Marriage to a Swiss Citizen
Every country has its own laws that apply to its citizens marrying a person from a different country. Getting married to a Swiss citizen with the goal of eventually bringing them to Canada to live is a process with many steps.
If you want to bring your Swiss 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 an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). For more information, please see our family sponsorship page and our eTA article.
Swiss Marriage Basic Requirements
In order to marry a citizen of Switzerland, you must demonstrate to the Swiss government that you are eligible to do so. This includes:
- Proof of country of birth
- Proof of single status
- Proof of age requirement
Swiss Marriage Ceremony
The marriage ceremony to a Swiss citizen can legally take place in Switzerland, Canada, or any other country as long as both parties have the necessary visas to enter this country legally. This marriage can then be recognized when applying for a permanent residence or an eTA for your Swiss spouse. To learn more about ceremony customs, see below.
If your Swiss spouse has dependent children, this does not affect the Swiss Marriage document application.
If you have dependent children, they have no effect on the application to marry a Swiss citizen.
List of Swiss Consulates in Canada
Canadian Consulate in Switzerland
Embassy of Canada in Berne
Telephone:(+1) (514) 744-0084
Permanent Mission of Canada to the office of the United Nations
5, de l'Ariana Avenue
Telephone: 52 (744) 484-1305, 481-1349
Marrying in Switzerland
If you are planning to marry your spouse Switzerland in Switzerland and sponsor him or her to Canada, then you have come to the right place. This page provides basic details that as a Canadian you need to know before travelling to Switzerland to marry your spouse from Switzerland and sponsor him or her for permanent residency
The format should be as follows 011 + 41 + phone number
Civil and religious marriage
In Switzerland, a civil wedding must be held at the registry office. A religious marriage and its ceremony are optional and may only take place after the civil wedding.
The first step is to contact the authorities:
- If you are presently living in Switzerland, you need to report to the registry office of your place of residence
- If you are presently living abroad, you need to report to the Swiss diplomatic representative of your country of residence
You will then be asked to present certain documents to prove that, according to Swiss law, there is nothing to prevent your marriage from taking place.
Documents required from Swiss citizens:
- Individual civil registry certificate (issued by the registry office of the place of origin)
- Certificate of permanent establishment or proof of residence (issued by the foreign registration office)
Documents required from foreigners:
- Proof of residence (official record book for foreigners)
- Birth certificate indicating parents’ names.
- Passport or proof of citizenship (issued by the home country)
- Civil registry papers: certificate of celibacy, decree of divorce or death certificate of spouse
The documents must not date back more than six months. If they are not written in an official Swiss language (German, French or Italian), a certified translation is required.
Once all the required documents are assembled and the registry office has granted marriage authorization, you must sign, together or separately, a promise of marriage. If you still reside in your home country, you may sign this promise of marriage at the Swiss diplomatic representative.
This promise will be very useful in obtaining authorization for residence in Switzerland from the Cantonal Aliens Police for the purpose of marriage. You cannot marry in Switzerland on a tourist visa.
You are granted a three-month period in which to celebrate your wedding once marriage authorization has been given. Passed this period, you must repeat the process from the beginning.
The various emoluments required by the registry office amount to approximately 250 Swiss francs (signature, official family record book, marriage ceremony, marriage certificate). This fee may be as high as 400 or even 1,200 Swiss francs, depending on the home country of the foreign spouse. These additional fees are justified by the extra research needed to verify documents.
The civil marriage is public and celebrated in the wedding rooms of the registry office. You must be accompanied by two witnesses who are of age of majority. All parties sign the marriage registry. The civil registrar will then hand you the official family record book and marriage certificate. This marriage certificate grants you the right to celebrate a religious wedding.
How to call Switzerland from Canada Dial
011 - 41 - Area Code - TEL #
How to call Canada from Switzerland
00 - 1 - Area Code - TEL #
Follow the dialling format shown above while calling Canada from Switzerland.
- 00 - Exit code for Switzerland, and is needed for making any international call from Switzerland
- 1 - ISD Code or Country Code of Canada
|Alberta||403 / 587 (southern Alberta)
587 / 780 (central and northern Alberta)
|BC||236 / 250 / 778 (majority of BC)
236 / 604 / 778 (Metro Vancouver)
|Ontario||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|
|New Brunswick||506||Quebec||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|
Time difference with Canada
|Canadian Time Zone||# of Hours
Switzerland is Ahead
|# of Hours
|Pacific (BC, Yukon)||9 hours||8 hours|
|Mountain (Alberta, western Nunavut, Lloydminster, Saskatchewan)||8 hours||7 hours|
|Saskatchewan||8 hours||8 hours|
|Central (Manitoba, Northwest Territories, central Nunavut, northwestern Ontario)||7 hours||6 hours|
|Eastern (most of Ontario, most of Quebec)||6 hours||5 hours|
|Atlantic (Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI, eastern Quebec||5 hours||4 hours|
|Newfoundland||4.5 hours||3.5 hours|
Information for Canadians travelling to Switzerland
Sponsoring Your Swiss Spouse to Canada
Want to know more about marrying in Switzerland? Let us know