I live in the US. I want to visit Canada to meet family and to get married to my fiance. My family members are permanent residents. My fiance is a citizen. I am not a Canadian resident/citizen.

According to guidance from Canada, one criterion of eligibility is being an immediate family member of a Canadian resident. That includes a dependent child. A dependent child only qualifies if you are under 22. I am older than 22.

Alternatively one is also admitted if there is a Canadian spouse/common-law partner. But that is exactly why I am going to Canada - to get married.

Besides that, foreigners can travel for "essential travel" which is described as

travel for reasons that are non-discretionary and non-optional. The emergency orders under the Quarantine Act do not allow people to travel to Canada for optional or discretionary reasons, such as for tourism, recreation or entertainment.

Does traveling to marry qualify as essential?

Is there a way to petition for admission to Canada under these criteria? Is there some other option?

  • Are you also considering the other way (i.e. your family and fiance coming to the US to meet you and get married)?
    – user102008
    Commented Aug 27, 2020 at 3:22
  • Not thoroughly - since all of my family/ in-laws to be are in Canada. Are the restrictions for coming into the US more relaxed for Canadians?
    – JohnDoe
    Commented Aug 27, 2020 at 4:52
  • have a looksie at : cbc.ca/news/business/…
    – Max
    Commented Aug 27, 2020 at 17:33

1 Answer 1


This doesn't answer your question, but it might be easier for your family and fiancé to meet you and get married in the US, in one of two ways:

  1. They can visit the US by air. There are currently no restrictions on foreigners visiting the US by air if they have not been physically present in Mainland China, Iran, the Schengen Area, the UK, Ireland, or Brazil in the previous 14 days. Entry to the US by land from Canada is limited to essential travel, but this does not apply to entry by air. Your family who are Canadian citizens can just enter with their Canadian passports, but those who are Canadian permanent residents would need to get US visitor visas (unless they are citizens of a Visa Waiver Program country in which case they can enter by air with ESTAs). However, your fiancé might be denied entry to the US as a visitor if they are not convinced that she will leave the US after marrying a US citizen, because it is very easy for her to change her mind and get a green card via Adjustment of Status in the US.
  2. Or, if everyone is on the west coast, they can meet you at the Peace Arch on the BC-Washington border. Although the Canadian Peace Arch Provincial Park is closed, the American Peace Arch Historical State Park is open, and can be accessed directly from the residential street of 0 Ave. in Douglas, Surrey, BC, without going through the Peace Arch Provincial Park. The rules for crossing the border between the American park and 0 Ave. is the same as the rules for crossing the border between the Canadian and American parks -- people from Canada can cross into the American park from 0 Ave. without going through border controls, and wander the entire American park, as long as they don't leave the park on the American side. So you can arrive from the American side, and your family and fiancé can arrive from the Canadian side, and you can mingle and even get married while in the park.
  • 3
    Of note: if your partner travels to the US and you get married in the US, you would then be an immediate family member of a Canadian citizen and would thus be eligible to enter Canada, provided you comply with the quarantine requirements and so on.
    – mlc
    Commented Aug 27, 2020 at 5:41
  • Thank you. Unfortunately, this seems to be the most straightforward option.
    – JohnDoe
    Commented Aug 28, 2020 at 17:52

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