Marrying and Sponsoring a Spouse from Germany
The Family Sponsorship Canada stream allows Canadians to bring in their foreign spouses and partners into the country, where they are given permanent resident status. Below is the process of marrying and sponsoring a German spouse.
Marrying a German Spouse
Marriage laws vary from one country to the next and are often even more complex when it comes to foreigners. In Germany, the government has imposed strict requirements on foreigners wishing to marry German citizens as a way of discouraging citizens from moving out of Germany.
To get married, you must prove to German officials that you are not currently married, meaning you must be single or your divorce must be finalized if you were married. You must prove your identity and that you have never committed a crime in Germany. To prove this, you are required to provide an Affidavit of Single Status to the authorities, either in a German Consulate/Embassy or in Germany. Consulates in Canada include:
- German Consulate General in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver
- German Honorary Consulates in Winnipeg, St John, Halifax, Saskatoon, and Edmonton
You must perform a civil ceremony a few days before the main wedding. This is done by appearing in person at the Standesamt. This usually costs below 100 Euros.
Note that Imams, priests, ministers, rabbis, consular officers cannot perform a legally binding marriage, only a registrar can. If you wish to have a religious ceremony, the civil ceremony must come first.
You will need at least 2 witnesses at the ceremony. You could also request for an interpreter from the Standesamt.
Requirements to Get a Marriage Certificate
- Your original passport, translated into German
- Copies of birth certificates, translated into German
- Divorce decrees/statement if you are divorced, translated into German
- Ledigkeitbescheinigung (statement of single status) if you’ve never been married, translated into German
- Blood tests and medical certificates (in some cases only)
- Proof of residence.
- Ehefähigkeitszeugnis, which is a certificate that states there are no legal hindrances to your marriage in Germany such as ongoing divorce proceedings, and that you can get from the Canadian Embassy
- Parental consent when marrying a person younger than 18 (the law allows for marriage where one party is less than 18 years old but more than 16, provided there’s parental consent).
Sponsoring a German Spouse or Partner
To sponsor a German spouse or partner, you must fill and file the sponsorship application form. If your spouse or partner wishes to visit you while the application is being processed, they can apply for an eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization).
How to Ensure the Process is Seamless
To prevent abuse of spousal immigration sponsorship, CIC has instituted stringent vetting processes to ensure marriages are genuine. Consider hiring an immigration lawyer to ensure your German wedding is rock solid. At the Law Offices of Matthew Jeffery, we handle the entire process, from filling out the relevant forms to handling bureaucratic hurdles.
If you have any question on marrying and sponsoring a German citizen, call us today on 416-944-3267 or fill out our contact form.