Marriage to a Guyanese Citizen
Every country has its own laws that apply to its citizens marrying a person from a different country. Getting married to a Guyanese citizen with the goal of eventually bringing them to Canada to live is a process with many steps.
You must demonstrate to Guyanese officials that they are not currently married to anyone else - either you have never been married or all divorces are finalized - that your identity is proven, and that you have never committed any crimes in Guyana. This is done by providing various documents including an Affidavit of Single Status to the Guyanese government either in Guyana or via a Guyanese embassy.
If you want to bring your Guyanese spouse or partner to live in Canada, you must then file a sponsorship application for them to become a permanent resident. If they would like to visit you in Canada while their application is in process, they must also apply for a visitor visa. For more information, please see our family sponsorship page and our visitor visa page.
Guyanese Marriage Basic Requirements
In order to marry a citizen of Guyana, you must demonstrate to the Guyanese government that you are eligible to do so. This includes:
- Proof of country of birth
- Proof of single status
- Proof of age requirement
If your Guyanese spouse has dependent children, this does not affect the Guyanese Marriage document application.
If you have dependent children, they have no effect on the application to marry a Guyanese citizen.
List of Guyanese Consulates in Canada
Calling Guyana from Canada
To make a direct call to Guyana from Canada, you need to follow the international dialing format given below. The dialing format is the same when calling Guyana mobile or land line from Canada.
To call Greece from Canada
Dial 011 - 592 - Area Code - TEL #
Follow the dialing format shown above while calling Guyana from Canada.
011 - Exit code for Canada, and is needed for making any international call from Canada
592 - ISD Code or Country Code of Guyana
Area code - There are 58 area codes in Guyana.
Area Codes of Major Centres in Guyana
|Anna Regina||771||Georgetown||218, 219, 223,
225, 226, 227,
|New Amsterdam||333, 334|
For cells, use the prefix 6 in place of the area code.
How to Call Canada from Guyana
To make a direct call to Canada from Guyana, you need to follow the international dialing format given below. The dialing format is the same when calling Canada mobile or land line from Guyana.
To call Canada from Guyana Dial
001 - 1 - Area Code - TEL #
Follow the dialing format shown above while calling Canada from Guyana.
- 001 - Exit code for Guyana, it is needed for making any international call from Guyana
- 1 - ISD Code or Country Code of Canada
Area Codes of Canada
403 / 587 (southern Alberta)
587 / 780 (central and northern Alberta)
236 / 250 / 778 (majority of BC)
236 / 604 / 778 (Metro Vancouver)
226 / 519 (southwestern Ontario)
249 / 705 (northeastern Ontario)
289 / 365 / 905 (Greater Toronto Area)
343 / 613 (eastern Ontario)
416 / 647 (Toronto)
807 (northwestern Ontario)
|Manitoba||204 / 431||PEI||782 / 902|
418 / 581 (eastern Quebec)
438 / 514 (Montreal)
450 / 579 (Greater Montreal)
819 / 873 (remainder of Quebec)
|Newfoundland and Labrador||709||Saskatchewan||306 / 639|
|Nova Scotia||782 / 902|
Guyana Time is the same as Atlantic Standard Time. Guyana does not observe Daylight Saving Time.
|Canadian Time Zone||
# of Hours Guyana is Ahead or Behind
# of Hours during DST
|Pacific (BC, Yukon)||4 hours ahead||3 hours ahead|
|Mountain (Alberta, western Nunvaut, Lloydminster, Saskatchewan)||3 hours ahead||2 hours ahead|
|Saskatchewan||2 hours ahead||2 hours ahead|
|Central (Manitoba, Northwest Territories, central Nunavut, northwestern Ontario)||2 hours ahead||1 hour ahead|
|Eastern (most of Ontario, most of Quebec)||1 hour ahead||Same Time|
|Atlantic (Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI, eastern Quebec)||Same Time||1 hour behind|
|Newfoundland||30 minutes behind||90 minutes behind|
The monetary system of Guyana is essentially single-unit based, with the unit of Guyanese money being called the Guyanese Dollar. The Guyanese dollar has been the unit of account in Guyana since 29 January 1839. The Guyanese dollar is normally abbreviated with the dollar sign $, or alternatively G$ to distinguish it from other dollar denominated currencies.
Currency data courtesy coinmill.com
Banknotes were introduced on 15 November 1965 in denominations of 1, 5, 10, and 20 dollars. A second series issued between 1988 and 1992 consisted of 20, 100, and 500 dollar denominations. The 1996-1999 series included 20, 100, 500, and 1000 dollars. The 2000-2002 series included 500 and 1000 dollar notes. New banknotes of 100 and 1000 dollars were issued on 29 March 2006. The 100-dollar note is similar to the preceding issue of the same denomination, except the design has been slightly modified. Both notes now have designs that extend to the borders and watermarks that include an electrotype map of Guyana. The 2011 issue included 500 and 1000 dollars with brand new security features
In 1955, coins were introduced in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents. The 1 and 5 cents were struck in nickel brass, with the other denominations struck in cupro-nickel. In 1996, high inflation caused the introduction of 1, 5 and 10 dollars coins. The 1 and 5 dollars are struck in copper-plated steel, while the 10 dollars is struck in nickel-plated steel.
The names and relative values of the coins depicted below are, from left to right:
- One Dollar - (1 Dollar)
- Five Dollars - (5 Dollars)
- Ten Dollars - (10 Dollars)
Guyana is located on the mainland of South America. The official language for this nation is English. The Amerindian languages such as Wai-Wai, Akawaio and Macushi are also spoken in Guyana. Guyanese Creole is the language used by a small minority, which is African-Indian dialects and syntax. In Guyana wedding celebrations, the African heritage can automatically be pointed out. However, this seemingly rich cultural heritage has a range of misconceptions and a degree of superficiality.
Guyanese wedding traditions have significant similarities and meanings with African traditions. The Guyanese wedding is full of traditional performances and cultural shows. During the wedding ceremony, dance, music and drama are always the norm of the day. The wedding clothing really depicts the culture and traditions of the Guyanese people.
A traditional wedding in Guyana will usually be done in a church. Alternatively, it can also be done at home. A home marriage ceremony is usually done by Guyanas who live far or outside Guyana in order to give them the freedom to enjoy an authentic Guyana environment. A backyard will usually do it.
After meals, guests are invited to participate in Guyana dances. Guyana music has maintained traditional elements from Africa, India and Europe and this mix of native elements has become important in influencing Caribbean, Brazilian and American music. Popular musicals will usually be played on wedding ceremonies while the Guyana couple dances. However, recently many Guyana weddings have hired live bands to play traditional songs. These bands use traditional woodwinds, prominent horns and other instruments that have been replaced by stringed instruments.
Many bands in Guyana are talented enough to entertain the audience with authentic Guyana traditional music. One of the most popular music in Guyana is Calypso. This type of music is played in a satirical lyrically oriented style in wedding celebrations. It will usually be accompanied by traditional musical instruments like sitar, harmonium, dholak, tabla, dhantal and tassa drums. Most of this music can also be based from Hindu songs called filmi or bhajans. One of the traditions that have remained is called tan singing, which is a unique singing style found among native Guyanese of the Indian community.
Over the years Guyanese wedding traditions have lost much of their authenticity, but they continue to be unique celebrations in the current world.
Just like nuptials in Canada, cuisines are a necessity in any wedding. It is common to have Guyana cuisines in the weddings. One of the Guyana delicacies is the pepper pot. The dish has been around for generations and many are fond of it. It is therefore no surprise that it forms part of the Guyana wedding traditions. The dish is served with crispy cassava bread. Duck curry is another food common tradition in Guyana weddings. In addition, one may find fried rice, puri and chowmein being served at the events.
If you got married in Guyana within three months before coming to Canada or if you plan to marry no later than three months after arriving in the country, you can bring in your wedding gifts free of duty and taxes. However, you must have owned and possessed the gifts while in Guyana and before you arrived in Canada. At this instance, the requirement to have used the goods does not apply. These same conditions apply to household goods you bring in as part of a bride's trousseau from Guyana.
Ownership, possession and use requirements
To import goods duty- and tax-free, settlers must have owned, possessed and used the goods prior to their arrival in Canada and Former Residents must have owned, possessed and used the goods for at least six months before returning to resume residency.
It is important that you meet these three requirements. For example, if you owned and possessed the goods without using them, the goods will be subjected to duty and taxes. Please note that leased goods are subject to duty and taxes because the Canada Border Services Agency does not consider that you own them. If you have bills of sale and registration documents, they can help you prove that you meet these requirements.
Declaring your goods
You must give your list of goods to the border services officer when you arrive at your first point of entry in Canada even if you have no goods with you at the time. The officer will complete a Form B4 , Personal Effects Accounting Document, assign a file number to it and give you a copy of the completed form as a receipt based on the list of goods you submit. To claim free importation of your unaccompanied goods when they arrive, you will need to present your copy of this form. Goods to follow may be subject to import restrictions before you can import them.
To facilitate the clearance process, you can complete Form B4, before your arrival at the first port of entry in Canada.
Emergency Information for Canadians in Guyana
High Commission of Canada in Georgetown
High and Young Streets
Telephone: (592) 227-2081; 227-2082; 227-2083; 227-2084 or 227-2085
Government of Canada's Travel Alerts for Guyana
Religion in Guyana
The dominant religions in Guyana are Christianity and Hinduism. Christian population is approximately 57 percent according to data from a 2002 census on religious affiliation. The composition of the Christian population is Pentecostal, 17%, Roman Catholic, 8%, Anglican, 7%, Seventh-day Adventist, 5% and other Christian groups, 20%.
Other religions that exists in the country but are not dominant are as follows, approximately 28 percent is Hindu, 7 percent is Muslim (mostly Sunni), and 2 percent practice other beliefs, including the Rastafari movement and the Baha'i Faith. An estimated 4 percent of the population does not profess any religion.
In the 1990s, the Anglican Church claimed the largest membership, about 125,000 in 1986 among the Christian denominations active in Guyana and Anglicanism became the state religion of British Guiana in the process until independence.
The Roman Catholic Church had a membership of about 94,000 in 1985 and majority of these Roman Catholic members lived in Georgetown. The Portuguese were considered as the most active members, although all the ethnic groups were represented.
The Presbyterian Church was the third largest denomination, with nearly 39,000 members in 1980.
Other Christian churches that had significant memberships in 1980, included the Methodists, Pentecostals, and Seventh-day Adventists, each of which had about 20,000 members. There were other smaller numbers of Baptists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Congregationalists, Nazarenes, Moravians, Ethiopian Orthodox, and other mainstream Christians. There were also at least 60,000 people describing themselves as Christian who had no formal church affiliation.
Some Christian Churches
St. George Cathedral
St. George Cathedral is located in downtown Georgetown and it is one of the largest wooden churches in the world.
Seventh Day Adventist Church
The Seventh Day Adventist Church is located in Wismar, Guyana
Smith Memorial Congregational Church
Smith Memorial Congregational Church is located in Brickdam, Georgetown, Guyana. It was established in November 24, 1843 and made entirely of wood.
The number of Guyanese practising Hinduism has been decreasing for many years now, with 213,282 (28.4%) reported in 2002 as compared to 253,065 (35.0%) in 1991.
The majority of the East Indian immigrants were Hindu, and their dominant sect was Vaishnavite Hinduism. Status differences were attached to castes, and rituals varied with caste status. The higher castes worshipped the classic pantheon of Vishnu and Shiva. Vaishnavite Hinduism remains the predominant religion of the Indo-Guyanese, although it has been considerably modified.
Hindu holidays were not officially recognized. A number of non-Christian religious days like Hindu are now public holidays. Hindu holidays include Holi, the spring festival, and Divali, the festival of lights. The dates for these holidays vary. An East Indian heritage day is celebrated and on May 5, an Amerindian festival is held on Republic Day, in February.
In Guyana, the Muslims are split into Sufi and Sunni. Like the Hindus, Guyana's Muslims can be organized into orthodox and reform movements. The Sunnatul Jamaat is the orthodox Sunni Islamic movement. The largest Islamic organization in the country is the Guyana United Sadr Islamic Anjuman. The reform movement, the Ahmadiyah, was founded in India in the late nineteenth century; its first missionary to Guyana arrived in 1908. The reform movement has had considerable success, even including some Afro-Guyanese among its converts. Until the 1970s, Muslim holidays were not officially recognized. A number of non-Christian religious days such as Islam are now public holidays. Muslim holidays include Id al Fitr, the end of Ramadan, the sacred month of fasting; Id al Adha, the feast of sacrifice; and Youman Nabi, the birthday of Muhammad.
Mosques of Guyana
The Bahá'í Faith is a relatively recent addition to the list of world religions represented in Guyana with the first local body known as “Local Spiritual Assembly” being established in Georgetown in 1955. National recognition came in 1976 when the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Guyana was incorporated by Act of Parliament. This body represents all Bahá'ís in Guyana. Bahá’are now widely spread across Guyana and represent all major racial groups and regions. The Bahá'í community, while relatively small, is well known for its emphasis on unity, non-involvement in politics and its work in issues such as literacy and youth issues. In terms of religious practices and teachings the Guyana Bahá'í community closely follows those of Bahá'í communities in other countries.
A number of folk beliefs continue to be practiced in Guyana. Obeah, a folk religion of African origin, incorporates beliefs and practices of all the immigrant groups. Obeah practitioners may be Afro-Guyanese or Indo-Guyanese, and members of all the ethnic groups consult them for help with problems concerning health, work, domestic life, and romance. Some villagers wear charms or use other folk practices to protect themselves from harm.
Traditional Amerindian religious beliefs vary, but shamans play a significant role in all of them. The shaman is believed to communicate with the world of spirits in order to detect sorcery and combat evil. The shaman is also a healer and an adviser, the representative of the village to the spiritual world and sometimes its political leader as well. Missionary activity to the Amerindians has been intense. As a result, the traditional beliefs and practices of all the Amerindian groups have been modified; some have even disappeared.
Romantic, Historic and Scenice Places in Guyana
Guyana has a variety of tourist attractions that range from beautiful buildings, art, historic sites and monuments, nature, culture among others.
Aracari Resort - Georgetown
Aracari Resort is conveniently located on the West Bank of Demerara, just a few minutes drive from the Capital City. This resort has 36 one bedroom with fully air conditioned rooms, cable TV, hot and cold shower, microwave and fridge. The resort has two restaurants, a bar, a swimming pool, gym, gaming room, disco, salon and spa.
The Atlantic Inn boasts 17 executive suites that are designed with comfort in mind. Every room is fully air conditioned with: Comfortable double and single beds, telephone, hot and cold shower, direct TV, microwave and hot pot, high-speed wireless Internet. It has a balcony with spectacular view of the Atlantic Ocean.
Cara Lodge - Georgetown
The hotel is located approximately 25 miles from Timehri Airport. It’s location makes it easy for one to access all business houses and government offices. It is renowned for its personal service and excellent staff. Hotel amenities include the renowned Bottle Restaurant which offers international cuisine with a local flair.
Herdmanston Lodge - Georgetown
Herdmanston Lodge is an intimate heritage hotel in Guyana. Herdmanston lodge is widely known for it’s excellent guest service. It is one among a few Guyana hotels that has maintained Guyana's distinctive colonial architecture. Herdmanston is perched within extensive lawns and garden which is home to some of the gentle flora and fauna of central Georgetown. It is located in pristine residential neighborhood of Queenstown in Georgetown Guyana.
Pegasus Hotel - Georgetown
Situated on the delta of the Demerara River and the Atlantic Ocean, the Pegasus Hotel Guyana holds the most stunning seascape view. Within walking distance of many major places of commerce and tourist sites, the hotel is centrally located in the heart of the city making it ideal for both business and leisure travelers to Guyana. Facilities and amenities that the Hotel possess includes Flat-screen cable TV's, Wi-Fi, Mini Refrigerator, Digital safety deposit box, Telephone with International Direct Dialing, Fully Air Conditioned.
Roraima Residence Inn
The Rooms of Roraima Residence Inn are fully air-conditioned and equipped with satellite TV, mini-bar and coffee maker for your added convenience. Complimentary high speed DSL and wireless Internet are also available in all rooms.
Shell Beach - Barima-Waini
Shell Beach is situated on the Atlantic coast of Guyana in the Barima-Waini Region, near the Venezuelan border. It is a nesting site for four of the eight sea turtle species – the Hawksbill, Olive Ridley, Green and Leatherback. Shell Beach extends for approximately 140km. It extends for about 90 miles along Guyana’s northwestern shore, in the region between the Pomeroon and Waini Rivers. Factual to its name, this extraordinary feature consists of innumerable numbers of tiny shells, a composition that makes it an ideal nesting site for sea turtles.
Number 63 Beach - Berbice
The Number 63 Beach is said to be the Caribbean’s longest stretch of beach with a unique surface on which vehicles can easily drive. Located in the vicinity of Corriverton (near the Corentyne River) and deemed the most popular beach in Berbice, Number 63 is a prized spot in the Guyana.
The Saxacalli Beach is located in the Amerindian village and it is considered as the longest and most pristine natural beach in the country.
Castellani House - Georgetown
Castellani House is a large nineteenth-century building, which is situated on the corner of Vlissengen Road and Homestretch Avenue in Georgetown, Guyana. It was designed and constructed by the Maltese architect, Cesar Castellani, between 1879 and 1882. Originally serving as a residence for colonial government officials, Castellani House has been the home of Guyana's National Art Gallery since 1993
Georgetown City Hall
Georgetown City Hall is a nineteenth-century Gothic Revival building located on the corner of Regent Street and Avenue of the Republic in Georgetown, Guyana. Georgetown City Hall is often described as the most picturesque structure and “the most handsome building in Georgetown”. It is also considered as the finest examples of Gothic architecture in the Caribbean. The Government of Guyana proposed Georgetown City Hall as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995
Fort Nassau - Berbice
Fort Nassau was constructed on the eastern bank of the Berbice River circa 1627 by Abraham Van Pere a Dutch merchant and his colonists. It was used as the Headquarters of Government in Berbice.
Sponsoring Your Guyanan Spouse to Canada