Regulation 5 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations states that a a foreign national shall not be considered the spouse of a person if at the time the marriage ceremony was conducted either one or both of the spouses were not physically present unless the person was not physically present at the ceremony as a result of their service as a member of the Canadian Forces and the marriage is valid both under the laws of the jurisdiction where it took place and under Canadian law. There are similar provisions excluding such individuals from the Family Class and the Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada Class.
The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”) Guidelines state that:
Proxy, telephone, fax, Internet or similar forms of marriage where one or both parties are not physically present are excluded relationships in all temporary and permanent immigration programs.
Proxy marriage is defined as a marriage in which one or both of the participants are not physically present, but they are represented by another person who attends the solemnization. A telephone, fax or Internet marriage is a marriage in which one or both of the participants are not physically present at the same location, but participate in the solemnization of the marriage by telephone, fax, Internet or other means (e.g. Skype or FaceTime). It is possible that someone other than the persons getting married participates on their behalf as well as over the telephone, by fax, Internet or other means.
Applications received by IRCC before June 11, 2015, from persons married by proxy, telephone, fax or Internet are not subject to this exclusion.
To be considered physically present at a marriage ceremony, both parties (e.g. sponsor and spouse or principal applicant and accompanying spouse) must have participated in a wedding ceremony in person.Read more ›