Getting Married


New Member
Hello, I want to discuss our situation and see what advice can be offered.

My (German) girlfriend of many years wants to move to Canada and start a life with me (Canadian) we truly are in love and want to be with each other, we visit back and forth for many years under each rule of 3-6 months without visas.

After lots of stress, confusing laws, regulations and everything else we have just decided that she will come here for her aloud 6 month with out a visa (Open work visas are closed for Germans at moment, and the LMIA will not work) she will passing up work for now and working on us/future life goals.

I am working on buying/renting a house and eventually will ask her to Marry me.. We talked about it and she wants to marry me, however we want to do it the right way and not cause she can work (she is a trained Lawyer, however can not convert without lots more work in Germany) it is beneficial that once we apply for spousal sponsorship that she can apply for a work/study Visa and permanent resident.

My questions are, we are thinking of marrying in secret (maybe only tell parents for CIC reasons) and then have a proper Wedding when we can afford it/do it right. Would CIC see this as not genuine? We want to do this so the wedding is not rushed, friends and family have time to gather funds, digest the idea of traveling to see (Future grandkids) etc.

How long after we sign the papers legally marrying can she apply for work (I assume asap) and then for school?

I mentioned the house, she can not legally be on the forms however will pay me some money to feel like she owns some of it, is this okay?. She will be living there, helping buy furniture etc. But without a Visa and working towards marriage , it might seem like she is just 'paying me to stay' am I just over thinking this?

How much money do you need to sponsor?

We have read all the forms and it makes sense that we marry well she is visiting and start applying for our papers, I know she would then have to stay here for 2 years and what i've read takes longer to accept permanent resident 'inland' - can she visit home once and awhile during the process? How many days/weeks or months?

I read she would have to get documents from Germany saying she can marry in this true? Kind of ruins the magical in person proposing aspect if we have to do this before she leaves.

I hope this all makes sense, we are really stressed out. Any advice would be helpful. Prost (Cheers)

Riley Haas

Staff member
Hi Prost,
I apologize for taking so long to reply.

To answer your first question, your marriage has to be legal to be recognized, so long as you marry legally, it shouldn't matter who you tell, in theory. The problem with doing so for a spousal sponsorship application is that normally you would submit photos of your wedding and testimonials from family and friends. Because you have been together for "many years" as you say, this wouldn't be as much as an issue in your case. However, I don't think anyone would advise doing it this way. It's a big risk.

To your second question: your girlfriend can apply for an "open" work or study permit at the same time as you submit the sponsorship application. The permit should be granted in around 6-8 weeks (whereas the inland application will take slightly more than 2 years). The work permit will just allow her to work full time, regardless of employer. The study permit will allow her to study and work part time (20 hours per week or less). She will not able to work or study before she receives the permit.

If you have her paying rent, you can write up some kind of agreement and submit a copy of it with your application, but I would write a letter saying why you have the arrangement, explaining that it is because she cannot yet own the house with you. I think you are overthinking this. I'm not sure why you'd include any of this stuff. You can just include in the letter something saying that she is not on the deed because she is not yet able to own property. Showing receipts for furniture she has bought is helpful, though.

There is no income or other monetary requirement to sponsor a spouse. You cannot be receiving social assistance, and there are a few other conditions, but nothing related directly to your wealth.

She can attempt to visit home while she's being sponsored. This will be a lot easier if she has the work permit or study permit, however because of her nationality this situation is a lot simpler than it would be for other couples. She shouldn't have too much trouble.

I do not know about whether or not she needs permission to marry in Canada from the German government. However, I'm pretty sure she will need permission to retain her citizenship after she marries. It used to be very difficult to do, but as far as I know it's a rather simple albeit bureaucratic process now. The exact name for it is escaping me.

I hope I was able to help. And please note that I am the webmaster here and everything I tell you should be taken with a grain of salt. Always safer to seek professional help.