partners.

Be Aware

For the purposes of this law, “common-law” is defined as it is in the Indian Act, which is living together in a conjugal relationship for at least 1 year. Not all common-law couples (as they are usually described by the federal government) and not all AIPs (under Alberta law) have been living together for at least 1 year. For example: if you signed an Adult Interdependent Partner Agreement as soon as you moved in together. Or, if you have lived together for less than a year, but have a child together. For the FHRMIRA to apply, you must have lived together in a conjugal relationship for at least 1 year.

In many cases, this law applies on all reserves across Canada. So, if you move from one reserve to another, there is a good chance that your on-reserve property rights will remain the same.

However, the FHRMIRA only applies on reserves where the First Nation has chosen to not make its own rules about on-reserve family property. If your First Nation has made its own rules, you would need to follow those instead of the FHRMIRA. A list of First Nations that have made their own rules about family property division can be found in the following resource.


The FHRMIRA rules apply to all “common-law” couples who live on-reserve, even if one of the partners:

  • is not Aboriginal;
  • does not have registered Indian Status with the Government of Canada; or
  • does not have status for that particular reserve.

As long as one of the partners is a member of the First Nation, or has Indian Status, the FHRMIRA rules apply.

The starting position under FHRMIRA is that both partners have an interest in the family home, regardless of whose name appears on the Certificate of Possession (or equivalent legal documents related to the property).

Rights during the relationship

As a result of the new law, spouses or common-law partners on-reserve have new rights, including:

  • both partners have the right to live in the family home; and
  • if the family home is to be sold, both partners must consent to the sale in writing. One partner cannot simply sell the home on his or her own.

Rights if one spouse or partner dies

The FHRMIRA also provides certain rights if one of the partners dies, including:

  • the right to stay in the family home for at least 6 months;
  • the right to apply for an Exclusive Occupation Order; and
  • the right to a share of the on-reserve family property.

For more information about all of these rights, see the “Aboriginal matters and on-reserve considerations” section of the Dealing with a Death in the Family Information Page.

Rights if the relationship ends

The FHRMIRA provides specific rights if the relationship breaks down, including:

  • the right to apply for an Emergency Protection Order;
  • the right to apply for an Exclusive Occupation Order; and
  • the right to a share of the on-reserve family property.

For information about all of these rights, see the Family Breakdown if You Live on Reserve Information Page.

Cultural and religious considerations

Different countries and cultures have different legal practices. Some common cultural and religious considerations that may come up when starting a new family relationship include:

  • Muslim Mahrs
  • Religious marriage ceremonies
  • Arranged marriage vs. forced marriage
  • Child marriage
  • Jewish Gets

For more information about these matters, see the “Cultural and religious considerations” section of the Getting Married Information Page.

LGBTQ considerations

LGBTQ marriage rights in Canada

In Canada, same-sex marriage is allowed. This is true whether you are Canadian or from another country. For information about getting married in Alberta and other Canadian provinces, see the Getting Married Information Page.

However, not all countries allow, or recognize, same sex marriage. As a result, people from other countries may travel to Canada to marry. After the marriage, they return to their home country. But, their marriage is not recognized in their own country. This can sometimes cause legal problems for them.

Be Aware

If you get married in Canada but live in a country that does not recognize same-sex marriage, this could cause problems if you later needed to divorce. Canada has dealt with this problem through a section of the Civil Marriage Act, which sets out how these spouses can get a divorce in Canada. For more information, see the “Non-resident same-sex couples getting a divorce in Alberta” section of the Family Breakdown & Out-of-Province Issues Information Page.

For more information about LGBTQ marriage rights in Canada, see the following resources.

Web LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) Rights in Canada
Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta
English




Web Can I sponsor my same-sex spouse, common-law or conjugal partner?
Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants
English
This resource is from outside Alberta. Learn more here.

Adopting a child outside of Canada

People who are LGBTQ are allowed to adopt in Canada. They would follow the same adoption processes as any other Albertans. However, some countries do not permit international adoptions by people who are LGBTQ.

For more information about international adoption, see the Adopting a Child Information Page.

Using assisted reproduction across borders

Many LGBTQ families use assisted reproduction methods to have a child. These methods can often involve other provinces or countries. This can get very complicated, as there are different federal, provincial, and international laws involved.

For detailed information about these processes (including using sperm, eggs, and embryos across borders), see the Assisted Reproduction: Fertility & Surrogacy Information Page.

For information about how the law in some areas is changing to allow birth certificates that list more than 2 parents, see the following resources.


Web Where Can a Child Have More Than Two Parents?
FindLaw
English
This resource is from outside Alberta. Learn more here.

Web A three-parent birth certificate? It's becoming more common
Deseret Digital Media
English
This resource is from outside Alberta. Learn more here.
Polyamorous considerations

No matter where you live in Canada, you can only be married to one person at a time. You can also only have one common-law partner under federal law.

However, some provinces are changing their laws to address the rise of polyamorous relationships in Canada. For example, by recognizing more than 2 parents on a child’s birth certificate.

A polyamorous relationship where one or more partners has children can be complicated. If you are involved with the children, you may want to clarify your legal rights and responsibilities. In Alberta, you could do this by applying to become a guardian. For more information, see the Becoming the Guardian of a Child Information Page.

For more information about how polyamory is treated and recognized across Canada, see the following resources.





Web Three official parents? Legal developments
Polyamory in the News
English
Pet ownership across borders

Pet owners may deal with many cross-border issues. For example:

  • Importing pets
  • Travelling with pets
  • Keeping exotic pets
  • “Adopting” wildlife

There are different laws that can affect you for each of these topics. For more information, see the Getting a Pet Information Page.

Process

Learn more about how to solve your family law matters when other provinces or countries are involved. See the sections below to learn about:

  • Having a foreign marriage recognized in Canada
  • Having a foreign divorce recognized in Canada
  • Reporting forced marriage
  • Sponsoring your spouse or partner to immigrate

LegalAve provides general legal information, not legal advice. Learn more here.

Last Reviewed: May 2017
Who is this Information Page for?

When dealing with legal matters across borders, you may need to follow certain steps. The sections below describe the process you may need to follow to:

  • have your foreign marriage recognized in Canada;
  • have your foreign divorce recognized in Canada (which you may need to do in order to get remarried);
  • report a forced marriage; or
  • sponsor your spouse or partner (and his or her children) to immigrate to Canada.
Tip

If you are just starting out with this topic, it’s a good idea to begin on the Law tab of this Information Page. There you will find basic information about what the law says, what the words mean, and other issues that will help you understand better what to ask for and how to get it. Once you have the basics down, you will be in a better position to learn about the process you need to follow to resolve your legal issues.

There is also important information in the Common Questions and Myths tabs above.

Having a foreign marriage recognized in Canada

Only marriages that took place in Alberta are registered by Alberta Vital Statistics. You do not need to register your out-of-province marriage with Vital Statistics. Your marriage certificate from the other province or country is generally enough  “proof” of the marriage.

However, if you have to prove your marriage (such as in divorce proceedings), it is your responsibility to have the foreign marriage certificate translated (if it is not in English or French). See the following resource to find a translator near you.

Interactive Member Directory
Association of Translators and Interpreters of Alberta
English

Also, if there is any doubt about whether your marriage was legal in the country where it occurred, it will be your responsibility to prove that it was legal. To do that, you may need:

  • a confirmation letter from an official department of that country’s government; or
  • a written legal opinion from a lawyer who practices in that country.

Again, such documents may need to be translated.

It may be possible to find a lawyer who practices law both in Alberta and in that country. For information on how to do that, see the Solving Legal Problems & Out-of-Province Issues Information Page.

Having a foreign divorce recognized in Canada

There is no need to “register” a foreign divorce with the Alberta court. However, if your divorce order includes custody, access, or support, then those parts of the divorce can be registered with the Courts and enforced in Alberta. For information about that, see the Family Breakdown & Out-of-Province Issues Information Page.

Canada generally recognizes a divorce from another country if:

  • the divorce was legal under the laws of that country; and
  • one or both spouses lived in that country for a full year immediately before applying for the divorce.

It is your responsibility to prove that the divorce was legal and that you lived in the country that granted it for a full year immediately before applying for the divorce.

Tip

If neither of you lived in that country for a full year immediately before applying for the divorce, your divorce may still be legal. The person who applied for the divorce will have to prove they have a “real and substantial connection” with the country.

To prove your divorce, you will need to provide a “certified copy” of official divorce documentation. This must be from the authority to grant divorces in the country where you were divorced.

  • A certified copy is a copy of an original document, which has a certificate from an “authorized party” that confirms that the copy is a true copy of the original document.
  • An authorized party is generally someone named by the organization that is asking for the certified copy. For example: if you need to prove your divorce in order to remarry in Alberta, the Alberta government will let you know who must certify the copy. Often, it can be a lawyer or a Notary Public.
Be Aware

A certified copy does not certify that the original document is genuine. It only confirms that it is a true copy of the original document.

If the divorce paperwork is not in English or French, it will be your responsibility to have it translated by a certified translator. See the following resource to find a translator near you.

Interactive Member Directory
Association of Translators and Interpreters of Alberta
English
Be Aware

A Canadian authority may also ask for a letter from a lawyer giving a legal opinion as to why your divorce should be recognized under Canadian law. To find a lawyer to help with this, see the Community Legal Resources & Legal Aid Information Page and the Working with a Lawyer Information Page.

Reporting forced marriage

For information on what you can do if you are being forced into a marriage, or if you know someone else who is being forced into a marriage, see the following resource.

Web Forced marriage
Government of Canada
English
See “If you or someone you know might be forced into marriage.”

Web Mariage forcé
Government of Canada
French
Voir : “Si vous croyez qu’on tente de vous marier de force ou qu’on veut forcer une de vos connaissances à se marier.”
Sponsoring your spouse or partner to immigrate

A spouse or common-law partner who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident can “sponsor” a non-Canadian spouse or common-law partner for permanent residency. For more information, see the following resource.

Web Apply to sponsor your spouse, partner or children
Government of Canada
English

Be Aware

The sponsorship process is a serious legal decision. It also involves many steps and can take a long time. You may want to get legal advice if you are considering this. For more information, see the Working with a Lawyer Information Page.

If you would like to sponsor your spouse or partner for permanent residency, the paperwork you need to fill out depends on whether your spouse or partner is already in Canada or not.

If your spouse or partner is already in Canada (for example, if he or she is here on a temporary work visa or study permit), see the following resources.


Provincial Court

Queen's Bench

Back to Top