Advice: The Registrar Did Not Accept Our Marriage (Foreigner & Indian)

Dear Lauren, When I got married in Kerala we had a temple ceremony and we got a piece of paper from the temple that we are married. We were told that in Kerala there is no law right now that would allow foreigners to get married to Indians. After the ceremony we took the piece of paper to the registry office to get our marriage certificate. The Registrar did not accept our application and advised us to go to court and sue Kerala province.

I am trying to sponsor my husband to come to Canada and our lawyer advised us that we have to be legally married. So I am wondering what was your experience? How did you get legally married? 

Anonymous Reader


Congratulations on your marriage, I’m sorry the legal aspect didn’t go smoothly!

It is my understanding that a foreigner and an Indian must get legally married under the Special Marriage Act (1954), not the Hindu Marriage Act (which you have described), even if the foreigner identifies as a Hindu.

That’s what we did.

We decided it would be a good idea to hire a lawyer because our situation was so different. There was no religious aspect to our civil marriage. We had to go to the registry office to submit a notice of intended marriage, along with our documents and three witnesses (read more about that here). After thirty days, as no one objected to our marriage, we returned to the registry office to make our declaration and received our marriage certificate (details of that are here).

My advice would be to try to get married under the Special Marriage Act (1954) with the assistance of an experienced lawyer. Good luck!


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