Joining your family

Persons wishing to be reunited with close family members in Canada may apply under the Family Class. Close family members, including spouses, partners and grandparents, may sponsor their relatives by applying to a Canada Immigration Centre.

The objective of the Family Class programme is to facilitate the reunion in Canada of Canadian citizens and permanent residents with their close relatives. By undertaking to support sponsored members of the family class, the sponsor promises that, for a specified duration, they will provide for the basic needs of their family members so they do not have to rely on social assistance.

Family members may also be reunited with their relatives by obtaining an open work permit. 

Registering marriages contracted abroad

Marriages contracted abroad or registered partnerships under civil law are recognised in Switzerland and must be registered with the Swiss civil status authorities. Swiss nationals who get married abroad are required to register their marriage with the competent Swiss representation abroad. The representation translates and authenticates the marriage certificate and forwards it to the civil status authority in Switzerland free of charge. In exceptional cases, you can also notify your cantonal civil status authority, which will forward the marriage certificate and related documents to the representation abroad for translation and authentication. In this case you will be required to pay a fee.

Getting in touch with us early on

You are advised to consult the relevant Swiss representation before your marriage regarding the rules you need to comply with so that the marriage can be recognised in Switzerland and entered in the civil status register as soon as possible.


Since 2005, Canada has allowed same-sex couples from anywhere in the world to legally marry, whether they are resident or non-resident.


Innovation and Partnerships

Consular Directorate CD
Effingerstrasse 27
3003 Bern


Helpline +41 800 24-7-365 / +41 58 465 33 33

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