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The challenges with validating Canadian documents for use abroad

If you have had to use Canadian documents outside of Canada you can probably still remember the complicated process you have to go through. If you’re unfamiliar, you have to have your Canadian documents authenticated and legalized before they can be used in a foreign country. As the name suggests, it is a two step validation process to ensure your documents are legitimate. Authentication takes place at Global Affairs Canada and legalization takes place at the embassy of the country where you need to use your Canadian documents. There are numerous requirements that need to be met at both steps but the second step of legalization is where things really get complicated, and where many of our clients throw in their towel and ask us to bring ours. These requirements can include supporting documentation, identification documents, translations, special forms of payment, and changing fees. In addition to extensive requirements and fees, embassies are often very hard to get in contact with if you are not attending in person. This is because most embassies are usually swamped with similar requests year-round, especially during the peak season in the summer. This can make it very difficult to get the necessary clarification to properly submit your documents for legalization without any issues. It also makes it very hard to resolve any issues if they arise and in some cases the staff at the embassy simply do not have the time to reach out to you and explain why your documents are being delayed or rejected! In the 25 years we have been providing this service we have seen documents rejected for an almost endless amount of reasons. However, one of the most frequent is the sudden change in requirements and fees that can occur daily at some embassies. This begs two questions: why do embassy requirements change? And more importantly, what can you do to accommodate these sudden changes and make sure your Canadian documents get legalized on time?

Why do embassy legalization requirements change?

There are many reasons why embassy requirements change. However, the three most common reasons are changes in consular staff, changes in currency exchange rates, and occasional adjustments to protect against fraud. Indeed, legalization usually takes place at the consular section of any given embassy. The consular section is the division of the embassy which serves the public directly, and is in many cases the primary source of income that allows the embassy to continue its operations. While many embassies do get funding from their parent country, charging fees for things such as document legalizations, visas, translations, and even notarizations help keep the costs down for the taxpayers back home. This why some embassies charge up to hundreds of dollars per document legalization and why they often fluctuate due to the exchange rate between the Canadian dollar and whatever currency the embassy’s country uses. When it comes to other requirements such as payment methods, supporting documents, translations etc., these are usually left up to the discretion of the consul, the signing authority at the consular section of the embassy. This can be both a blessing and a curse as the consul often has the power to look past some minor missing requirements but also demand additional requirements at the last minute. To be clear, the majority of embassies and their consuls are very strict with their process for legalization. It is much more likely that you will be asked to provide a new requirement at the time of submission than granted permission to submit your documents with incomplete requirements. Since embassy staff tend to change every few years (or less), this inevitably brings changes to their legalization process as a new consul assumes his or her post. Finally, as there are many people who attempt to process fraudulent documents or payments through the embassy, requirements tend to change to accommodate the loopholes that allow for such criminal activities to occur. Unfortunately, the additional requirements embassies put in place to protect themselves from criminal exploiters often makes legalization substantially more difficult for the average person. When you are trying to get your documents legalized for use overseas and keep struggling with extensive requirements, remember that they are there for a very good reason.

How can I legalize my Canadian document at the embassy?

Getting your document ready for legalization is a genuine challenge. So much so that it is a large part of why we exist. Indeed, without an expert who is physically able to attend to the embassy on your behalf, the likelihood of successfully legalizing your document alone can be a test of patience, even on the second or third try. Changes in requirements and fees can be very common and even cause issues for the experts! The primary reason our services are so effective is that we have built strong professional relationships with the consular staff at dozens of embassies in Ottawa and across Canada in our over 25 years of operation. This allows us to be up to date on all changing requirements and fees as well as resolve any issues at the embassy as they arise. The reputation we have built also makes us one of their preferred clients; they know that we always have our documents perfectly organized and present it to them in their preferred manner. This allows us to provide the highest quality service available in our industry to you, our client. In addition, we are able to save you up to 20 business days of processing time with our priority same business day authentication service. As your partner, our agents are available at all times during our operating hours to answer your questions via phone or email and provide you with detailed updates at every step of the process. Our A+ rating with the BBB, proud membership with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, and dozens of verified 5-star reviews on Facebook and Google prove that we have remained the leaders of our industry since we became the first to provide this service over two decades ago. If you have Canadian documents that you need to legalize at an embassy for use overseas, contact us. Authentication and legalization is stress free with ALSC!

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Thank you, an ALSC expert will contact you soon Monday-Friday 9AM-5PM EST

Personal or Corporate

Are you using the Canadian document internationally for Personal or Corporate use?

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Additional Services

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Yes, for $50 per document I want a Notarized copy for processing.

My document contains a language other than English or French. Send me a fee quote for translation services.

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Yes, for $15 per document I want a digital scan of the Authentication & Legalization stamps sent to me by email

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Authentication Service

Validating a Canadian document for international use is a 2 step process. For the first step choose the ALSC Authentication Service that best suits your timeline and budget. As Global Affairs Canada’s temporary rules make it impossible for any service provider to offer same day Authentication, for now we will only be offering our 3 and 10 business day services Monday through Thursday. To help, we have introduced our ALSC Smart Choice Service to make our Authentication service the most convenient in Canada but more importantly saving you money. When choosing your service make sure you Click the amount of documents you need Authenticated.

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Economy 10 Business Day - $100 for up to 10 documents

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Standard 3 Business Day - $125 for 1st document + $25 per additional document

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ALSC Smart Choice 3 Business Day - $175 for 1st document + $25 per additional. We do it all with FedEx pickup & delivery included within Canada. An $80-$150 Value! Convenient & Saves you money!

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Embassy Fee

The Embassy charges a fee per document which varies per country and sometimes by document type. When required in secured funds a standard $10 money order charge will be added. With some countries we will need to confirm the fee. If you do not see your country listed choose the world icon. Make sure to Click the number of documents you selected for Legalization.

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Albania

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Austria

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Algeria Corporate

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Algeria Personal

Argentina fee to be confirmed

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Australia

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Bahamas US$

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Belgium

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Bosnia & Herzegovina

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Brazil

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Bulgaria 1 Business Day

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Bulgaria 3 Business day

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Chile US$

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China Personal 4 Business day

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China Personal 3 Business day

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China Personal 2 Business day

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Colombia US$

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Costa Rica US$

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Croatia

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Czech Republic

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Dominican Republic Corporate US$

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Dominican Republic Personal US$

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Ecuador Corporate US$

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Ecuador Personal US$

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Germany Birth, Marriage, Death

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Germany Other documents

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Greece

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Honduras US$

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Iraq US$

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Israel

Italy fee to be confirmed

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Kazakhstan US$

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Kuwait Corporate

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Kuwait Personal

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Mexico

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Netherlands

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Panama US$30 + $2 per additional page

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Peru Corporate

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Peru Personal

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Philippines

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Poland

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Portugal

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Qatar Personal

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Romania

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Russia

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Spain

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Turkey

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Ukraine Corporate 1 Business day

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Ukraine Corporate 3 Business day

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Ukraine Personal 1 Business day

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Ukraine Personal 3 Business day

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UAE Personal AED$150

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UAE Corporate AED$2000

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United States US$

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My Country Is Not Listed

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Embassy Legalization Service

Legalization at the embassy consulate is the second step. Processing times vary and are in addition to the authentication time. Make sure you Click the number of documents for Legalization that matches the number of documents you selected for Authentication.

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Ottawa Embassy $125 1st document + $25 per additional

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Outside Ottawa Embassy $175 1st document + $25 per additional. Outside Ottawa embassies include Argentina, Bahrain, Brazil, El Salvador, Germany, Italy, Oman, Spain, UAE

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ALSC Easy Shipping Solutions

Once your document is completed it needs to get back to you or wherever it needs to go. Simply choose the shipping solution that 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 Smart Choice 3 Business Day Authentication FedEx pick up & delivery within Canada included

I want to save $80 in FedEx shipping fees with free drop off & pick up at an ALSC Service Center

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

I Will Provide Shipping

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The estimated fees not including taxes is

Estimated Fees Not Including Taxes

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Thank you for using the Authentication Legalization Services Canada Inc. (ALSC) quote estimator we look forward to providing you a free no obligation quote for services. This estimate is an approximation and is not guaranteed or promised by ALSC. The estimate is based on information provided by the client and the requirements of Global Affairs Canada and the various foreign countries that may change without notice. Actual cost may or will change once all the project elements are finalized with the client. Prior to any changes of cost, the client will be notified.

The right to individual privacy is a matter our firm takes very seriously. Please be assured that the private information provided by our clients or collected by our staff is held in the strictest confidence. ALSC also complies with Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (“PIPEDA”).


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