Using Canadian Documents in the United States of America – What You Need to Know
Canada and the United States have the longest shared border in the world. With both countries attached at the hip, there is ample exchange between them when it comes to both personal and corporate affairs. This is especially true when it comes to personal affairs such as timeshares, rental properties, vacation properties, land ownership, and inheritance in the United States. Addressing these cross-border affairs almost always involves some sort of supporting documentation that needs to be sent from Canada to the United States. Since there are very few instances where authorities in the United States can know that a document drafted in Canada is legitimate or not, these documents will need to go through a special process that verifies their authenticity. If you have documents from the United States that need to be used in Canada, they will need to be apostilled in the United States. You may have heard of this term before and might have even been instructed to get an apostille of your Canadian documents for use in the United States. However, Canada did not sign the Hague Apostille convention and uses an older version of the same process that involves two steps: the stamp from Global Affairs Canada which authenticates the document and the stamp from the embassy which makes it legal in the foreign country, hence the name authentication and legalization. The apostille and the authentication and legalization processes both exist to verify the authenticity of foreign-issued documents, and both processes are legally equivalent.
U.S. Apostille Canada it’s Authentication Legalization – What’s The Difference?
If you have been told to get an apostille of your Canadian documents for use in the United States, what you really need is authentication and legalization. Although we cannot assist with any American documents you need to use in Canada, we are experts in Canadian documents for use in the USA and can provide an efficient service that will meet your deadline within your budget. We pioneered this industry over 25 years ago and have remained the leaders since then, evidenced by our proud membership with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, A+ rating with the BBB, and hundreds of verified 5-star Google Reviews and Facebook recommendations. If you have Canadian documents for use in the USA, contact us. Continue reading for more information about some documents commonly used in the United States and how to prepare them for processing.
Grant Deed, Probate, Timeshare Documents for the United States
If you own or co-own a property such a timeshare, vacation home, or other rental property, when you make any changes to your contract with the property owner you will likely be instructed to provide supportive documentation. In almost every case, the owner of the property, whether they are a company or individual, should be providing you with detailed instructions on which documents you will need to have processed for use in the United States. For many of these documents, you will need to sign them in front of a Canadian lawyer or notary public and have them notarized. Once they have been notarized, they can be stamped by Global Affairs Canada and then stamped by the United States Embassy in Ottawa. Once stamped by both parties, the documents will be legally valid for use in the United States.
In all matters relating to the transfer or sale of property, it is critical to check with the requesting party that you are processing all of the necessary documentation. Instructions for cancelling timeshares can occasionally be confusing, and it can be very unclear as to which documents need to be notarized, authenticated, and legalized. Perhaps even more importantly, if you have a document with multiple pages of signatures and notarizations in the same document, you must clarify with the requesting party as to which page should be stamped by Global Affairs Canada and by the embassy, or if there are multiple pages which will need to be stamped by both parties. Some of our clients come back to us after realizing they were missing a document, or processed the incorrect document, so make sure you know which documents you need before beginning the process.
Death Certificate, Will, Affidavit for use in the United States
Other Canadian documents that are commonly required for use in the United States are related to inheritance. These include documents such as Canadian Death Certificates, Canadian Will, and Canadian Affidavit for use in the United States. Death certificates must be obtained from the provincial vital statistics office of the province wherein the death occurred. Death certificates issued by any other party, such as the funeral home, cannot be processed. Thankfully, these certificates are quite easy to have issued and they can be ordered online. Also, they can be processed as originals and do not require notarization or any additional preparation before being stamped by Global Affairs Canada and the United States Embassy in Ottawa. Better yet, you can have the death certificate sent directly to our office to save processing time. This can be especially useful if you are outside of Canada.
Documents such as a Canadian Will or a Canadian Affidavit that needs to be used in the United States for inheritance purposes require notarization by a Canadian lawyer or notary public. Typically this has already been done when the will was drafted, and in cases where notarization did not occur at the instance of signing, you will have to process a notarized copy of the will instead. Make sure to check with the requesting party whether a notarized copy of the will would be accepted, since there are some instances where the original must have been notarized. If your requesting party has advised they will accept a notarized copy of the will, it is a good idea to process a notarized copy in case the document is lost or damaged during the process. It is extremely rare for this to happen but it is a good precaution to take with any type of sensitive document that cannot be reissued, or is extremely difficult to have reissued.
Trust the Experts with Validating Your Canadian Document for use in the U.S.A.
The authentication and legalization process is not one many are familiar with, and it makes it more complicated when your requesting party tells you to get your documents apostilled, which happens a lot of you are processing documents for use in the United States. In these cases, you can simply explain to your requesting party that Canada uses an older version of the apostille, a two step process involving a stamp from Global Affairs Canada (authentication) and a stamp from the US Embassy in Ottawa (legalization). Although this process is straightforward on paper, it can be incredibly difficult in practice, especially without assistance. This is because it can take up to 30 business days to process your documents for use in the United States without our services, and requirements change over time. With our services, we can save you over 20 business days of processing time and ensure your Canadian documents meet the requirements to be ready for use in the United States. If you want to find out how, click on the button below!
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Personal or Corporate Document
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Some of our clients require a Notary before Authentication or would like to keep their original document so they request us to make a notarized copy. If this is you simply choose our Notary services. Translation services are required if your document contains a language other than English or French or if you need it translated to the foreign language. If this is you simply send us a scan of the document. We will send you a quote which is determined on a per word basis. If you want a scan of the official stamps on your Authenticated & Legalized document sent to you by email let us know. Make sure if requesting Notary or Digital Copies you choose the number you require.
Validating a Canadian document for international use is a 2 step process. First choose the ALSC Global Affairs Canada Authentication Service that best suits your timeline and budget. When choosing your service make sure you tell us how many documents you need Authenticated.
Embassy Legalization Fee
The Embassy charges a fee to legalize your document which varies per country and sometimes by the type of document. To make payment easier and to save our clients time, if required in secured funds a standard $10 money order fee will be added to the legalization fee. With some countries we will need to confirm the fee upon confirmation of your order. For others simply select the amount of fees for the number of documents you need legalized. If you do not see your country listed choose the world icon. Please note that some fees are estimated as they change often.
Argentina fee to be confirmed
Italy fee to be confirmed
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Give us 1 hour to receive your request and one of our friendly agents will be waiting for your call at your scheduled appointment, from anywhere in North America call 1-800-336-1132 or 011-613-226-1001 from outside North America.
Embassy Legalization Service
Document legalization at the embassy consulate is the second step. Most will be able to legalize their document at an embassy in Ottawa. Others, due to government rules, will need to legalize their document at an embassy located outside of Ottawa. Country's that require outside Ottawa embassy legalization include: Argentina, Bahrain, Brazil, El Salvador, Germany, Italy, Oman, Spain. For the UAE it will depend where your document was issued. The UAE Toronto consulate will only process documents from Toronto and Southern Ontario, while the UAE Embassy Ottawa will legalize documents issued from the rest of Ontario and all other provinces. Select the legalization service that applies to the country where you will be using your document. The estimated legalization processing time is in addition to the authentication time and will be provided upon the confirmation of your order as it varies per country and changes often. Make sure the number of documents you select for Legalization matches the amount of documents you need Authenticated.
ALSC Easy Shipping Solutions
Once your document is authenticated and legalized it needs to get back to you or wherever it needs to go. To make this easy for you, but more importantly save you money, take advantage of our Stay Safe Save Money Special with FedEx pick up & delivery from your home or business in Canada. If you require other solutions to make shipping easier we have teamed up with our shipping partners Canada Post & FedEx for your national and international delivery needs, simply choose the shipping solution the works best for you. Please note the quoted shipping fees are for delivery to most major centers for a standard envelope weighing no more than .5kg/1 lb.
I chose the ALSC Stay Safe Save Money 3 Business Day Authentication Service Special
Canada Post Xpress Regional Ontario or Quebec $20 Projected delivery 1-2 business days
Canada Post Xpress National Delivery in Canada $25 Projected delivery 2-3 business days
FedEx Canada $50 Next business day
FedEx USA $70 Next business day
FedEx Mexico- Europe $100
FedEx China $120
FedEx Middle East - South America $140
FedEx Russia $195
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Estimated Cost & Embassy Fees Not Including Taxes