At some point in your life, you may need to get a document apostilled if you want it to be recognized by a foreign government or organization. In Canada, the process of getting a document apostille can be confusing, as it involves several steps and requirements that vary depending on the type of document and the destination country. In this article, we will guide you through the process of getting the equivalency to document apostille in Canada, and provide you with all the information and resources you need to get it done efficiently and effectively.
What is a Document Apostille?
A document apostille is a type of authentication that certifies the validity of a document for use in a foreign country that is a member of the Hague Convention. The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement for Legalization for Foreign Public Documents, or simply the Hague Convention, is an international treaty that facilitates the recognition of foreign public documents by member countries. The apostille itself is a stamp or attachment that verifies the authenticity of the document and the signature of the person who signed it. However, it’s important to note that Canada is not a signatory to the Convention and does not issue Apostille Certificates. So now what? Not to worry, Canada uses the process of authentication and legalization which is accepted as the equivalency of an Apostille.
Why Do You Need a Document Apostille?
There are several situations where you may need to get a document apostilled, such as:
- Applying for a job or studying abroad
- Getting married or divorced in a foreign country
- Starting a business or investing in a foreign country
- Inheriting assets or property in a foreign country
In these cases, the foreign government or organization may require you to provide certain documents that are issued by the Canadian government or a Canadian organization, such as:
- Birth, marriage, divorce, and death certificates
- Educational diplomas, degrees, and transcripts
- Criminal record checks and fingerprints
- Powers of attorney and affidavits
- Corporate documents and contracts
Without an apostille or authentication and legalization, these documents may not be recognized or accepted by the foreign government or organization, which can cause significant delays, expenses, and legal issues.
How to Get a Document Apostille Equivalency in Canada
The process of getting a document apostille equivalency in Canada involves three main steps:
- Get the document notarized or certified by a Canadian Notary if needed.
- Get the document authenticated by Global Affairs Canada
- Get the document legalized by the embassy or consulate of the destination country in Canada
Let’s take a closer look at each step and what it entails.
Step 1: Get the Document Notarized or Certified
The first step maybe to get the original document notarized or certified by a Canadian authority that has the power to do so. This is necessary to ensure that the document is authentic and valid, and that the person who signed it is authorized to do so. Depending on the type of document, the Canadian authority may be:
- A notary public
- A commissioner for oaths
- A lawyer or attorney
- A registrar or official of the issuing organization
To get a document notarized or certified, you will need to present the original document and a valid government-issued ID to the Canadian Notary, and pay a fee for their services. They will then add their signature, seal, or stamp to the document, along with a statement that certifies the authenticity and validity of the document.
Step 2: Get the Document Authenticated by Global Affairs Canada
The second step is to get the document authenticated by Global Affairs Canada, which is the Canadian government department responsible for managing Canada’s foreign affairs and international trade. This is necessary to ensure that the document is recognized by the foreign government or organization, and that the apostille will be valid.
To get the document authenticated by Global Affairs Canada, you will need to:
- Fill out the Request for Authentication Services form online or in person
- Wait for the processing time, which can take up to 15+ business days or longer during peak periods
- Provide the original document that has been notarized or certified
- Once the document is authenticated by Global Affairs Canada, they will sign and apply a stamp to the document that confirms its authenticity and validity.
Step 3: Get the Document Legalized for Apostille Equivalency
The final step is to get the the document legalized by the embassy or consulate of the destination country in Canada. This is necessary to ensure that the document is recognized by the foreign government or organization, and that it meets the specific requirements of the destination country.
To get the document legalized, you will need to:
- Contact the embassy or consulate of the destination country in Canada
- Provide the authenticated document and the tracking number
- Pay the fee, which varies depending on the embassy or consulate
- Wait for the processing time, which can take up to several weeks or longer depending on the embassy or consulate
Once the document is legalized, it will be recognized by the foreign government or organization as the equivalency of an Apostille, and can be used for the intended purpose.
Tips for Getting a Document Apostille or Authenticated and Legalized in Canada
Here are some tips to help you get a document apostille in Canada more efficiently and effectively:
- Check the requirements of the destination country and the type of document before you start the process, as they may vary depending on the country and the document.
- Use a reputable notary public, commissioner for oaths, lawyer, or registrar to notarize or certify your document, as their signature and seal will be crucial for the authentication process.
- Submit your document for authentication to Global Affairs Canada as early as possible, as the processing time can be unpredictable and may cause delays.
- Check the status of your authentication request regularly online or by phone, and follow up with Global Affairs Canada if there are any issues or errors.
- Contact the embassy or consulate of the destination country in Canada in advance to confirm their requirements, fees, and processing time, and to avoid any surprises or delays.
Conclusion Trust The Experts @ ALSC
Getting a document apostilled or authenticated and legalized in Canada can be a complex and time-consuming process, but it is essential if you want to use the document in a foreign country that is a member of the Hague Convention. By following the steps and tips outlined in this article, you can increase your chances of getting the apostille efficiently and effectively, and avoid any legal or financial issues. If you need professional help to complete the process, contact us today we make the process easy for our clients.