The process of getting married in France is complex. You will first need a long-term visa prior to arrival on French territory. The visa application must be made in Canada at the French consulate nearest your home.
Before you can apply for the marriage license, there is a 30-day residency requirement, which you must be able to document by rent receipts, utility bills, etc. In addition, there is a 10-day wait after getting the license.
It will be mandatory to perform a civil marriage at the “Hotel de Ville” before an optional religious ceremony. In France, the church does not operate on behalf of state, as it does here. Religious ceremonies can only be held in a church.
You will be asked for documentation attesting to your civil status and your identity to insure that the marriage meets legal requirements. The Consular service of the Embassy of Canada can help you to obtain the requested documentation.
If everything is in order the Consular service of the Embassy of Canada in Paris will issue a Statement in lieu of Certificate of Non-impediment to Marriage Abroad. This document is issued at your request; it replaces the Certificat de coutume and the Certificat de capacité matrimoniale requested by the Mairie in France.
To obtain a Statement in lieu of Certificate of Non-impediment to Marriage Abroad from the Consular service of the Embassy of Canada in Paris, you must submit the following documentation:
- A photocopy of your valid Canadian passport (only pages 2 and 3) ;
- If you were born in Canada: a copy of your Canadian birth certificate issued by the provincial office;
- If you were born outside Canada: a photocopy of both sides of your Canadian citizenship card or certificate;
- An original statutory declaration including your name, residential address, present marital status and the name, the citizenship and residential address of your future spouse. This statutory declaration must be in French and mention the date and place of the signature and signed in front of a lawyer, notary public or commissioner of oaths in Canada or signed in front of a lawyer, a notary or an official who is entitled to witness sworn statements at your local Mairie in France. If you are abroad, you also have the possibility to sign this statement in an office of the Government of Canada abroad.
- The following text can be used as an example of statutory declaration:
Je soussigné(e) [your full name] citoyen(ne) canadien(ne) né(e) le [your date of birth] et résidant au [your detailed residential address], déclare solennellement par la présente être [choose the option that fits your personal situation: single, divorced or widowed] et libre de contracter un mariage avec [full name of the spouse], citoyen [spouse’s nationality]résidant au [your spouse’s detailed residential address].
- If you have been married in the past: a certified copy of your divorce certificate or a certified copy of the death certificate of the deceased spouse;
- A payment of $50.00 CAD or the equivalent amount in euros;
- A short letter explaining your request that includes the name and detailed address for the return of the documents, also include your email and telephone number.
Your application should be sent to:
Embassy of Canada
Consular service / Notarial service
130, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré
It takes 15 working days to process (excluding postal delays). Your documents will be returned by registered mail without extra cost. All incomplete paperwork will be returned to the sender.
The French Mairies usually ask for an original birth certificate, that includes the information on the parents. To meet the Mairie requirements, the document usually must:
- Be dated less than 6 months earlier than the wedding date ;
- Be translated in French by an authorized translator;
- Be legalized by official authorities (the legalisation can be done by the Consular service of the Embassy of Canada or the Authentication Services Section (JLAC) of Global Affairs Canada).
If you were born in Canada, you can apply for this document at the vital statistics office of your province of birth. The Consular service of the Embassy of Canada can process the legalization of your long form birth certificate, if you submit your application including:
- The original Canadian long form birth certificate;
- A payment of $50.00can or the equivalent in euros;
- A short letter explaining your request that includes the name and detailed address for the return of the documents, please also include your email and telephone number.
NOTE: If you are applying for a Statement in lieu of Certificate of Non-impediment to Marriage Abroad AND the legalization of your long form birth certificate at the same time, please submit those application in the same enveloppe and include a single payment of $100.00 CAD.
If your document is only in English, you will have to obtain a translation. According to our information, the French authorities request that this translation be done by https://www.courdecassation.fr/informations_services_6/experts_judiciaires_8700.html#experts
If you already have a translation of the document from Canada, make sure you have this document notarized before you leave Canada, so that they will be able to legalize the document if needed.
If you were not born in Canada, you will have to provide the French administration with your birth certificate from your country of birth, have the document translated if need be, and have this document legalized by the issuing authorities.
If the local authorities are requesting the legalization of other documents such as a marriage search document, a divorce certificate, a death certificate, a notarized translation made in Canada or a change of name certificate, you must include it in your application along with a payment of $50.00 (CAD) per document.