Marriage to a Haitian Citizen
Every country has its own laws that apply to its citizens marrying a person from a different country. Getting married to a Haitian citizen with the goal of eventually bringing them to Canada to live is a process with many steps.
You must demonstrate to Haitian 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 Haiti. This is done by providing various documents including an Affidavit of Single Status to the Haiti government either in Haiti or via a Haitian embassy.
If you want to bring your Haitian 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.
Haitian Marriage Basic Requirements
It takes about a year for a marriage certificate to be issued in Haiti after a wedding. The certificate is sent to the statistics registry offices known as “bureaux de l'état civil”.
An “extrait” of a marriage certificate can also be obtained from the Haitian national archives through the consulate general of the republic of Haiti in Montreal.
Before receiving the certificate, a fee of $38 is charged by the archives nationales d’Haiti accompanied by the application for the certificate.
Certain documents are required together with the fee:
- Photocopy of marriage certificate
- Valid passport
- Quebec health insurance card or Haitian ID
After all the requirements are met:
- The documents should be taken to the consulate
- An application is filled out which is called “Demande de Recherche d'Extrait d'Acte de Mariage aux Archives Nationales”
- The application and documents are photocopied
- The required fee is paid
- A receipt is given awaiting the marriage certificate
If your Haitian spouse has dependent children, this does not affect the Haitian Marriage document application.
If you have dependent children, they have no effect on the application to marry a Haitian citizen.
List of Haitian Consulates in Canada
Calling Haiti from Canada
- The exit code for Canada is 011
- The country code for Haiti is 509
- Dial 011 – 509 – prefix – local number
Haiti does not use area codes. Landline and cell prefixes are used instead.
- Landline: 2
- Cells: 3 / 4
Calling Canada from Haiti
- The international calling code is 00
- The country code for Canada is 1
- Dial 00 – 1 – area codes – local numbers
List of Area Codes in 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|
Haiti is in Eastern Standard Time. Unlike many Caribbean islands, Haiti does participate in Daylight Saving Time and this starts and ends around the same time as it does in Canada. Saskatchewan does not participate in DST, so there is an hour greater difference between the two places in the summer.
|Canadian Time Zone||
# of Hours Haiti is Ahead or Behind
|Pacific (BC, Yukon)||3 hours ahead|
|Mountain (Alberta, western Nunvaut, Lloydminster, Saskatchewan)||2 hours ahead|
|Saskatchewan*||1 hour ahead (2 hours ahead during DST)|
|Central (Manitoba, Northwest Territories, central Nunavut, northwestern Ontario)||1 hour ahead|
|Eastern (most of Ontario, most of Quebec)||Same Time|
|Atlantic (Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI, eastern Quebec)||1 hour behind|
|Newfoundland||90 minutes behind|
The official currency of Haiti is the Gourde abbreviated as HTG and divided into 100 centimes in French, or satim in Creole.
Coins are distributed in 5, 10, 20, 50 centimes and 1 and 5 Gourdes. Banknotes are distributed in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 25, 50, 100 and 500 Gourdes.
Emergency Information for Canadians in Haiti
Embassy of Canada in Port-au-Prince
Delmas Road, between Delmas 75 and 71
Telephone: 011 (509) 2-812-9000, 3-702-9996
Canadian Government's Travel Alerts for Haiti
Haitian Wedding Customs
Wedding traditions in Haiti are heavily influenced by West African and French traditions because these are the ancestral roots of Haitians.
Despite modern culture and urbanization having changed Haitians way of doing things, some traditions are still followed including wedding customs.
Wedding invitations are handed out verbally, the couple announce their intentions to their family and friends through word of mouth.
On the wedding day the streets are filled with people lined up to wish the couple a fantastic day, the ceremony itself does not last more than 3 hours which is typically held in a Christian Church.
The Church choir sings many happy songs while the pastor blesses and joins the couple, the wedding is held in a traditional style with the invited guests, family and friends take turns to bless the couple.
Haitians use weddings as the perfect time to socialize and make acquaintances, the wedding is seen as the bond that binds their society and culture together.
Haitians strictly observe social classes and because of these, there are restrictions to marrying someone from a separate social background.
Haitians have strong beliefs and are very superstitious. Voodoo is highly exercised and practiced in the culture, it is believed that spirits are a living force that should be revered and appeased at all times.
Plasaj is a marriage arrangement that was common in Haiti among the rural and lower class folks. This agreement is about the financial relationship between the husband and wife, the man is supposed to cultivate one piece of land for the wife and give her a house.
The wife on her part is supposed to do all household duties and chores. Because marriage is expensive, Haitians take time to get married even though the middle and upper class citizens have religious and civil marriage ceremonies as a sign of prestige.
Haitian wedding cuisine is a blend of different tastes from West Africa, Europe, Spain and the indigenous people of Haiti.
The most common foods are pumpkins, black eyed peas, squash, rice, cassava, plantains and cornmeal. Meat is also served spicy.
Haitian Voodoo Sticks
This dish is basically meat on skewers cooked in Haitian style by marinating with spices and garlic. They can be served as appetizers in a wedding.
Rice and Beans
This is a simple and easy Haitian dish that is popular and is served at any occasion including wedding receptions.
Rice is cooked together with the beans and various ingredients like parsley, garlic and dried rosemary can be added for flavoring.
Diri aka Pwa
This is Haitian rice and beans dish but made with red kidney beans which can also be substituted with canned beans.
Butter and tomato sauce are also used to enhance flavor. This dish can be served at a wedding reception.
Haitian French Toast
This is a classic French way of making break tastier. Orange juice is mixed with heavy cream, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg and white sugar.
Bread is dipped in this mixture and fried in butter till golden brown. It can be served as breakfast or starter menu in a wedding reception.
This is a Haitian classic made with bread and lean beef, smoked ham or bacon, tomato paste and milk. This mixture is made into balls and fried and served with a sauce or dip.
They can be served as a starter menu in a wedding reception.
Haitian Potato Salad
This is the perfect salad to serve as dessert in a wedding cuisine made with potatoes, carrot, eggs and sweet peas.
Several spices can be used to flavor and mayonnaise is used to bind the ingredients together.
This classic Haitian snacks are served with fish or rice dishes or any meal with coleslaw or salad.
This dish is made by frying meat that is marinated overnight, stewed then fried before serving. This can be served as a main meal in a wedding reception together with other foods like rice or beans.
Dri Jon Jon
This Haitian dish is made with rice and black mushrooms which make the rice look black. It can be served as an entrée.
Sea Pasta Salad
This dish is similar to the famous Haitian macaroni salad but with a variety of greens and vegetables, this can be served as an entrée in a wedding reception.
This recipe is a corn dog or sausage on a stick made from Italian sausage and coated with slightly spicy batter. It should be served very hot with mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup or other sauces.
Relleno de Maduros
Ripe plantains are cooked with spiced meat. This can be served with rice or other dishes as an entrée.
Haitian Macaroni and Cheese
This is a very similar dish to the American mac and cheese although it is made with a Creole twist.
The acras are small fritters that are cooked with codfish or any other type of fish, seafood or vegetables. They can be served as an appetizer or starter in a wedding reception.
This dish is a mix of codfish or chiktay in Creole served cold in salt. It is usually consumed as a starter.
Another Haitian delicacy which is basically pastry with a filling made from a wide variety of ingredients from chicken to beef to vegetables.
These tasty bites can be served as dessert or starter in a wedding party.
This is a healthy Creole salad made with fresh vegetables like cucumber, tomatoes and onions. It is the perfect salad especially for hot days in a wedding reception or other occasions.
Original consumed in the Pacific Islands, this dish was introduced to the Caribbean by slaves and spread into Haiti.
It is usually served as a starter.
One of the most popular dishes in Haiti is this pork cuisine. It is basically grilled pork and can be served at parties or wedding receptions.
Religion in Haiti
All Haitians are religious according to statistics that also state that 80% of the population follow Roman Catholic, 16% Protestant, 10% Baptist, 4% Pentecostal, 1% Adventist, and others make up 1%.
Haiti was colonized by a Roman Catholic European powers therefore the religion was spread and even enshrined in the constitution after independence.
The Pope John Paul II visited Haiti in 1983 and in a speech in the capital Port Au Prince criticized the government on policies.
According to the Catholic Church in Haiti, the ten dioceses of the two ecclesiastical provinces of Haiti have 251 parishes and about 1500 rural communities made up of Christians.
Voodoo is widely practiced in Haiti and encompasses several different traditions that are a mix of African, European and indigenous Taino.
The rural parts of Haiti are where it is mostly practiced due to stigmatization.
The Muslim community is a small one in Haiti and is mainly concentrated in Port au Prince and Cap Haitien suburbs. Slaves who were captured from Islamic West Africa are the ones who introduced Islam in Haiti.
Romantic, Historic and Scenic Places in Haiti
Dragon's Breath Zip Line - Labadee
This is a beach in the city of Labadee Haiti and it’s a wonderful place for tourists to enjoy the sun, peace and quiet.
Haitian Cultural Tour - Labadee
Located in the city of labadee it is a lovely hideout perfect for honeymooning couples in Haiti.
Marche de Fer - Port-au-Prince
This is a market in the middle of Jacmel city in Haiti which is a beehive of activities, this is the place where tourists can shop and buy artifacts to take back home or enjoy the culture of local Haitians.
This is the place to get antiques and crafts in Haiti. It is located in Cnr Grand Rue & Rue des Fronts Forts, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Petionville - Port-au-Prince
This is a well-known upmarket section in the city of Port au Prince with high end restaurants, shops and cultural institutions.
Cathedrale Notrde Dame de Cap Haitien - Cap Haitien
This church is located in Centreville in a quiet neighborhood, perfect for couples strolling in the streets of Haiti discovering the country and site seeing.
Citadelle Laferriere - Milot
This is a historic fortress and major landmark in Milot, Cap Haitien; it is a major tourist attraction.
An exclusive area located in northern Haiti famous for striking natural beauty and beaches.
Kokoye Beach - Petit Goave
This is one of Haiti’s best beaches located in Petit Goave.
Caves of Haiti - Port au Piment
This place is in Port au Piment, Saint-Louis-du-Sud, Haiti and it is a natural beauty and the perfect getaway for couples on a honeymoon in Haiti.
Bringing Gifts to Haiti
Duty Free Items
- 200 cigarettes
- 50 cigars
- 1kg tobacco
- 1 liter of alcoholic and spirits
- Small amounts of perfume
- Legal personal goods not more than HTG 2,500
- Local or foreign currency over HTG 200,000 as long as its declared at the customs
- Firearms and ammunition are restricted from entering or leaving Haiti unless for hunting purposes with special permits
- Birds, cats and dogs require a health certificate
- Pork and meat products from Brazil or Dominican Republic
- Illegal drugs
- Live animals and plants of protected species
- Weapons and ammunition without authorization
- Knives and deadly weapons
- Cats, dogs and other pets without authorization
- Macaws and parrots
- Toxic waste
- Counterfeit money and goods
Bringing Gifts Out of Haiti
- Illegal drugs
- Live animals and plants
- Weapons and ammunition without authorization
- Knives and deadly weapons
- Macaws and parrots
- Toxic waste
- Counterfeit money and goods
Wages in Haiti
The minimum wage in Haiti for industrial workers has been increased to 200 HTG. In 2009 a bill was signed into law by the government of Haiti to raise the minimum wage from 70 HTG ($1.69) to 200 HTG ($4.82) to be implemented in 2012.
Despite this increase Haiti still remains in the list of the poorest countries and with the lowest wage. Many billion dollar American clothing and sporting companies have factories in Haiti where production is done.
Some of these companies are like Levi, Fruit of the loom, Hanes and others have their products made by Haitians who are paid very low wages, sometimes as low as 9 cents/hour.
There have been talks and negotiations to increase the wage to about $5/day or 62cents/hour. To resolve the deadlock between the government and the factory owners, there was a deal that was negotiated to increase the minimum wage in a two tier approach.
On one part the wage for textile industry workers was to be increased to $3/day and for all other industrial and commercial sectors to be increased to $5/day.
There has been debates about the viability of the wage being at $5 with some forces wanting to keep the wages low claiming $5 is not economically viable.
Sponsoring Your Haitian Spouse to Come to Canada
The Sponsorship process can be long and complicated to learn more, click the button below.
If you are already in Canada, you might be interested in learning about the additional benefits some Haitian refugees have received from the Canadian government in recent years.