Marrying and Sponsoring a Filipino Citizen

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How to Get Married in the Philippines and Bring Your Loved One Back to Canada

Related Applications & Information


Step by Step guide in getting your Filipino marriage papers with Immigroup’s help

  1. Call Immigroup or email us at [email protected] to get your application package
  2. Fill out the application
  3. Make copies of the following documents:
  4. Scan and email (or fax) to our office for review: EMAIL [email protected] or FAX 416-640-2650
  5. Once we have a chance to review your forms and documents, we’ll contact you to mail your package to us (address will be provided at the time of review or use address on our order from)
  6. A this time we will do the following for you:
    1. Translate all your documents to English if necessary
    2. Certify all documents with a Notary Public
    3. Authenticate the documents – Foreign Affairs
    4. Legalize the documents Philippine Embassy/Consulate appropriate for your region
  7. We will courier your documents to you.


Filipino FAQs & Troubleshooting

Filipino Marriage Basic Overview Questions


Marriage to a Filipino Citizen – Basic Overview

Eachcountry has its own laws that apply to its nationals marrying a person from a different country, and this is particularly true of non-Western countries. Getting married to a Filipino citizen with the goal of eventually bringing them to Canada to live is a process with multiple steps. The Filipino government imposes fairly rigorous requirements on foreigners who marry Filipinos as an indirect way of discouraging marriage to foreigners and because of the sensitivity of so-called online marriages in the Philippines.

Foreigners must prove to the Philippine government that they are eligible to marry a citizen of the Philippines. You must demonstrate to Filipino government officials

  • that you, the foreigner, are not currently married to anyone else – you have to show that either you have never been married at all or all divorces are finalized (you cannot be separated)
  • that your identity is valid and proven.

This is done by providing various documents particularly an Affidavit of Single Status (also called a Statement in lieu of certificate of non-impediment to marriage abroad – see below) to the Filipino government either in the Philippines or via a Philippine embassy or consulate.

If you want your Filipino spouse or partner to move to Canada to live with you, marriage is not enough. After you are married you will have to file a spousal sponsorship application which will allow your spouse/partner to become a permanent resident. For more information, please see our family sponsorship page where we have all the details of this process.


How long does it take to get my documents prepared?

Once the necessary documents are gathered, it usually takes a couple of weeks for the Filipino marriage papers to be ready. *Covid-19 timelines are 1.5 to 3 months.

Canadian spousal sponsorship application for your Filipino spouse or partner takes an average of 12 months, pre COVID. You can expect additional delays due to the pandemic.

We have all the details for this process on our family sponsorship page including the information you need to include in your application.


What is the cost for this Filipino marriage service?

Due to the particulars of marriage in the Philippines – specifically that they do not allow divorce – marriage can be quite complicated, especially when one or both spouses was previously married. The concerns around online marriage only add to the complication.

Your government fees depend on the amount of paperwork we must submit. Depending on the specific circumstances, the Philippine government charges various fees, including the following:

  • Issuance/authentication of certified copies of birth/marriage/death PhP 140
  • Request for certification from abroad by mail US$20
  • Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR) Php 195
  • Certifications based on court decrees – local Php 140
  • Certifications based on court decrees – from abroad US$20
  • Duplicate or copy of certificate of authority to solemnize marriage Php 100.

There may also be legal fees if a divorce isn’t recognized by the local Civil Registrar.

For Immigroup’s fees, please see our spousal sponsorship review page or

Call us 1-866-760-2623 / (+1) 416-962-2623 or email us at [email protected]

Complex cases have higher fees because we have to do more with your documentation (i.e. German Passport Holders, Foreign Birth Certificates). Please complete our Filipino marriage order form and send in your documents by email or fax. We will respond to you with a quote for the additional fees. Your card will not be charged until we get your approval.


What other fees can I expect?

  • Courier costs for individuals living outside of Canada – this only happens if you have left Canada and need the documents sent to you. (For example: you are already in the Philippines when you contact us.)
  • International birth certificate support from Immigroup – please note, we do not offer this service for all countries.
  • Retrieving or replacing missing documents on your behalf (i.e. birth certificate).


Application Questions – Filipino Marriage


Filipino Marriage – Basic Document Requirements

In order to marry a citizen of the Philippines, you must demonstrate to the Philippine government that you are eligible to do so. The Philippines has in the past introduced bills to control what they termed back in the ‘90s mail-order bride marriages and then updated to what they called online marriages. Although the bills never became formal legislation, they indicate that foreigners marrying Filipino citizens is still a somewhat sensitive issue. So, you have to prove to the Philippine government that your marriage is valid and that you are not married to anyone in Canada or anywhere else.


Proof of Single, Divorced, or Widowed Status


Documents if you are getting married in the Philippines:

Canada does not have a national civil registry that records your status (single, married, divorced, widowed). There are only provincial records. What you need to prove your single status is a document called a Statement in lieu of certificate of non-impediment to marriage abroad.

Before doing this, you should as a precaution check with the Local Civil Registrar Office in the city in the Philippines where you plan on getting married to see whether they will accept the statement in lieu of certificate to non-impediment to marriage abroad, in the place of what in the Philippines is called a Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage.

To obtain this document in the Philippines you should:

  • Go here to download a Request for Notary Service and print and fill out.
  • Next, go here to download your Statutory Declaration which you should print, fill out and then sign the form in the presence of a notary public who will officially witness your signature.
  • Enclose the following supporting documents (which you should obtain before travelling to the Philippines, if possible):
    • Certified copy of birth certificate or passport if you were born in Canada
    • Certified copy of your Canadian citizenship certificate, permanent resident card, or passport if you were born abroad
    • Certified copy of your divorce certificate if you are divorced
    • Certified copy of the death certificate of your deceased spouse if you are widowed
    • All certified copies must be in English or French, although it is probably safer to have them in English as that will definitely be acceptable to local Philippine authorities.
  • Go here and scroll down to where it says Credit Card Authorization (2153E) fillable forms if you wish to fill in the form online; or go to just below where it says Credit Card Authorization, Non-fillable form. This second link is for when you want to print it and then fill out the form. If it doesn’t open up, right-click either link and save to your hard drive and then open it from your File Explorer (Graphic User Interface).
  • Send your request (with supporting documentation including receipt for fee payment) by commercial courier to:

    Embassy of Canada
    Level 8, Tower 2, RCBC Plaza
    6819 Ayala Avenue
    Makati City 1200

Your Statement in lieu of certificate of non-impediment to marriage abroad will take at least 10 business days to process and will then be mailed to your local mailing address (that you will have provided in the request forms) by courier-collect (WWW Express).

Please be aware that:

  • If your Statement in lieu of certificate of non-impediment to marriage abroad is more than 6 months old, some Local Civil Registrars in the Philippines may not accept it. You should ensure that you obtain your Statement in lieu of only a month or two before your planned marriage.
  • If the Local Civil Registrar does not accept your Statement in lieu of then you may have to provide additional documentation to prove your civil status.
  • If you are a Permanent Resident of Canada but have not yet obtained your Canadian citizenship, then you may need to obtain some sort of certificate or declaration from the Canadian Embassy or Consulate in the Philippines affirming your status as a Permanent Resident of Canada.
  • If you are a Canadian who was previously married to a Filipino and was subsequently divorced in Canada, Philippine authorities may not accept your Canadian divorce as valid. You should consider obtaining legal advice in the Philippines if this is your case.
  • If both parties to the marriage in the Philippines are Canadian citizens, you will both need to obtain a Statement in lieu of.


Documents if you are getting married in Canada:

If your marriage is in Canada, you will need to report to and register with the Philippines National Statistics Office. You should do this through your nearest Philippines consulate or the consular services at the Philippine embassy in Ottawa.

The required documents are:

  • Report of Marriage form (you will need 4 original copies)
  • Certificate of Marriage issued by the province or territory where your marriage ceremony is held (you will need 1 original copy and 4 photocopies)
    You will previously need to obtain a marriage license which grants you permission to get married – You should obtain this from a local issuer in your community and you can obtain a list of local issuers from the Director of Vital Statistics
  • Passports of both parties to the wedding which are valid (1 original and 4 photocopies – photocopy the bio-data page only)
    In case of unavailability, submit an Affidavit of Explanation along with photocopy of recent passport or valid ID
  • Proof of Status of both parties (1 original and 4 photocopies)
  • Birth Certificates of both parties:
    • Filipino Nationals – authenticated birth certificate from PSA
    • Foreign Nationals – birth certificate issued by country of birth with English language translation if not in English
  • Certificates of Naturalization – if either party is either a naturalized Filipino or a naturalized foreign citizen (this would be the equivalent of a Canadian Citizenship Certificate)
  • Processing Fee:
    • CAD$33.75
    • Send a Money Order or Bank Draft if using mail
  • Judicial Decree of Divorce or Annulment – if either spouse previously married and then divorced or had the marriage annulled. If this happened in the Philippines, include a PSA Marriage Certificate with the annulment or divorce decree reflected in the marriage certificate
  • Death Certificate of deceased spouse – if either spouse is a widow
  • Notarized Affidavit of Late Registration of Marriage – if the registration of your marriage occurs 12 months or more after the date of marriage
  • You may be required to provide additional proof of identity and additional documentation in accordance with:
    • Philippine Passport Law (RA 8239) and
    • Foreign Service Act (RA 7157).


Application questions – Sponsorship Application Process

Typical sponsorship applicant


Can I file the Family Class Sponsorship Application myself? I am trying to save money.

Absolutely you can submit a spousal sponsorship application on your own.

However, we’ve learned a lot from our experiences filing the Family Class Sponsorship Application and have found that it takes a special type of person to complete the application correctly. See if the following applies to you:

  • I have great attention to detail
  • Complicated and lengthy instructions don’t bother me
  • I can easily understand government jargon
  • When reviewing my own work, I have a keen eye in catching my own mistakes
  • I have an abundance of time to spend on completing the forms and gathering the documentation.

If these descriptions fit you, then you should submit the application on your own.

The only thing we recommend is to complete an hour-long prep session with one of our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants. We charge $225 for this service. We will do the following:

  1. Direct you to all the application forms you will need to fill out
  2. Give you a list of all the supporting documentation you need and tell you what you are currently missing
  3. Help you understand how your relationship looks to a government official, and give you advice on how to present your relationship better.

After this you will be ready to start.

If you choose to not complete the hour-long prep session with Immigroup we recommend getting someone to review your application. We can’t stress the importance of this enough. This is a mistake that we see often; people think they have everything, submit the documents, then find out that something is missing. Then what happens is either:

  1. The application takes forever to process because the case officer is investigating the missing areas of the application
  2. The case officer that is responsible for your application has to ask you questions. So they will send you an official letter requesting some clarification of your application/ supporting documentation. Every time this happens your application will be on hold. Each time this happens, it can add 1-3 months to your application’s processing time.

Here the simple but effective solution is to hire someone to review your application before submitting. We do this service for $1000 (up to 4.5 hours of working time). We will review your application completely and ensure nothing is missing.

The spousal sponsorship  application has three pieces:

  1. You apply to sponsor your spouse or common-law partner for permanent residence. (You can also sponsor your spouse or partner’s dependent children.) You need to prove to IRCC that you can:
    • meet basic needs of your new family (a home, food, etc.),
    • support them financially even if it takes a while for your spouse to find a job,
    • and in general ensure that your sponsored spouse/partner does not have to rely on government assistance.

    Go here to download the forms.

  2. Your spouse or common-law partner applies for Permanent Residence once you are approved. Go here to download the forms. (You submit all forms at the same time.)
  3. The application is not the same for everyone: Your spouse or common-law partner must fill out the forms specific to the region where they live, in this case it’s the forms for the Philippines.

It’s not just forms, though. The spousal sponsorship application requires a lot of supporting documentation.

  • Go here to see a complete list of all the forms needed under Step 2: Complete the Application.
  • Make sure to download the document checklist (form IMM5491) which lists all the documentation you will need to support your application.
  • Go here for the government’s step-by-step guide to completing the forms.
  • You need to complete the forms on a computer and then validate, print, and sign them. Be sure to place the barcode page at the front of your application.
  • The government also provides information on how to use a representative (such as Immigroup) to aid you in the process, should you choose to take that route. If you work with Immigroup from beginning to end, we will deal with this for you.
  • The fees for the application depend upon the number of people you are sponsoring so you must calculate the fees owed using the tables in the guide linked to above. Pay the fees online using Visa, MasterCard or American Express or, if you don’t have a credit card, you can pay the fees at a Canadian financial institution if you are physically in Canada. Don’t forget to obtain the official receipt for your payment of the fees. This receipt must be included with your application.
  • The completed application is submitted to the application to the case processing centre in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. Refer to the application guidelines for the address in Mississauga.

Remember, while sponsorship is how to ensure your Filipino partner is able to join you and live with you in Canada, you must submit a complete and accurate application to give them a good chance of being accepted. Merely submitting the application by itself is never a guarantee for permanent residency for your spouse or common-law partner. Do it right the first time and save yourself and your partner the time and trouble that comes from a hasty, poorly done application.


Can you help me with the complete process of the Sponsorship Application, what is the cost?

Yes, we can help you. Our firm has been doing Filipino marriage with sponsorship for years. The total fees for this service are $3500 + taxes, Government fees, & courier. Simply put, we will help you from beginning to the end of this process (when your spouse gets his/her Permanent Residency to Canada). The amazing thing with this option is that you will get complete support with the application, supporting documentation, spousal sponsorship letter, tracking the application process, and (if required) communication with the Canadian Embassy in Manila.


I am not good with filling out applications; do you have an option to help me fill out the application?

Yes, but this is only available for the full service ($3500). If you live in a major city and we have an Immigroup immigration agent in that city, you will be able to come in and do it in person. Just remember this could take a few meetings. Otherwise, we will do this by phone or scree sharing software.


How long do I need to be in a relationship before I can file the Sponsorship Application?

12 months – this time period starts from the first time you meet.


Can I get married in Canada? / Can I bring my Filipino partner to Canada first?

Yes, you can. While the result can never be guaranteed, if your application is done right and includes all the necessary supporting documentation – along with certified copies and translations into English (or French but preferably English) – then you stand a fairly good chance of being successful. Remember, the devil is in the details, and making sure you comply with Philippine government requirements is also key.


Can I get married in an alternative country?

Yes, but most marriages between Canadians and Filipinos take place either in the Philippines or in Canada.



Can I do a prenuptial agreement?

Yes, it will have limited protection, but it can help. Please email [email protected] and they will put you in touch with a law firm or lawyer that can advise you on completing this contract. We advise that you only pay for a 1-hour consultation, before fully committing to this process.


Philippines Questions


What are salaries like in the Philippines?

Salaries are quite low in the Philippines compared to Canada. This is due to the fact that the Philippines is still a developing economy that has lagged behind some of its ASEAN neighbours because of problems with corruption and bureaucracy.


My Filipino partner was married previously. How can I be sure that they will be allowed to remarry or that they have the correct legal status to do so?

As we have stated previously, marriage to foreigners can be a somewhat sensitive issue in the Philippines. The burden of proof is on both of you to provide sufficient documentation to satisfy Philippine authorities that neither is married to someone else and that any divorce (or death in the case of a widower) is recognized as valid. The key document you need is what is called a CENOMAR (Certificate of No Marriage) issued by the Philippine government.



Wedding Questions for the Philippines


Can I have a simple wedding in the Philippines?

Absolutely. While traditional Philippine weddings can be elaborate religious ceremonies with a mass celebrated in the case of Catholic weddings, you can always opt for a civil wedding which is simpler, quicker and definitely less costly.


How to get married in the Philippines?

The basic steps are as follows:

  1. Once you have your CENOMAR and the rest of your required documentation (see above), you apply for a marriage license.
  2. Once you have your marriage license, then you must have your marriage solemnized by a judge or mayor, generally in government offices where the local civil registrar you have dealt with is located.
  3. The marriage contract will be issued after a 10-day waiting period following the date of the civil marriage.


Immigroup’s relationship with you


What can Immigroup representatives do for you?

Immigroup representatives will deal with the government on your behalf. Their job is to make sure they are filing a complete application and do as much of the work for you as possible.


How much experience does Immigroup have with Filipino marriage?

We have been around since 2004 and have been doing Filipino marriage services since #year. We are the first Canadian company offering this service and have done more Filipino Marriage then we can count.


Marriage to a Filipino Citizen

Call us 1-866-760-2623 / (+1) 416-962-2623 or email us at [email protected]


Filipino Marriage Basic Requirements

When marrying a Filipina or Filipino be aware that you must take special care with the paperwork and that marriage to a foreigner is a sensitive issue in the Philippines. Legislators in the Philippines have introduced legislation that would require a foreigner intent on marrying a citizen of the Philippines to prove both “moral” and financial capabilities. In 1990, the Anti-Mail Order Bride Law was passed in the Philippines to outlaw so-called marriage catalogues in print form, where Filipino women would offer themselves for marriage proposals, similar to those used for Eastern European brides-to-be. The practice continued online, however, and in 2013 a proposed amendment to this law would have punished online violations of the law with minimum jail terms of 12 years and fines of 50,000 to 100,000 Philippine Pesos (CAD$1,000 to CAD$2,000 roughly). So far, it is not clear if the law is in effect – it seems to remain merely as a legislative bill. But the point is: it’s a sensitive issue, so be careful when marrying a Filipina, or a Filipino.

The process is as follows:

Yes, you can. We’ve learned a lot from our experiences filing the Family Class Sponsorship Application and have found that it takes a special type of person to complete the filing correctly. See if the following applies to you:

  • I am excellent with detail
  • Long instructions don’t worry me
  • I easily absorb and understand government jargon
  • When reviewing my own work, I have a keen eye in catching my own mistakes
  • I have an abundance of time to dedicate to this task.

If this is you, then go for it. The only thing we recommend is to complete an hour-long prep session. We charge $225 for this service. We will do the following:

  1. Direct you to all the application forms you will need to fill out
  2. Talk about the supporting documents you need and point out what you are missing
  3. Talk about the weak parts of your relationship and make recommendations on improving them.

After this you will be ready to start.

If you choose to not complete the hour-long prep session with Immigroup we recommend getting someone to review your application. We can’t stress the importance of this enough. This is a mistake that we see often; people think they have everything, submit the documents, then find out that something is missing. Then what happens is either:

  1. The application takes forever to process
  2. The case officer that is responsible for your application has to keep pausing the processing of your application and will send you an official letter requesting some clarification of your application/ supporting documentation. One pause in your application can take 1-3 months before restarting the processing of your application.

Here the simple but effective solution is to hire someone to review your application before filing. We do this service for $1000 (up to 4.5 hours of working time). We will review your application completely.

The process of applying to sponsor your partner has 3 parts:

  1. You apply to sponsor your spouse or common-law partner for permanent residence. (You can also sponsor your spouse or partner’s dependent children.) You need to prove to IRCC that you can:
    • meet basic needs of your new family (a home, food, etc.),
    • support them financially even if it takes a while for your spouse to find a job,
    • and in general ensure that your sponsored spouse/partner does not have to rely on government assistance.

    Go here to download the forms.

  2. Your spouse or common-law partner then applies for Permanent Residence. Go here to download the forms.
  3. Your spouse or common-law partner then has to fill out the forms specific to the region from which they are applying, in this case the Philippines.


Proof of Single Status

Canada has no central statistical registry of marriages. This means that in order to prove to the Philippine authorities that you are not married, you must provide a Statutory Declaration of your civil status, notarized at the Canadian embassy in Manila, or consulate in Cebu, both in the Philippines.

To obtain a Statutory Declaration:

At the Canadian Embassy located at:

Levels 6-8, Tower 2
RCBC Plaza
6819 Ayala Avenue
Makati City 1200

You do not need an appointment but you must appear during consular services hours which are:

  • Monday through Friday 8:30 AM to 12:00 PM for consular services
  • Monday through Friday 8:30 AM to 10:00 AM for notary services

At the Canadian Consulate in Cebu, appointments must be made by contacting them at [email protected].  Please note that as of June 22, 2015 they only offer notary services 1 day per month.

Appear in person at the embassy or consulate and normally you can obtain your Statutory Declaration that same day. You must provide:

  1. Your valid Canadian Passport or Citizenship Certificate;
  2. Your future spouse’s full legal name, citizenship, and residential address;
  3. An original or certified true copy of the final divorce decree or the death certificate, if you are divorced or widowed. It must be in English or French or be accompanied by an official translated copy.
  4. You must pay the non-refundable processing fee of CAD$50 or PHP1,730. Please consult beforehand with the embassy or consulate on the current fee for Declarations. Payment methods are:
    • Cash in person in Canadian dollars for the exact amount. No coins will be accepted.
    • By Credit Card with a processing fee included and to be charged to your card in Canadian dollars.
    • By Postal Money Order or Manager’s Cheque payable to “Embassy of Canada” in Philippine Pesos or Canadian dollars.
    • Philippine Pesos in Cash will NOT be accepted.
    • The above payment methods are valid for the Canadian Embassy only. If paying at the Consulate in Cebu: you must pay only by Postal Money Order or Manager’s Cheque in Canadian dollars or Philippine Pesos.

If you are a Permanent Resident of Canada but do not have Canadian Citizenship then you must obtain your Statutory Declaration from the embassy or consulate of your nationality instead.

Philippine authorities may not accept a Statutory Declaration (rather than a Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage which is normally required of foreigners) that is more than 6 months old at the time you apply for a Marriage Certificate, so be sure you apply for one within 6 months or less of your planned wedding date.

You will need to obtain a Statutory Declaration in lieu of a Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage when applying for your marriage license. As stated above, because Canada does not have a centralized civil registrar that tracks marriages, your Statutory Declaration will have to be accepted by the Philippine authorities instead.


Getting a Marriage License

Your next step is to obtain your Marriage License. To apply for a marriage license both parties must go to the Local Civil Registry Office, or LCRO, of the city, town, or the municipality where the Filipino party is from or is normally resident of. There is at least a 10 day waiting period after you apply before the marriage license is released. Once issued, the Marriage License is valid for 120 days from the date of issuance, so be sure to plan your visit to the Local Civil Registrar within 4 months or less of the planned wedding date. You will need the following documents when applying for a Marriage License:


Birth Certificate

Certified copy of you or your partner’s NSO Birth Certificate or a Baptismal Certificate: to obtain an NSO birth certificate online go to and fill out the electronic form and pay online. In the case of lost or destroyed birth certificates, one can present a current residence certificate or an instrument drawn up and sworn before the civil registrar, at least 15 days prior to the date of application for the marriage license. Foreigners can produce a civil or baptismal certificate of birth or a certified copy.


Affidavit of Parental Consent or Advice

If either party is between the ages of 18 and 21, a Parental Letter of Consent from the father, the mother, the surviving parent, or the legal guardian, is required. If either party is between the ages of 22 and 25, then a Letter of Advice from that party’s parents indicating they are aware of your intention to marry is required.


CENOMAR or Certificate of No Marriage Record

Some LCROs are now requiring a CENOMAR which is issued by the NSO from foreign parties in a marriage. These are also called No Record of Marriage or Certificate of Singleness. In the Philippines if you are divorced or widowed you are not considered single, but rather “unmarried.” If your marriage in the Philippines was annulled then you are considered single. When requesting a CENOMAR from the NSO you must provide:

  1. Your complete name
  2. Your father’s complete name
  3. Your mother’s complete maiden name
  4. Your date and place of birth
  5. The complete name and address of the requesting party
  6. Number of copies needed
  7. Purpose of the Certification.

If you have a previous marriage in the Philippines that was annulled, you will need a copy of the original marriage certificate with an annotation stating that the annulment has been made final.


Certificate of Attendance in a Premarital Counselling and Family Planning Seminar

These are conducted by the Division of Maternal and Child Health, or DMCH, at the municipal centre or town hall of the local where the marriage license has been applied for. Some LCROs require this be obtained before issuing the Marriage License. Other LCROs allow the marriage parties to attend the seminars after obtaining the marriage license, but before the wedding date.


Other Documentation

  • Community Tax Clearance or ‘Cedula’ (1 original & 2 photocopies);
  • At least 2 valid IDs;
  • A Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage – normally required of foreigners getting married in the Philippines – will have to be substituted by a Statutory Declaration because Canada does not keep a central statistical registry of marriages.
  • A Moral Character Reference: given the sensitivity of marriage and mail-order brides as issues in the Philippines, you are now required to obtain this document which is a letter attesting to your character and background by someone who possesses direct personal knowledge of you, your character and your background. The letter must be from:
    • A person of authority
    • A social worker
    • A Health or Education Officer
    • A Church Minister.
  • A photocopy of your passport if you are the foreign marriage party.


Applying for a Marriage License

Once you have the necessary documents for the Marriage License:

You should obtain a copy of the Marriage License application form from your Local Civil Registry Office, LCRO, and fill it out. The left side of the form should be filled out by the groom. The right side of the form should be filled out by the bride.

Present the completed form in person at the Local Civil Registry Office either earlier in the morning or right after lunch hour to avoid long line ups.

Obtain your claim slip which, if you have not attended premarital counselling and parental planning seminar, will contain a reminder to do so. Use your certificate of attendance and your claim slip to claim your marriage license. You will have to wait at least 10 days before being able to do so.

Once issued, the marriage license is valid for 120 days.

If you and your partner have lived together for at least 5 years, no marriage license is required, as long as there were no legal impediments to marriage to each other during the period of cohabitation. This is in accordance with Article 34 of the Philippine Family Code.

You will have to pay a fee as well. Ensure that you are dealing with the appropriate official at the Local Registry Office, when you pay the fee.


Church Wedding in the Philippines

Additional requirements: aside from the official documents you need, for a church wedding you must:

  1. Have a valid marriage license issued within the past 120 days.
  2. Obtain baptismal and confirmation certificates in accordance with the sacraments of the Church. The copies of the certificates must be new and obtained 3 months or less before the wedding date. Some parishes cannot produce digital copies and take a while to produce baptismal and confirmation certificates. Start as soon as possible with your requests for these certificates if you are planning a church wedding.
  3. Present Birth Certificates and a CENOMAR issued by the NSO.
  4. Show you attended Marriage preparation seminars conducted monthly by a parish church. Alternatively you can attend those given by groups like:
    • Catholic Engaged Encounter (CEE), Or
    • Center for Family Ministries (CEFAM), Or
    • Discovery Weekend Philippines (DM).

Be sure to obtain certificates of attendance for these seminars.

You must also do the following:

  • Canonical Interview: you must meet with the parish priest or his assistant in the church you will be married in. Schedule it at least 1 to 2 months before the interview and you may be given a list of questions that you will be asked so you can prepare.
  • Marriage Banns: you must request your marriage banns from your parish and they will be posted for 3 consecutive weeks, after which you can retrieve your letter from the parish office indicating that no impediments to the marriage were presented
  • Submit a list of entourage members and sponsors attending your wedding to the church.
  • Confession: some churches require the bride and groom to attend a confession a few days before the wedding.


Civil Wedding in the Philippines

Civil weddings are usually conducted by a judge of a Regional Trial Court, or RTC, or the mayor of a city or town. They are faster and cheaper than church weddings. You will need:

  1. Marriage License;
  2. Baptismal or Birth Certificates for both bride and groom;
  3. Community Tax Certificates or CEDULAS for both bride and groom;
  4. Certificate of attendance in a premarital seminar;
  5. Letter of Intent to Marry with names and signatures of both parties as well as the planned date of the wedding;
  6. If widowed you will need a Certified True Copy of Death Certificate of your deceased spouse;
  7.  If divorced you will need a Final Decree of Absolute Divorce. For foreigners your foreign divorce decree must be filed for recognition in the applicable Regional Trial Court, or RTC. This is a lengthy process of up to 6 months and requires legal help and the associated cost. Plan ahead if you are divorced. Also ensure that your Filipino spouse does not have any previous marriage registered at the NSO, unless the marriage was annulled.
  8. Statutory Declaration (for Canadian Citizens) in lieu of a Certificate of Legal Capacity to Marry (for other foreigners whose home countries have Civil Registrars that keep statistical records of marriages).
  9. Passport photocopy.

Submit your Letter of Intent to Marry along with your Marriage License at the Mayor’s office. You can seek the approval of your chosen officiate – an RTC judge or the Mayor.

You will need 2 witnesses of legal age.

You will need to pay a filing fee in order to obtain a copy of your Marriage Certificate.


Obtaining a Marriage Certificate

Your marriage certificate must be signed by your witnesses as well as the parties to the marriage and is usually obtained 1 to 2 months after the wedding. When requesting a marriage certificate you must provide:

  1. Complete name of husband;
  2. Complete name of wife;
  3. Date of marriage;
  4. Place of marriage;
  5. Compete name and address of requesting party;
  6. Number of copies needed;
  7. Purpose of the certification.


List of Filipino Consulates in Canada

Embassy in Ottawa


Filipino Currency

The official currency of the Philippines is the Peso PHP. It is also spelled piso in Filipino, divided into 100 centavos (c).

The Central Bank of the Philippines distributes banknotes in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000 and 2000 pesos. Coins are distributed in 10c and 25c pieces, and P1, P5 and P10.



Credit, debit and cash cards are accepted throughout the Philippines because there are thousands of ATMs throughout the country. The most widely accepted credit card for cash advances is MasterCard, followed by Visa.

ATMs dispense local currency, and there may be a daily withdrawal limit. Metrobank and Equitable PCI ATMs have cash withdrawal limits of P4000 and P5000, respectively. HSBC bank ATMs do not have limits.


Traveller’s Cheques

Traveller’s cheques in USD are the most secure and reliable way to carry funds in the Philippines. American Express (AmEx) is the most widely recognized.

Cashing traveller’s cheques is best transacted in a bank and most places charge a small fee to cash them.


Calling the Philippines from Canada

  • The exit code for Canada is 011
  • The country code 63
  • Dial 011 – 63 – area code – local number

Area Codes for Major Centres in the Philippines

Angeles 45 Dumaguete 35 Navotas 2
Antipolo 2 General Santos 83 Olongapo 47
Bacolod 34 General Trias 46 Paranaque 2
Bacoor 46 Iligan 63 Pasay 2
Baguio 74 Iloilo 33 Pasig 2
Baliuag 44 Imus 46 Quezon 2
Batangas 43 Las Pinas 2 Roxas ** 78
Binan 49 Lapu-Lapu 32 San Fernando ** 72
Binangonan 2 Lipa 43 San Jose del Monte 44
Butuan 85 Lucena 42 San Pablo 93
Cabanatuan 44 Mabalacat 45 San Pedro 2
Cabuyao 49 Makati 2 Santa Maria ** 44
Cagayan de Oro 88 Malabon 2 Santa Rosa ** 49
Cainta 2 Malolos 44 Tacloban 53
Calamba ** 49 Mandaluyong 2 Taguig 2
Calbayog 55 Mandaue 32 Talisay ** 32
Caloocan 2 Manila 2 Tanza 46
Cebu 32 Marawi 63 Tarlac 45
Cotabato 64 Marikina 2 Taytay 2
Dagupan 75 Meycauayan 44 Toledo 32
Dasmarinas 46 Muntinlupa 2 Valenzuela 2
Davao 82 Naga 54 Zamboanga 62

Calling Canada from the Philippines

  • The international code is 00
  • The country code for Canada is 1
  • Dial 00 – 1 – are code – local number

Area Codes of Canada

Province Code Province  Code
Alberta 403 / 587 (southern Alberta)

587 / 780 (central and northern Alberta)

Nunavut 867
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
Northwest Territories 867 Yukon 867
Nova Scotia 782 / 902


Time Difference

Canadian Time Zone # of Hours Philippines is Ahead # of Hours during DST
Pacific (BC, Yukon) 16 hours 15 hours
Mountain (Alberta, western Nunvaut, Lloydminster, Saskatchewan) 15 hours 14 hours
Saskatchewan 14 hours 14 hours
Central (Manitoba, Northwest Territories, central Nunavut, northwestern Ontario) 14 hours 13 hours
Eastern (most of Ontario, most of Quebec) 13 hours 12 hours
Atlantic (Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI, eastern Quebec) 12 hours 11 hours
Newfoundland 11.5 hours 10.5 hours


Emergency Information for Canadians in the Philippines

Canadian Government’s Travel Alerts for the Philippines


Canadian Consulates in the Philippines

Embassy of Canada in Manila

6th, 7th, and 8th Floors, RCBC Plaza Tower 2
6819 Ayala Avenue
Makati City, Manila

Postal Address
P.O. Box 2168, Makati City 1220, 1261 MakatiPhilippines

Telephone: 63 (2) 857-9000 or 857-9001
Fax: 63 (2) 843-1082 E-mail: [email protected], [email protected]


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Consulate of Canada in Cebu

45-L Andres Abellana Street
Cebu City 6000

Telephone: 63 (32) 256-3320
Fax: 63 (32) 255-3068 E-mail: [email protected]


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Religion in the Philippines

  • Roman Catholic: 80%
  • Aglipayan: 2%
  • Muslim: 5%
  • Evangelical: 2.8%
  • Iglesia ni Cristo: 2.3%
  • Other Christians: 4.5%
  • Other Religions: 1.8%
  • Unspecified: 0.6%

Roman Catholic

At 80% the Catholic Church is the largest denomination in the Philippines, this is attributed to the colonization by Spain who introduced Christianity.

On November 1st of every year, Filipinos celebrate the Day of the Dead by spending much of the day and evening visiting ancestral graves, showing respect and honor to departed relatives through feasting and prayers.

November 2nd is All Souls Day in the Philippines.

The Philippines is also world renowned for its flagellation ritual which involves devoted Catholic Christians inflicting pain and bruises to their bodies as a symbolic act of re-enactment of the suffering of Jesus Christ.

These acts involve bruising their backs with sharp objects, and the ultimate way of demonstrating faith is being crucified.

This ritual is deeply entrenched in the Filipino culture and is done on Good Friday during the Easter season of every year.



The Baha’i Faith in the Philippines sprung up in 1921 when the first Baha’i followers visited the Philippines. In the early 1960s, the community grew from 200 in 1960 to 1000 by 1962 and 2000 by 1963. This growth was accelerated by stable economic growth.

By 1980 there were 64,000 Bahá’ís and 45 local assemblies after the local spiritual assembly was established.



Buddhism is largely followed by the Filipino Chinese, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Korean, Thai, and Vietnamese communities.



Hinduism is practised by the Indian Filipinos and Indians living in the Philippines. Theravada and Vajrayana Buddhism religions are very closely related to Hinduism, and mainly practised by Tibetans, Sri Lankans, Burmese and Thais.

A big part of Filipino mythology is heavily derived from Hindu mythology. Hinduism arrived when the Hindu religion and culture was introduced into India by southern Indians in the 4th centuries – 14th century.


Iglesia ni Cristo

This is an indigenous religious organization founded by Felix Manalo. Felix Manalo claims that he is restoring the church of Christ that was lost for 2,000 years. The Iglesia ni Cristo is estimated to have a population of about 3 million followers.



Islam reached the Philippines in the 14th century when Muslim merchants from Malaysia and Indonesia trading in the regions of the Persian Gulf and Southeast Asia.

There are about 5 to 10 million Muslims in the Philippines, which is approximately 5-10% of the total population.


Jehovah’s Witness

Jehovah’s Witnesses was founded in the Philippines in 1912, when the then president of Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, Charles T. Russell visited the Philippines and gave a talk at the Manila Grand Opera House.



As of 2005, Filipino Jews were at most 500 people according to surveys. As of 2011, the metropolitan area of Manila has the largest Jewish community in the Philippines.

Jews fleeing persecution found refuge in the Philippines, settling there permanently.


Latter Day Saints (Mormons)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) was brought to the Philippines during the Spanish-American War in 1898.

Missionary work was the way in which this Church spread throughout Philippines World War II, the Church was officially registered in the Philippines in 1961.


Paganism (Animism)

Indigenous spiritual traditions practised in the Philippines during pre-colonial times are described as Animism.

These traditions are a collection of beliefs and cultural practices rooted in the idea that the world is inhabited by spirits and supernatural entities, both good and bad.

These spirits all around nature are known as “diwatas”, and they should be revered. The main characteristics that define these traditions are worshipping certain deities, chants, and prayers.


Atheism and Agnosticism

This group consists of less than 1% of the population. There are institutions that however in a way practice atheism such as the University of the Philippines Atheist Circle.

Filipino Freethinkers was formed in 2009 with the organization composed mostly of atheists, agnostics, and humanists.

They have their own daily discussions through online channels, and a membership of more than 200 members spread across Philippines, forums, and social networking groups.


Bringing Gifts to the Philippines

Duty-Free Items

For all passengers over 18 years old

  • 400 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250 grams tobacco
  • 2 bottles of alcohol not more than 1 litre each
  • Duty free allowance for special passengers, Filipino residents who have stayed abroad more than 6 months may bring used electronic or electrical appliances and personal effects up to the value of PHP 10,000
  • For contract workers, used personal effects with a value of PHP 10,000 and used home appliances, limited to 1 of each kind, value up to PHP 10,000
  • Free export of up to USD 10,000 or equivalent amount of foreign currency. Any a mounts exceeding that amount must be declared.

Restricted Items

  • All plants, planting materials, fruits and vegetables, regardless of quantity, should have import permit to import and needs to be declared upon arrival
  • All animals must be accompanied by certified by a professional vet and have a good health certificate issued at the point of origin stating that animals have not been exposed to communicable disease. Import permit obtained from Bureau of Animal Industry
  • Cats and dogs must also have a certificate of inoculation against rabies (issued at point of origin). The Station Manager of the airline at the point of arrival must notify the Quarantine Inspector in Manila at least 24 hours before arrival of the animals. Pets may be transported in hand baggage or as cargo.
  • Free import of up to PHP 10,000 in local currency. Any exceeding amounts require authorization from the Central Bank of the Philippines.

Prohibited Items

  • Firearms and weapons parts, explosives and ammunition.
  • Pornographic materials
  • Drugs or substances for abortion
  • Gambling machines and articles of such items (jackpot or pinball machines, lottery sweepstakes)
  • Tickets, coin operated video machines
  • Any precious metals without indication fineness of quality
  • Misbranded drugs or foodstuffs
  • Prohibited drugs and plants/ seeds that are used to make prohibited drugs (coca leaves, poppy, and marijuana) as well as smoking pipes and accessories


Bringing Goods Out of the Philippines

Restricted Items

  • Local currency of amounts exceeding 10,000 Pesos requires authorization from the Central Bank of the Philippines. The source and purpose of transport of such amounts must be declared and documented.
  • Foreign currency of amounts exceeding USD 10,000 or equivalent amount of other foreign currency must be declared. The source and purpose of transport of such amounts must be stated and documented.

Prohibited Items

  • Weapons (including toy guns) and ammunition
  • Explosives
  • Pornographic material
  • Gambling machines and such items
  • Raw precious metals or jewellery without markings
  • Drugs
  • Smoking pipe


Sponsoring Your Filipino Spouse to Canada

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