Question: I married a Filipino in a Toronto civil ceremony recently, although we have known each other since childhood. He is a widower and I have never been married before. He came to Canada on a visitor visa and is originally from Calamba City, while I am a Canadian citizen and have lived in Toronto for almost 20 years. He currently has a five-year visitor visa, but I am planning to sponsor him now as my spouse. Is it necessary for us to get married in the Philippines to do that, or will our Toronto marriage be enough? I currently don’t have remaining vacation days at work so I can’t go back to the Philippines just yet.
Answer: Your Toronto marriage, if valid under Canadian rules, will be valid in the Philippines so there is no need to get married again back home. The question is whether or not there were no legal impediments to your marriage. You said that your husband was a widower when you got married, and you also said that you have never been married before. These tell us that your marriage is legal, as long as you have satisfied all other requirements of Canadian laws. Given that, I can say that your Toronto marriage will be enough to qualify you to sponsor your husband. However, as you file your application, he will have to prove that he was, indeed, a widower prior to your union. That is very important or else your marriage cannot be valid both in Canada and in the Philippines. To shed light on other questions you may have about your case, it may be best for you to discuss your case with a reliable immigration lawyer or consultant.