Marriage to a French Citizen
Every country has its own laws that apply to its citizens marrying a person from a different country. Getting married to a French citizen with the goal of eventually bringing them to Canada to live is a process with many steps. The French government imposes strict requirements on foreigners who marry French as an indirect way of discouraging French citizens from moving to other countries.
You must demonstrate to French 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 France. This is done by providing various documents including an Affidavit of Single Status to the French government either in France or via a French embassy.
If you want to bring your French 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.
Marrying in France – Formalities
Canadian citizens who wish to be married in France should go to their respective local City Halls in their places of residence to obtain further information.
Publication of the banns in the city hall where a marriage is to take place is compulsory in France, however it is not compulsory in Canada for Canadians marrying abroad.
Documents Required by City Hall
- Passport or residency permit
- Birth certificate
- Certificate of foreign land
- Decree of single status
- Medical certificate not older than 2 months prior to publication of the banns, if the medical examination is performed in Canada, the doctor must be recognized by the French consul there
In the event that any of the couples is previously married, a declaration issued by the consulate must be signed.
Documents required before issuance of this declaration are:
- A short introduction letter of request
- Original sworn statement affirming single status written in French and signed before a notary, attorney or official
The marriage certificate in the form of a family record book is then issued by the registrar at the city hall. This book is an official document which represents the legal relationship between children and parents.
It also allows the couple to obtain civil status records and national identity cards. It contains the extract of the couple’s marriage certificate which is later on put together with extracts from children’s birth certificates, death certificates and deeds of divorce and separation.
An extract of marriage certificate can be obtained at the city hall where the ceremony was performed free of charge.
The application must contain the date and place of the marriage as well as the full names of the bride and groom. A stamped and addressed envelope must be attached.
French Marriage Basic Requirements
In order to marry a citizen of France, you must demonstrate to the French 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 French spouse has dependent children, this does not affect the French Marriage document application.
If you have dependent children, they have no effect on the application to marry a French citizen.
List of French Consulates in Canada
Calling France from Canada
- The exit code for Canada is 011
- The country code for France is 22
- Dial 011 – 33 – area code – local number
Area Codes of France
Calling French Territories
France still has many territories throughout the world. If your future spouse lives in one of those territories, please see the relevant marriage page for calling information:
- French Guiana
- French Polynesia
- New Caledonia
- Saint Pierre et Miquelon
Calling Canada from France
- The international calling code is 00
- The country code for Canada is 1
- Dial 00 – 1 – area code – local numbers
List of Canadian Area Codes
|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|
France uses Central European Time (GMT+1). They participate in Daylight Saving Time however due to differences in when North America and Europe begin and end their DST, there are a few weeks each year – in late October and late March – when the time difference decreases by 1 hour. (Saskatchewan does not participate in DST so France is 1 hour more ahead during the summer.)
|Canadian Time Zone||# of Hours France is Ahead|
|Pacific (BC, Yukon)||9 hours|
|Mountain (Alberta, western Nunavut, Lloydminster, Saskatchewan)||8 hours|
|Central (Manitoba, Northwest Territories, central Nunavut, northwestern Ontario, Saskatchewan)||7 hours|
|Eastern (most of Ontario, most of Quebec)||6 hours|
|Atlantic (Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI, eastern Quebec)||5 hours|
The French Franc was the official currency of France until the 19th and 20th centuries before the Euro was introduced.
Coins were distributed in 5, 10, 20 centimes, ½₣, 1₣, 2₣, 5₣, 10₣ and 20₣. Bank notes were distributed in 20₣, 50₣, 100₣, 200₣ and 500₣.
The Euro is the second largest currency in the world after the American dollar with more than 700 Billion Euros in circulation.
Coins are distributed in denominations of 1c, 2c, 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, €1 and €2 and bank notes are distributed in €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €500.
The euro is distributed by the European System of Central Banks (ESCB), which is comprised of the European Central Bank (ECB) and a combination of Eurozone central banks.
The headquarters are in Frankfurt, Germany and the ECB is the sole authority that sets monetary policy.
Emergency information for Canadians in France
Please note: for Overseas French Territories, please see their respective pages as the information will differ.
Canadian Missions in France
Embassy of Canada in Paris
35 Montaigne Avenue
Telephone: 33 (0)1 44 43 29 00;
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Consulate of Canada in Lille
36 Émile-Zola Avenue
Telephone: 33 (0)3 20-14-05-78
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Consulate of Canada in Nice
2 Franklin Place
Telephone: 33 (0)4 93-92-93-22
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Consulate of Canada in Toulouse
10 Jules-de-Rességuier Street
Telephone: 33 (0)5 61-52-19-06
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Consulate of Canada in Lyon
18 Avenue du Marechal de Saxe
Telephone: 33 (0)4 72 37 86 67
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All the missions are open 9AM-12PM local time, Monday to Friday. The Embassy in Paris is open until 5PM, but call to make sure consular services are available after 12 PM.
The Government of Canada’s Travel Alerts for France
French Wedding Customs
France has a long history of traditions and customs that have also been adopted by other cultures.
White wedding gowns were popular in France in the 1800s inspired by Empress Eugenie who wore a white gown on her wedding with Napoleon III.
A French tradition called a “Trousseau” dating back to the 18th century which is basically what is referred to as shower is still practised today.
The bride was given a hand-carved armoire that contained fine clothing, lingerie and bedding as wedding gifts to start her married life.
Traditionally in France, the groom arrives at the bride’s house on the day of the wedding to escort her to the wedding chapel. Young children place a white ribbon on the path of the bride and groom that must be cut by the bride.
These traditions are still practised till today.
Carre is a silk fabric (today known as a veil) which is held over the groom and bride in order to protect them from bad luck in their marriage life. During the final blessing from the priest, the carre is used during the children’s baptism ceremony.
The flowers a bride chooses for her wedding bouquet ceremony has a special meaning to the couple. Orange blossoms symbolize prosperity and fertility while red tulips symbolize true love, lily-of-the-valley symbolizes return to happiness.
Le Vin d’Honneur Kir
Immediately after the wedding ceremony there may be a vin d’honneur, which is a kind of a smaller reception usually close to the location of the ceremony, such as a church garden, or sometimes at the same place as the main reception.
The vin d’honneur can be a brief affair or last for a couple of hours while canapes cocktails are served and the bride and groom mingle with their guests after the ceremony.
Champagne, wine and cocktails are also served at the vin d’honneur.
A two handled cup called coupe de marriage is a traditional toasting custom of togetherness and this cup is passed from generation to generation.
Some of the foods served at a French wedding include a French delicacy of almonds covered with chocolate or nougat which symbolizes happiness.
In the middle ages, guests brought small cakes to the wedding and stacked them as high as possible. If the bridal couple was able to kiss over them without knocking them over, it was thought to be a symbol of a prosperous marriage ahead.
The traditional French wedding cake is called “Croquembouche” or “La piece montee” as it is known today. It’s made of several small cream filled pastry puffs piled in a pyramid and covered with caramel glaze and sprinkled with sugar.
The croquembouche cake is supposed to be cut by the bride and groom, they cut off the top with a sword while the bridesmaids hold up the corners of the table-cloth to catch the pieces.
Another tradition at the wedding reception is to have wrapped candy-covered almond sweets called dragées to hand out to guests as a wedding token of appreciation.
Some couples prefer to offer a whole range of sweets and treats that include chocolate bonbons, mini macaroons, truffles and jelly beans instead of the almonds.
Pot de Chambre
On the wedding day the newlyweds are transported in a donkey-drawn cart.The day after the wedding, very early in the morning, the villagers had to ‘hunt ‘for the newlyweds to give them the chamber pot a ceremony called “running after newlyweds”.
When the villagers found the couple, the hunt was successful which meant the couple had to drink the contents of the chamber pot, the bride drunk first, then the groom and finally, the villagers.
The contents of the chamber pot were believed to give vigour to the couple on the wedding night.
French Wedding Food
Baeckeoffe is a traditional French dish made by marinating meat and potato stew or casserole. The lamb is cooked directly in white wine.
Another classic French cuisine served on any occasion is this beef recipe. The beef is marinated in wine, cognac, onions and a variety of greens and vegetables.
Brandied Roast Goose
This dish is a favourite French serving during Christmas or other festivities like wedding receptions. The main ingredient in this dish is cognac fruit sauce.
The goose can be served with greens, mashed potatoes or any other side dish.
Brie Stuffed Pain Perdu with Cranberry-Cherry Sauce
This French toast is easy to prepare. It is basically thickly sliced bread soaked in a sweet vanilla-scented custard emulsion and then fried in butter.
This dish is a must-have for special occasions as a snack or starter menu.
This recipe originates from Brive-la-Gaillarde, south-central France. The rabbit stew is filled with tomatoes, ceps, or porcini mushrooms. It can be served with roasted potatoes, green salad washed down with white wine.
Butternut Squash and Sage Pasta
Special occasions like wedding receptions always feature this dish which is cinnamon-dusted and roasted sage tossed with lightly browned pasta.
Parmesan cheese can be added to flavor.
Butternut Squash Cassoulet
This dish is made with smoky bacon, browned chicken and caramelized vegetables. The chicken is boneless and cut into pieces.
These meatballs are a favourite accompaniment for rice or couscous with red sauce. They are made with ground beef, pork and a variety of Mediterranean spices and vegetables.
This is a lovely side dish that is made with potatoes and cheese, beaten together with crème fraiche until the mixture forms silky, smooth ribbons of pureed potato.
This side dish is made with apples, carrots and cinnamon fried in butter. It can be served with roast chicken or beef and makes a fantastic side dish in a wedding reception buffet.
This side dish can be served at a wedding reception to accompany a steak main course or potatoes. The asparagus are roasted are served with poached eggs.
A variety of peppers sautéed is what this side dish is made of, it goes well with sirloin steak.
Different vegetable like carrots, peppers, thyme and green beans are roasted or grilled to make this dish which is a perfect side dish for roasted poultry or meat.
This sweet side dish is made with carrots and rich cream. The carrots are cooked beforehand then the cream added together with butter, granulated sugar and black pepper.
Blueberry Lemon Presse
This is a summertime cocktail or it can be served at special occasions. The ingredients are blueberry puree, lemon juice, water and sugar.
Anis de Flavigny
These are seeds that are full of flavour and can be added to any beverage for a unique taste.
This appetizer dish is made with tangy, marinated and sweet grape tomatoes. Assorted cheese can also be used depending on preference.
Baked Apple Brie Pie
This pie is baked apples and melted cheese together with almonds glazed with maple syrup. The pie can be served as an appetizer in a wedding reception or any other festivities.
Religion in France
France has a culture of freedom of worship and religion guaranteed by a declaration that was made in 1789.
Major religions in France include Catholic, Protestant, Judaism(the French community is one of the largest in the world), Russian Orthodox, Islam and others. Catholic Church is the largest religion.
This is the state religion in France and has for a long time been considered as the Catholic Church’s eldest child with very close ties with the Pope.
During the times of the French Revolution, the Catholic Church was increasingly attacked. A legislature named the Civil Constitution of the Clergy was then passed in 1790 which gave the state control over the Catholic Church.
64% of the French population is considered to belong to Roman Catholic, only about 4.5% are practising Catholics, this is according to the French Institute of Public Opinion.
Islam is followed by about 4% of the total population most of whom are made up of immigrants from different countries and regions like west Africa, Middle East and other parts.
Islamic fundamentalism is considered by some to be a threat in the French society, it is seen as a stumbling block to national cohesion.
Tension in these religious issues is caused by desire of few imams and other Muslims not to abide by French laws, regulations and customs.
Other religions present in France are Jehovah Witness with about 130,000 members, Adventists and Assemblies of God with 31,000 members, Scientologists with 4,000 members, Baha’i and other smaller groups.
According to a 2003 poll that was conducted, 41% of the respondents considered existence of God as “unlikely”. 33% said that “atheist” described them well. 1% did not give any answer.
Romantic, Scenic and Historic Places
Historic Sights and Museums
Boulevard Saint-Germain – Paris
This is a historic street in Paris filled with cafes, shops and shopping stores. A must see place for any couple visiting France.
Eiffel Tower – Paris
This is the most famous and important landmark and building in France, as well as one of the most easily recognizable landmarks in the world.
This site attracts millions of tourists every year, and anyone visiting France must make time to see it especially any couple in France for a honeymoon.
Les Invalides – Paris
This ancient landmark and military museum in Paris was built in the late 17th century as shelter to wounded soldiers of war, it also served as the resting place for Napoleon.
Latin Quartier – Paris
This street in Paris is in a historic neighbourhood in France and has many shopping stores and sites to see. It is also the choice residence for many students in various universities in the area.
Hippodrome de Longchamp – Paris
Longchamp is located in Route des Tribunes Bois de Boulogne, Paris. It is a horse racing track and any couple that loves horses and racing is sure to have a good time here.
Luxembourg Gardens – Paris
These magnificent gardens date back to the French revolution times when they were royal gardens and out of bounds to the public.
Now they are one of the most popular tourist destinations in France, couples on a honeymoon can relax and enjoy peace and quiet while enjoying nature.
Rue Montorgueil – Paris
The most famous place in this area is the open air market which is a wonderful shopping destination especially during Christmas.
Musee du Louvre – Paris
This is one of the biggest art museums in France with over 400,000 items on display featuring the best of French history and heritage.
Musse de l’Orangerie – Paris
This is a museum of modern art in France open to the public. It is the perfect honeymoon activity for any couple visiting France.
Musee Rodin – Paris
This location is an art museum and art gallery in the city of Paris with an impressive collection of renaissance and modern art.
Place des Abbesses – Paris
This square is a landmark of interest that has a Bohemian feel. There are numerous shopping stores, bistros, cafes and boutiques.
Pont-Neuf – Paris
This is a bridge overlooking a canal with spectacular views of the city of Ile de la Cite. It’s a romantic view perfect for couples celebrating honeymoon vacation in France.
Faro della Giraglia – Corsica
This lighthouse is in isola della Giraglia in Corsica and is a once in a lifetime getaway location for couples on honeymoon in France.
Fourviere – Lyon
This hill was the original settlement for the Romans during the renaissance period and still is home to ruins from that time.
This ancient location in Lyon is the home to ruins from a Roman amphitheatre. Visitors get to learn about the Roman Empire history in this area.
Be sure to make use of the Marseilles Provence Greeters to show you around.
Castle-Hill – Nice
Anyone visiting France whether for a holiday or honeymoon should visit Castle Hill, the view of the Alps and the Mediterranean Sea are simply breathtaking.
Other activities include historic site, playground, park benches for resting and cafes.
Avenue Jean Medecin – Nice
This area is great for shopping, outdoor cafes and beach activities.
Mont Boron – Nice
This is a mountain is located in the city of Nice and is great for mountain climbing and site seeing for a spectacular view of the city below.
Musee d’art moderne – Nice
This is a museum of modern art in Nice that contains a collection of some of the finest French and American art pieces.
Promenade des Anglais – Nice
This is another tourist magnet in the beautiful city of Nice. The city has some of the most beautiful beaches, landmarks and walking streets in France.
Vieille Ville – Nice
This is a historic and famous tourist destination in the city of Nice, France that has a lot to offer from site seeing to dining.
Flight Experience Paris
Couples on a honeymoon trip to France who would like to take simulated flight lessons and get a taste of how a 737 Boeing aircraft feels like, can do so at this amusement.
All lessons are conducted by qualified and professional pilots.
A Cavallu – Corsica
This is a horse-riding and training school in Corsica
Corse Parachutism – Corsica
Sky diving is a fun activity for couples or anyone looking to have a thrilling adventure. This place in Corsica offers that adventure.
SNCM Ferries – Corsica
This is a cruise ferry in Bastia, Corsica and has attractive packages for couples on honeymoon visiting France. They travel between mainland France and Italy, and Corsica and Sardinia.
Theatre du Guignol – Lyon
This is a theatre that showcases performing arts.
Plongee Phoceenne – Marseilles
This is a scuba diving and water sports health club in Marseilles.
State Velodrome – Marseilles
This is a sports stadium that hosts soccer matches and concerts. Visitors can enjoy any of these events.
Casino Ruhl – Nice
One of the things that a couple in France for a honeymoon vacation can do is gambling and gaming in casinos. This casino is located in the city of nice and has a wide variety of games, restaurants and tables.
Domaine Saint Jean – Nice
This is a winery in Nice with a variety of grapes and makes wine that is famous all over the world. Couples on a honeymoon can take a tour of this winery and enjoy wine tasting.
Calanche Cliffs – Corsica
These cliffs are located in Corsica overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Rock climbing and hiking are some of the activities for tourists and visitors.
Gores de la Restonica – Corsica
This is a forest in Corsica, France popular with outdoor enthusiasts and hikers looking for adventure.
Iles Lavezzi – Corsica
Honeymooners in France visiting the city of Corsica and looking for adventure in nature reserves or wildlife areas can visit this area.
Lac de Tolla – Corsica
This is a large body of water that provides a lovely outdoor and fun destination for couple to boat ride, or just enjoy nature.
Palombaggia – Corsica
Corsica is a beautiful part of France with exotic location for honeymooners from beaches to outdoor activities, this beach is one of the most popular.
Purcaraccia – Corsica
These are canyons and waterfalls in Corsica. Beautiful scenery for couples to enjoy a honeymoon vacation while in France.
Roccapina Beach – Corsica
One of the most popular tourist destinations in France is this beach located in Corsica. Couples on honeymoon can visit here and enjoy the sun and sand.
Wages in France
Since January 2010 the minimum wage in France was set at 8.86 Euros/hour which is a 0.5% increase over the previous rate.
This rate is revised every January of every year by the government. The French law states that the increment should not be lower than the inflation for that current financial year.
Young employees and apprentices can be paid less than the minimum wage, but all other employees are entitled to the full amount.
The wage is set through collective agreement in line with qualifications and skills of the workers.
Social security deductions are cut from the salary or wage paid in tax by employees. Employees must declare their earnings in the annual tax return done in May.
Examples of Average Salaries in France
|Interpretor / Translator||15|
|IT Project Manager||37.50|
|High School Teacher||30|
How to Sponsor Your French Spouse to Canada
The sponsorship process can be very trying. To learn more about it, click the button below.
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