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 Birth Certificate Authentication Legalization or Birth Certificate Apostille

In order for a Canadian Birth Certificate to be valid in a foreign country it must first be authenticated and legalized. The validation process of Birth Certificate Authentication Legalization may also be called Birth Certificate Apostille or Attestation in other countries but is recognized as the equivalent. If you have been asked to get an Apostille for your Canadian Birth Certificate, once the two steps of authentication and legalization are completed it will be equal to a Birth Certificate Apostille by any country who has signed the Hague Convention. Authenticating your international birth certificate with us is easy. Let’s get started with why you may need to do it.

Some of the reasons why you may have been asked to get Birth Certificate Authentication Legalization or a Birth Certificate Apostille Stamp are for a visa application, immigration, marriage, registration of birth in a foreign country, or working abroad. Whatever the reason, we can help. We have been helping people authenticate and legalize birth certificates for 30 years for countries such as the Mexico and Spain where it is known as an Apostille, or as Birth Certificate Attestation in UAE and Qatar.

Do you have the correct Birth Certificate for Authentication?

Before you begin the Birth Certificate Authentication and Legalization process it is important to have the correct type and size of Birth Certificate. This will ensure that it can be authenticated by Global Affairs Canada Authentication Services Section, legalized by the embassy, and accepted for the process that you are using it for in the receiving country.

How to order a Birth Certificate for Authentication and Legalization

If you know that you do not have the correct type or need a new Birth Certificate, it can easily be ordered from the provincial government vital statistics departments listed on our Document Authentication Resources page. If you are ordering a new birth certificate to be authenticated at Global Affairs Canada, some provincial vital statistics departments have an option to have it delivered directly to our office. Most of our clients choose this option because it allows for quicker Birth Certificate Authentication and Legalization.

Global Affairs Canada Birth Certificate Authentication First Step

Let’s start with the first step of Birth Certificate authentication which takes place at Global Affairs Canada here in Ottawa. Global Affairs Canada Authentication Services Section can authenticate the certificate style, registration of live birth, and the new type of Birth Certificate on polymer paper. These types of birth certificates all come from the provincial vital statistics departments  as certified true documents and can not be signed by a Notary before they can be authenticated by Global Affairs Canada.

Global Affairs Canada cannot authenticate the wallet-sized birth certificate because it is too small. To fix this issue you will have to contact the provincial Vital Statistics department and order a new larger Birth Certificate.  If you are not sure whether you have the correct type of Birth Certificate for Authentication at Global Affairs Canada, not to worry, our consultation will make sure that you do.

The most important advice we can pass on to our clients or those navigating the process themselves is to get started as soon as possible with Authentication at Global Affairs Canada. Why you ask? Unfortunately, in our 30 years of providing services Global Affairs Canada is taking longer than it ever has. You can find out what Global Affairs Canada current authentication processing time is here. 


Birth Certificate Legalization – Attestation at the Embassy Consulate Second Step

The second step of Birth Certificate Legalization takes place at the embassy consulate of the country where you are going to be using it. Most embassy consulates are located here in Ottawa and charge a fee to provide document legalization services. In addition, some have other requirements and long processing times that change often. Not to worry, our document legalization services will take care of all of that making sure it gets done correctly and meets your timeline. After your birth certificate has been authenticated and legalized, we can return it back to you or anywhere in the world it needs to go using one of our ‘document shipping made easy‘ solutions or using your preferred delivery method.

Documents you may need Authenticated and Legalized with your Birth Certificate

If you have been asked to get your birth certificate authenticated and legalized or Apostilled you may have other documents such as a Marriage Certificate, Death Certificate, Divorce Certificate or Police Check that also require authentication and legalization. We can help you authenticate and legalize these and more documents speak with one of our friendly agents about yours.

FAQ’s about using a Canadian Birth Certificate Internationally

As Canada’s experts, ALSC can help you get your Canadian Birth Certificate ready for international use by providing you with 30 years of experience and the most up to date knowledge about the rules and regulations of Global Affairs Canada and the Embassy. Not only will ALSC help you process your documents quickly we also make it easy by guiding you through each step providing you with the up to the minute status of your documents using our Online Status Tracker. Talk to one of our experts on how to get your Birth Certificate accepted internationally and get the experts working for you.

If you have never ordered a Birth Certificate, you have misplaced or lost your Birth Certificate, the original you have is damaged, or the document was issued a long time ago, you can order a new or a replacement Birth Certificate from the Provincial Vital Statistics Department in the province where the birth took place. You can find links to the various vital statistics departments in our document resources page.

Most Vital Statistics Departments have an option to have the Birth Certificate sent directly to a third party such as ALSC. Once you have been in contact with one of our agents regarding your request and confirmed how you want to proceed, we will provide you with our mailing address where the Birth Certificate can be sent. A few Vital Statistics Departments, such as the Quebec État Civil, do not allow your Birth Certificate to be sent directly to a third party. In this case the Birth Certificate will need to be delivered to you first, then you can send it to us for Authentication and Legalization.

No, since Canada has not signed the Apostille Convention the original process of Authentication and Legalization is still used to make a Canadian document valid for use in another country. Your Birth Certificate will therefore first need to be authenticated by Global Affairs Canada and then legalized by the Embassy or Consulate of the country in which you will be using the Birth Certificate. These two steps of authentication and legalization together are the equivalent of an Apostille in other countries.

A Canadian Birth Certificate is initially only valid for use in Canada therefore a foreign country will not accept a Canadian Birth Certificate. To make the Birth Certificate valid for use in a foreign country, it will first need to go through the process of Authentication at Global Affairs Canada and then Legalization at the Embassy Consulate of the country in which the document will be used. In both steps the authenticity of the foregoing signature is verified, effectively making the document valid for use in that foreign country. Some countries might ask you to get your Birth Certificate Apostilled since that is the process most used in that foreign country. Since Canada has not signed the Hague Apostille Convention, the original two-step process of Birth Certificate Authentication and Legalization is considered the international equivalent of an Apostille and serves the same purpose.

There are many different styles of Birth Certificates in Canada. The most common are a credit card sized Birth Certificate, a polymer or half a letter-sized Birth Certificate either with parents’ information (long form) or without parents’ information (short form), and the longest available form which can be called a Statement of Birth, Registration of Birth, Extract of Birth or Copy of an Act of Birth depending on which Provincial or Territorial Vital Statistics Department you are requesting to issue the document. Global Affairs Canada can authenticate all different versions, except for the credit card sized Birth Certificate, since it is too small for the stamps and signatures of both Global Affairs Canada and the foreign Embassy to be affixed to the document.

When it comes to the Legalization of the Birth Certificate, some embassies can only legalize the longest available form Birth Certificate being the Statement of Birth, Registration of Birth, Extract of Birth, or Copy of an Act of Birth especially when it comes to immigration related matters such as applying for a visa, residency or citizenship in a foreign country. In other cases, where the Embassy can legalize all different types of Birth Certificates which Global Affairs Canada can authenticate, dependent on the purpose of the legalization, the longest available form might also be required in the destination country. It is always best to confirm in advance with the requesting party in the foreign country or with the Embassy Consulate of the foreign country in Canada which type of Birth Certificate you need to have authenticated and legalized. If you are not sure how to proceed, contact one of the friendly ALSC experts via phone or simply request more information.

No, as per the Global Affairs Canada rules and regulations, only an original Birth Certificate issued by a Canadian Provincial Vital Statistics Department can be authenticated. A notarized or certified copy made by a Canadian Notary Public cannot be authenticated.

Dependent on the purpose of the Birth Certificate in the foreign country, you might need to get your Marriage Certificate, Divorce Certificate, Police Check, University Degree and other documents also Authenticated and Legalized. You will first need to confirm with the requesting party in the foreign country which additional documents you will need to provide with your Birth Certificate. If the requesting party is an Embassy Consulate in Canada, you will need to contact them directly to confirm which other documents they will require from you.

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