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I need a Canadian Apostille To Sell My U.S Property – How Do I Get One?

Canadians Selling or Buying a U.S. property will get asked by their real estate agent or Lawyer to get a U.S. Apostille for documents related to the closing. What does this mean? Good question and one that is coming up more often with the changing times and shift in the Loonie to US$. Its been a long time since the Loonie was at par with the U.S. dollar and slumping housing markets provided a great opportunity for Canadian snowbirds to get a good deal on purchasing their warm winter get away. As the U.S. housing market has recovered those properties have now gained in value and in some cases 25-50% from the initial purchase price. Add that with the rising US$ and it provides an opportunity for some to cash in.

Since the United States is the number one choice for Canadian’s buying a foreign property the requirement to have property documents validated is key to securing or selling a property. The growing number of Snowbirds vacationing south over the years has established large Canadian retirement communities in Florida, Arizona, Texas and California. If you are thinking about becoming a snowbird and heading south you may want to visit the Canadian Snowbird Association as the voice of traveling Canadians they offer a great resource center to find out more.

When Canadians are buying or selling a U.S. property some of the common documents that are required are a Purchase and Sale Agreement, Property Deed, Mortgage, Time Share Agreement Contract, Power of Attorney to name a few but we process all kinds of property documents ask us about yours.

Why Canadians Buying Selling Property In The U.S. Get Asked For An Apostille

As part of the purchase or sale process you will be asked, by the U.S. professionals who are assisting you, to have all documents validated by an Apostille Certificate in Canada. This process for validating a document comes from the U.S. signing the Hague Apostille Certificate agreement which Canada has not signed.

So if Canada has not signed the Hague Apostille Convention and does not provide Apostille Canada Certificates what do you do? We have the answer that will meet the requirements and will allow your property documents to be accepted as the equivalent to a U.S. Apostille Certificate Seal. The equivalent process in Canada is what is called authentication and legalization of a document.

Global Affairs Canada Apostille Authentication


Authentication of Documents Global Affairs Canada – First step to get U.S. Apostille in Canada

The first step starts with the authentication of documents at Global Affairs Canada located here in Ottawa. To qualify for document authentication at Global Affairs Canada your documents need to be first notarized by a Canadian lawyer. You may already have a Lawyer who you have worked with in the past who can help you with this or as an alternative most Lawyers practicing Property Law in your local area should be able to assist you. You will need to meet with them, bring your Passport and the property documents, whereby they will swear the documents putting their signature and stamp on each.

Now that your documents have been notarized they are ready to be presented to Global Affairs Canada. Upon reviewing the notary signature and confirming it in their registry they will then affix their signature and stamp. If you are not able to attend in person for authentication the normal processing time is 15+ business days. As property closures have tight time lines most of our clients find using our document authentication services helps them to not miss their important closing date.


USA Embassy Apostille Canada


U.S. Consulate Ottawa Issues Authentication Certificate For Property Deed

Once we have authenticated your property documents they are now ready for the second step of Legalization at the U.S. Consulate here in Ottawa. Although we call this step legalization the U.S. Consulate may refer to the service as authentication of signature. Once the consulate has reviewed the documents and signature of Global Affairs Canada they attach an authentication certificate to the front of the document. Now that you have completed the two step process your property documents will be accepted as being valid in the United States for the purchase or sale of your property. Now we can return them back to you or anywhere in the United States they need to go using one of our document shipping made easy solutions or using your preferred delivery method.

Selling or Buying a property in the United States can be difficult especially navigating all the document red tape. Make sure you get it right and hire an expert contact Authentication Legalization Services Canada for assistance with the U.S. Apostille Certification of your property documents.

U.S. Property Purchase & Sale FAQ’s

In order for a property or Deed document to be valid for use in the United States it first must be Authenticated by Global Affairs Canada here in Ottawa. Due to the current times they have limited their service to either drop off for service providers such as ALSC or mail in for the general public. Their processing times are 16-20 business days as of September 15, 2022. Unfortunately, due to this it makes it impossible for us to offer our 1, 3 or 10-day Authentication Service. So, for now we will only be offering one speed of service based on their current authentication processing times learn more here

Once your U.S. property document has been Authenticated by Global Affairs Canada it is now ready for Legalization at the U.S. Embassy also located here in Ottawa. Legalization is the stage where the U.S. Embassy Consulate will verify the seal and signature of Global Affairs Canada. Once satisfied they affix an official certificate with their signature, seal, and the U.S. coat of arms on it. The processing time for Legalization at the U.S. Embassy is usually quick but due to the current times they are operating with a reduced staff so it is taking up to 15 business days.

So, the total processing time to Authenticate and Legalize your land title documents for use in the United States will change depending on the current processing volumes at the time they are submitted. Considering this, its important to get started early to make your closing date happens as some of our clients have unfortunately been given an impossible time line to meet. So key is to start the process early and to get things right the first time so speak with one of our specialist they will be able to advise you on what to do to make your closing date a success.

Category: US Property FAQ

For the last 30 years the ALSC team has been helping individuals and land title professionals across Canada and the United Sates making the land transfer process efficient and easy as possible for our clients has been our goal. Selling or buying a property can be stressful enough without another complicated international legal process to navigate. Not to worry though, that is where we come in being the Canadian professional in validating land transfer documents for use in the United States. Our team has assisted with thousands of property closings most often with tight timelines which is where our expertise comes in handy. If it can be done, ALSC is the firm that can get it done for you.

Here is a list of the most common property documents that we Authenticate and Legalize also know as an Apostille in the United States:

  • Real Estate Document
  • Grant Deed and Sellers Proceeds documents
  • Deed document
  • Warranty Deed
  • Timeshare documents
  • Sales Deed and Surrender Document
  • Closing document
  • Loan documents

Whether it’s a Deed, Time Share or other U.S. property document or if you are the buyer, seller or land title professional feel free to speak with one of our experts to see how we can best help you validate your property documents for use in the United States of America so you have a successful timely closing.

Category: US Property FAQ

We cannot advise you on the style or content of the documents that is best left for your land and legal professionals to advise you on, What we can say is that each document should be stapled or the pages bound in some way so that they do not come out of order or otherwise during the process. The only other important note that we can add is that they will need to be Notarized by a Canadian Notary before we can Authenticate them at Global Affairs Canada and then Legalize them at the U.S. Embassy Consulate.

Category: US Property FAQ

Finding a Canadian Notary has never been easier if you have Google or Yahoo to do the searching for you. Simply do an online search for a Notary located closest to you for convenience or more importantly one who meets your budget, since each one will have different fees. You can also do a quick search using the yellow pages for a Notary near you in Canada.  Simpler yet, you or someone close to you may have used a Lawyer in the past who are also licensed Notary’s in Canada. You can ask if they can help with the Notarization of your U.S. property document. If you need more help finding a Notary ask one of our experts.

Category: US Property FAQ

Yes, shipping documents internationally is a big part of our service so to make this easier for you we have teamed up with our shipping partners Purolator, Federal Express (FedEx) and UPS for your national and international delivery needs. Whether you want it sent to our office for processing, back to you or onto your property professional in the U.S. when completed to ensure a timely closing we can help. Speak to one of our experts about what special shipping requirements you have.

Category: US Property FAQ

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