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Immigration Issues/defination of arranged marriage


Hi Jessome,
My aunt introduced me to a girl in Canada (who is her friends daughter) we exchanged e-mails, phone calls, adding on face book etc. We decided that we are suitable for each other and will make good match. Her uncle who lives near me here in Pakistan also interviewed me and found me suitable person. We both declared our commitment to our relatives. Then she visited with her parents and other siblings to Pakistan and we got married with all traditional ceremonies which included religious marriage ceremony and reception on next day. Please tell me if this would fall in the definition of arranged marriage? Further How Canadian law views arranged marriages. Many thanks. Your answers would not only help me but will help hundreds of people who would scan these pages later in the years to come and get ready solutions.

Hi Bassanio,

There is no pat answer for your question.  The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations do not legally define "arranged marriage".  What they do say is that a marriage is valid both under the laws of the jurisdiction where it took place and under Canadian law.  Arranged marriages are accepted in many cultures and Canada does not discriminate.  However, what Canadian immigration laws measure are whether or not the marriage is genuine and whether or not it was entered into to gain immigration status to Canada.

If arranged marriages are normal in your culture then you would know better than I if your marriage would be considered "arranged". As the formalities vary depending upon the culture, I do not feel I am in a position to judge whether or not your marriage was arranged as significantly more detail would be required.

To answer the portion of you question regarding how Canadian laws view arranged marriages, there are three characteristics under which ALL marriages are assessed under immigration law:

1.  That the marriage is valid in the country where it took place and valid in Canada.
2.  That the relationship is genuine and conjugal.
3.  That the marriage was not entered into for the purposes of gaining immigration status to Canada.

Each relationship is assessed on its' own merits so there is no one formula that applies to everyone.  If you want more detail about how CIC assessed marriages, please read Overseas Processing Manual 2 at this link.


Roxanne Jessome, RCIC
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant

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Roxanne Jessome


I can answer questions pertaining to Canadian Immigration laws, policies and procedures as well as Canadian citizenship.


I am a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant specializing in the areas of family classes (spousal sponsorships, parents and grandparents), economic classes (federal skilled worker, provincial nominees, Canada experience class), and temporary entry (temporary foreign workers, visitors) and permanent residency obligations and citizenship requirements.

Immigration Consultants Regulatory Council of Canada Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants

Graduate of the University of British Columbia, Certificate in Immigration Laws, Policies and Procedures.

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