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ALSC 24hr FAQ Auto Attendant

At ALSC we are proud of our dedication to customer service but there are times when we may not be working or you just want to find out the answer to a question yourself. To help with this we have created the ALSC 24hr auto attendant to make sure you get the answers you need when you want them.

Top 5 Questions Searched On Our Site 

In some cases, you may want to make a notarized copy of your original Canadian document in order to keep your original document in pristine shape for use in the future. For those clients that must have their Canadian documents notarized, it is because their document does not have an official signature on it that is recognized by Global Affairs Canada. In these cases, you will need to have your document notarized by a Canadian Notary. This is a service we can provide if you send the Original Document to our office. Simply ask your ALSC agent about our notarization service.

In order to use your notarized document internationally, the document must go through a few more government steps to be validated. The first of these steps is to have the Notary Public’s signature authenticated at Global Affairs Canada. All registered Canadian Notaries have their signatures on file with Global Affairs Canada. Therefore, all English or French documents that have been Notarized by a Canadian Notary can be authenticated if it is for use internationally. As this question comes up often and with so much misleading information about this on the internet, we thought it important to hear it from the experts at ALSC.

No, they can either authenticate the original document, if it has an official signature recognized by Global Affairs Canada or a notarized copy made by a Canadian Notary. The authentication process requires the document to be physically present because it is reliant on the official signature on the document and not the content of the document. What Global Affairs Canada is doing when authenticating a document is verifying the official signature on your document and confirming it matches the one in their registry. If the document is a digital scan or photocopy there is no real signature to authenticate only a copy of a signature. If you need help with sending your document to us for authentication, simply ask your ALSC agent about our easy shipping solutions.

When using a document internationally it’s important to check with the requesting party in-country for requirements to find out the correct type of document that you need. In most cases, they will need you to provide your document in a certain format style or the original document itself. To reiterate, in no way can a digital scan or photocopy of a document be authenticated with Global Affairs Canada.

Our service fees, not including the Embassy fees, for the processing of your Power of Attorney will vary depending on the country. For the first step of authentication at Global Affairs Canada due to the current conditions processing times are 16-20 business days as of September 15, 2022. Processing times for legalization at the the Embassy Consulates change weekly due to shorten hours of operation and staff. To find out the current times for processing and get a fee quote use our Quick Quote or call 1-800-336-1132 an ALSC agent who would be happy to help.

If you have been asked to validate your Canadian document for official purposes in a foreign country you want to get it right the first time. Time is of the essence for most of our clients, the sooner it’s done, the sooner you can move on with the important matter related to why you have been asked to authenticate the document. We understand that waiting for 45 business days for Global Affairs Canada to answer a questions will not work for your timelines. Not only does ALSC have quicker service solutions, but also our experts can save you time and money with shipping. Our ALSC order status tracker and up to the minute email updates provide peace of mind throughout the process. Choosing ALSC authentication services means no red tape frustration waiting for Global Affairs Canada to confirm if they have received or had a problem authenticating your document, we take the guessing out the authentication process. ALSC saves you time giving you Canada’s international document experts on your side to answer any question you may have with the utmost customer service. For our clients, this is what differentiates ALSC from navigating the public service on their own they want an expert to guide them.

Unfortunately, no due to Global Affairs Canada’s temporary operating rules 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

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General questions about using our services?

ALSC is open Monday through Friday and serves customers from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST. For phone support, call 1-800-336-1132 to speak to one of our friendly experts. If you need to reach us outside opening hours, it is best to send us an e-mail. Below are the holidays for 2023 that ALSC will be closed.

  • February 20 – Family Day
  • April 7 – Good Friday
  • April 10 – Easter Monday
  • May 22 – Victoria Day
  • July 1 – Canada Day
  • August 7 – Civic holiday
  • September 4 – Labor Day
  • October 9 – Thanksgiving
  • December 25 – Christmas Day
  • December 26 – Boxing Day
  • December 27 – ALSC Team Family Vacation
  • December 28 – ALSC Team Family Vacation
  • December 29 – ALSC Team Family Vacation
  • January 1 – New Years Day

Unfortunately, no due to Global Affairs Canada’s temporary operating rules 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

Our fees for processing your Canadian documents are broken down into steps. For a cost estimate based on your specific needs, use our Quick Quote or call 1-800-336-1132 and an ALSC agent who would be happy to help.


Yes. The majority of our clients live outside of our region, or Canada for that matter, so over the years we have developed systems that ensure an easy to follow process whether around the corner from us or around the world. Our experienced agents work closely with clients on a daily basis from every region concerning their various types of documents for the authentication and legalization process with ease and efficiency.

Our services can be paid securely online using MasterCard & Visa Credit Card, ApplePay, Discovery, PayPal, or Interac e-Transfer once your document has been received by us or include a Corporate Cheque or Money Order when sending to us. For payment of the embassy fees most accept payment by money order/bank draft please speak to your ALSC agent they will be able to provide you the payee details. As an alternative, we can obtain the embassy fee money order/bank draft on your behalf please note that there will be a $10 transaction fee for us to do so. Once all services are paid we will provide you a detailed receipt for services.

No this is not possible because of the various rules that Global Affairs Canada and the Embassy have, you must first speak with an ALSC agent at 1-800-336-1132 (Monday-Friday 9 am-5 pm ET) before attending any of our ALSC service centers. This will ensure that your document is ready for processing and that you have any additional requirements for the embassy or Global Affairs to save you time. Speaking with an ALSC agent allows us to help you complete our Order Form, explain the fees that are required to perform our services, and confirm your payment options prior to you attending. It is important to note that if you do attend an ALSC service center prior to speaking with an ALSC agent it may result in more fees for you in order for us to perform our specialized services.

Yes, all you would need to do to arrange for someone else to drop your documents off at one of our ALSC Service Centers is to speak to one of our helpful agents and set up an appointment under the name of the person who will be dropping off your documents. To better serve you, we have locations in Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, North York, Mississauga, Winnipeg, Regina, Edmonton, Calgary, Surrey, Vancouver, Victoria, and our Ottawa Headquarters.

We will provide you with an Order Form to complete which you will need to include when sending your documents to us. Some Embassies will also have an application form they will require you to complete, but do not worry as we make it easy with instructions and guidance throughout the process. Global Affairs Canada does not require you to fill out their Authentication request form as we complete this for you when attending at their office.

You can reach us by email or call us at 1-800-336-1132 toll free from North America or at 011-613-226-1001 from outside North America from Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm ET.

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Questions about Shipping & Order Tracking?

Once your documents have been fully processed, you will receive an email update using our Order Status Tracker. The email will contain an estimated delivery date along with the courier details and tracking information. Using the tracking number with the courier/mail service that you had selected earlier in the process will give you the most up to date information about your documents location.

Yes, ALSC is proud to be the sole service provider in Canada that allows you to track your documents every step of the way. Once your documents arrive at our Ottawa Headquarters you will be given a unique order number which you can use along with your email address to view the status of your order throughout the process. Our Order Status Tracker is convenient, easy to use and one of the many perks of choosing ALSC.

Once you have sent your documents to ALSC and your package is received in our Ottawa Headquarters, you will receive an email with your unique ALSC Order Number and details of your file with our Online Order Status Tracker, which you can use to check the most current status of your order. We will then start processing your file, where in some cases first a notarized copy of a document needs to be made, or a translation to or from a foreign language needs to be done before we can start with the authentication and legalization. Once all your documents are ready, we will attend at Global Affairs Canada in person on your behalf to get your documents authenticated on your chosen Authentication Service Speed. Once your documents have been authenticated, they will be submitted for legalization on the following business day that the Embassy or Consulate is open. Once the documents have been legalized and we have received them back from the Embassy or Consulate, we verify the legalizations and then ship out the documents to your destination of choice. Once shipped out, we will provide you with the tracking details and estimated delivery date. At each step of the process, you will receive an email update via our Online Order Status Tracker, so you know exactly where you are in the process from start to end.

Yes. Some clients find it convenient to use our address for the forwarding of their requested document as it saves them valuable time with the authentication and legalization process. We only ask that before your document is received at our office you complete our Order Form with your particular request details and forward it to us via email or any other convenient way listed on our Contact Us page so that we can open a request file under your name to ensure the proper identification and processing of the document when received by our office.

Once your documents are complete, we will return or forward them by Canada Post free of charge or based on your instructions. If you would like them returned or forwarded using a courier, you have several options. If you have a courier account, you can include a prepared waybill on your account. If you do not have a courier account, we can assist please ask for assistance to confirm fees. For convenient and traceable service, you can arrange a Canada Post Xpresspost. We always recommend a traceable service to ensure the safe return of your sensitive documents.

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Questions about the Authentication and Legalization Process?

This question comes up often as many of our clients have been told to get an Apostille for their Canadian document and then find out that it is not possible to get an Apostille Stamp in Canada. Since Canada has not signed the Hague Apostille Certificate Convention our government does not issue them. If you have been asked to get an Apostille certificate for your document it means that it is going to be used in a country that has signed the agreement. Before the agreement, all countries used authentication and legalization to validate documents, which is the method Canada still follows as do many other countries. The important thing to remember is that if you follow the process of the country in which the document has been issued there will be no problems with your document being accepted in another country. In other words, in Canada, the document must first be authenticated by Global Affairs Canada Authentication Services Section. Once authentication has taken place it then can be legalized at the embassy of the country in which it is going to be used. Each document and country has varying requirements and rules for processing, so to ensure that your document is validated properly contact one of our friendly specialized agents to talk about our services and how we can help.

There are multiple reasons that Global Affairs Canada may decline to authenticate documents. In most cases, it may be due to the document missing an original signature or stamp, or the signature cannot be verified. Global Affairs Canada will not Authenticate documents issued by religious institutions such as baptismal certificates or religious marriage certificates. Global Affairs Canada will also deny the Authentication of documents that are issued by educational institutions that are unrecognized by the federal government. In some exceedingly rare cases, Global Affairs may decline to Authenticate your document if they believe that the content is misleading, or that it may be used for illegal or fraudulent purposes. If your documents are written in or contain a language other than English or French, Global Affairs will decline the authentication unless the document meets one of their foreign language requirements. For more information check our translation services or contact one of our experts.

No, an Authentication from Global Affairs Canada does not expire. Although the Authentication remains valid the contents of your document may expire and/or the Embassy of the country where you wish to use the document may require that the document has been issued within a certain timeframe in order to process.

ALSC has Service Centers across Canada in most major cities, where you can drop off documents in person on appointment and pick them up upon completion. All documents received at our Service Centers will be forwarded to our Ottawa Headquarters, as Global Affairs Canada only has an authentication office in Ottawa. Contact us for more information.

ALSC assists clients daily from around the world to authenticate their documents at Global Affairs Canada. If you are outside of Canada, it can be difficult to navigate the Authentication process for your documents. Contact ALSC to help you get your documents authenticated while being outside of Canada.

Yes, our experienced agents attend in person at both Global Affairs Canada Authentication Services Section and your required embassy in Ottawa. This allows us to ensure that your document meets the requirements of Global Affairs Canada and the embassy, and to confirm with the embassy how long the legalization is expected to take ensuring that the proper requirements and fees are provided.

Depending on what document you have to process, Global Affairs Canada will have different requirements as to whether the document must be an original or a certified true copy made by a Canadian Notary Public. Vital Statistics documents must be original documents that have been issued by the provincial or territorial Vital Statistics office. Either original College or University Degrees or Diplomas from a public accredited institution, or a certified true copy of the original made by a Canadian Notary Public, can be authenticated by Global Affairs Canada. Any documents not issued by a federal authority or issued by an institution not recognized by Global Affairs must be a certified true copy made by a Canadian Notary Public. If you need information about your document, one of our agents would be happy to assist you.

Yes, Global Affairs can authenticate either your original Canadian degree-diploma or a notarized copy the choice is yours. Many of our clients choose to have a notarized copy made for authentication since it saves the processing and stamping on your original. This helps keep the original in pristine condition for future use but also raises another good reason why using a notarized copy may be the best option for you. If using your original it is important to ask if you will receive it back from the person who is requesting it. If you are not sure it may be best to make a notarized copy, ask us about how we can help you with this. Contact us to talk more about your degree or diploma that needs authentication for use outside Canada or for an Apostille recognized country.

A Commissioner for Oaths in Canada is generally not authorized to certify a true copy of a document, where their authority is governed by the province or territory of appointment. A Commissioner for Oaths is generally only authorized to witness signatures for certain documents such as a Statutory Declaration or an Affidavit. When you require a certified true copy of a document to be authenticated and further legalized for use in another country, you will need to use the services of a Canadian Notary Public as Canadian Notaries are authorized to make a certified true copy of a document which can be authenticated by Global Affairs Canada. ALSC can also make a certified true copy of your originals.

Yes, in most cases the requesting party in the country you will be using the document will provide you with it in the native language. This happens because documents containing a foreign language are usually governed by the laws of the country in which they will be used. Before explaining, it is important to know that if your document contains a language other than our two official languages, English and French, Global Affairs Canada Authentication Services Section has an extra requirement. Global Affairs Canada requires that you provide a notarized translation in either English or French that has been certified by a Canadian translator and notarized by a Canadian Notary. Now that they have authenticated your document it is ready for legalization at the embassy. Depending on the country the embassy may have extra requirements that have to be provided before your document can be legalized. As Embassy requirements change ofter for various documents, it is best to speak with one of our experts to ensure that your document is prepared for legalization.

No. If you are only using our Authentication Services once completed the authenticated document will only be returned to you or a third-party individual who can accept the sensitive document on your behalf. This is done for privacy and security reasons amongst others.

Yes, there is no Global Affairs Canada Authentication Services Section office in Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Fredericton, Charlottetown, Halifax, or St. John’s. Canadian documents can only be federally authenticated at Global Affairs Canada Authentication Services Section located in Ottawa close to our office. As the first provider of authentication of documents services in Canada, our 30 years of expertise is here to help you wherever you are.

No, in fact, Global Affairs Canada Authentication Services Section will not authenticate provincial authentication signatures. In order for your document to be authenticated, it must have a signature that is in the Global Affairs Canada registry and falls within their requirements for processing. In a few cases, the embassy or consulate may ask that you get your document authenticated by the province from where it originates. If this is the case for you we will confirm this during our consultation about your document and the country in which it will be used. It is important to remember the majority of embassies require the Global Affairs Canada Authentication Services Section stamp and signature on your document. To save time and money it’s important that you know the correct process to follow. Contact one of our experienced ALSC agents, we can help.

Even if the documents are identical, they would be considered two documents. Documents are calculated by volume, not by content. Another way to consider it would be that if you require both identical documents to be processed then each would need its own Authentication and Legalization stamp making them two separate documents.

All Canadian education documents, like a degree or diploma, must be sent for attestation to the UAE Embassy here in Ottawa or the UAE Consulate in Toronto depending on where you went to school. We call this step Legalization in Canada, but it means the same as Attestation in the UAE. Before you Attest your document at the UAE Embassy or Consulate it first must be authenticated by Global Affairs Canada Authentication Services Section also located in Ottawa near our office. Once your education document has been authenticated it is then ready for attestation at the UAE Embassy or Consulate but only if you have provided the requirements.  To find out how we can help save you time and make sure you get it right the first time contact us for more information.

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