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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 

Without a doubt, this is the most frequent question that we get at ALSC and the simple answer is you cannot get an Apostille for a Canadian document. The question comes up often as many of our clients have been told to get one for their Canadian document only to find out from us that it’s not possible. The reason it is not possible to get one in Canada is that Canada has not signed the Hague Convention. Therefore, the Canadian government does not issue them validate documents for international use. If you have been asked to get one for your Canadian document, it means that it is going to be used in a country that has signed the Hague Convention agreement. Before the agreement all countries used the older 2 step Authentication and Legalization processes which has stamps that validate documents for international use, Canada still follows this process 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, here in Canada for a document to be used internationally it first must be authenticated by Global Affairs Canada Authentication Services Section located in Ottawa close to our ALSC National Office. Once authentication has taken place the document then needs to be legalized by the embassy in Canada of the country in which the document is going to be used. Once the authentication and legalization processes are complete the document will be accepted for international use or as the equivalent to an Apostille in a country that uses the process. If you need to get your Canadian document legally accepted in a foreign country talk to the experts at ALSC, we are here to help make the process easy for you!

Category: Apostille FAQ's

These countries include Albania, Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Mauritius, Mexico, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, and Venezuela. It’s important to remember that if you have been asked to get an Apostille for your Canadian document by someone in one of these countries the two steps of authentication and legalization must be completed in order for it to be accepted as the equivalent.

Since Canada has not signed the Hague Apostille Convention it uses the original process to validate documents for international use called authentication and legalization. Although the Government of Canada has not signed the convention it is currently studying the idea. Responding to a recent Hague Conference questionnaire that it has no projected timeline for an outcome on the study of implementing this new process in Canada. In 2015 Authentication Legalization Services Canada was contacted by Global Affairs Canada about our opinion on the idea of joining the convention. Having experience of working with both the Apostille process and the current authentication legalization method in Canada, we were happy to provide what we saw as the pros and cons of both.

Category: Apostille FAQ's

Yes, Authentication and Legalization Stamps together are equivalent to an Apostille Certificate as they both validate documents for international use. Countries that have not signed the Hague Convention agreement use Authentication and Legalization Stamps while those countries who have signed the agreement issue an Apostille Certificate.

In Canada, the authentication stamp is done by Global Affairs Canada Authentication Services Section located in Ottawa close to ALSC head office. After verifying the official signature on your document, the authenticating officer will sign their name and apply the official Canadian Government authentication stamp. Now the document is ready for the legalization stamp at the embassy to become legally valid in the destination country, which is the equivalent of an Apostille Certificate. The embassy or it’s consulate will verify Global Affairs Canada’s signature and stamp to verify all is correct. If the authentication stamp is correct, the Embassy or Consulate will apply their government stamp and possibly a registration number depending on the country and their process. Now that the document has been authenticated and legalized it is ready to be used legally in any foreign country.

Category: Apostille FAQ's

At ALSC, it is our mission to assist our clients with any international document needs that they may have if we can help. In some cases, we may be able to help with your non-Canadian document if we are processing a Canadian document for you using our Authentication and Legalization Services. This is determined on a case by case basis and it is best to speak with one of our experts to find out if we can help you in your case.

Before reaching out to us, we will need to know the type of document that you will be using and what country you will be using the document. In addition, your personal ALSC expert will need to know what Canadian document that you have and what country in which the document will be used. Also, when completed we will need to know where you want the document sent and if you want a digital scan for your records. This will provide your ALSC expert with all that they need to determine if we can assist you because as mentioned it is on a case by case basis that we can help in these situations.

Category: Apostille FAQ's

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.

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Questions about using our services?

ALSC is open for business Monday through Friday serving clients from 9:00am to 5:00pm EST. For telephone support call 1-800-336-1132 to speak with one of our friendly experts. If you need to reach us outside of business hours it’s best to send us an email. Below are the holidays for 2021 that ALSC will be closed on.

  • February 15 – Family Day
  • April 2 – Good Friday
  • April 5 – Easter Monday
  • May 24 – Victoria Day
  • July 1 – Canada Day
  • August 2 – Civic Holiday
  • September 6 – Labour Day
  • October 11 – Thanksgiving Day
  • December 24- ALSC Family Holiday
  • December 27 – In lieu of Xmas Day Holiday
  • December 28 – In lieu of Boxing Day Holiday
  • December 29 – ALSC Family Holiday –
  • December 30- ALSC Family Holiday
  • December 31 – ALSC Family Holiday
  • January 3, 2022 – In lieu of New Years Day Holiday

Our fees for processing your Canadian documents are broken down into steps. For the first step of Authentication at Global Affairs Canada, we offer our $175 Priority same day, $125 Standard 3 business day, or our $100 Economy 10 business day service. Our Priority and Standard services are respectively $175 and $125 for the first document plus $25 per additional document and our Economy service is $100 for up to 10 documents.

ALSC’s pricing for the Legalizations step, which takes place at the Embassy of the country in which you wish to use your documents, depends on the location of the Embassy. For the first document, our pricing is $125 for Legalization at an Embassy in Ottawa and $175 at an Embassy outside of Ottawa plus $25 per additional document. The Legalization step is also subject to an Embassy fee, which is the fee the Embassy charges for their service of legalizing your Canadian document, this fee varies from Embassy to Embassy. 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.

As Global Affairs Canada’s temporary operating rules makes 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 our clients, we have introduced the ALSC Smart Choice Service to make our Authentication service the most convenient in Canada but more importantly saving you money.

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

To get started you can Get a Quick Cost Estimate 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 via our Online 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 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 via 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. Current processing times for authentication of a degree are 25 business days when dealing with Global Affairs Canada Authentication Services Section directly but we can shorten this to as quickly as one day. 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.

ALSC cannot Authenticate your documents on Fridays with our same day priority service because Global Affairs Canada has reduced their operating hours for the public and are closed on Fridays. We are, unfortunately, unable to provide same day priority authentication on Fridays due to this hour reduction. The new operating hours for Global Affair Canada are now Monday to Thursday 10:30 AM till 12Noon and 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM. In addition, they do have restrictions as to how many documents can be processed daily.

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. If you are dealing with Global Affairs Canada directly by mail it can take 25 business days but we are able to speed up the process your documents in 1, 3, or 10 business days. After we have authenticated your document our shipping made easy solutions allow you options to send your document anywhere in the world. As the first provider of authentication of documents services in Canada, our 25+ years of expertise allow you peace of mind.

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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