As a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you may need to authenticate or legalize your documents for use outside of Canada. This process, also known as apostille or authentication and legalization, ensures that your documents are recognized as valid in other countries.
At Global Affairs Canada, the Authentication Services Section is responsible for providing authentication and legalization services. In this guide, we will walk you through the process of authenticating your documents and provide you with some useful tips to make the process as smooth as possible.
Step 1: Determine if Your Document Needs to be Authenticated
The first step is to determine if your document needs to be authenticated or not. Generally, documents that need to be authenticated include:
- Educational documents (diplomas, degrees, transcripts)
- Birth, Marriage and death certificates
- Legal documents (power of attorney, affidavits, wills)
- Commercial documents (certificates of incorporation, business registration documents)
If you are not sure if your document needs to be authenticated, you can contact the embassy or consulate of the country where you plan to use the document for more information.
Step 2: Get Your Document Notarized
Before your document can be authenticated, it may need to be notarized by a Canadian lawyer or notary public. This process involves the lawyer or notary public certifying that the document is authentic and that the signature on the document is genuine.
Step 3: Submit Your Document for Authentication
Once your document has been notarized, you can submit it to Global Affairs Canada for authentication. You can submit your document by mail, courier service or through a professional service such as ALSC.
In order to submit your document for authentication, you will need to complete an application form
Step 4: Wait for Your Document to be Authenticated
After you have submitted your document for authentication, you will need to wait for it to be processed which is currently 15+ business days. Although the processing time for authentication varies depending on the type of document and the volume of requests.
If you need your document to be authenticated quickly, unfortunately, it is not possible. Nor can you track the status of your application online with Global Affairs Canada.
Step 5: Legalize Your Document
Once your document has been authenticated by Global Affairs Canada, you will need to have it legalized by the embassy or consulate of the country where you plan to use the document. This process involves the embassy or consulate certifying that the document is authentic and that it has been authenticated by Global Affairs Canada.
Useful Tips for Authenticating Your Documents
- Plan ahead: The process of authenticating your documents can take several weeks or even months. Make sure to start the process as early as possible to avoid any delays.
- Verify the requirements: The requirements for authentication may vary depending on the country where you plan to use the document. Make sure to verify the requirements with the embassy or consulate before submitting your application.
- Use a courier service: If you are submitting your application by mail, consider using a courier service to ensure that your documents are delivered securely and on time.
- Keep a copy of your documents: Make sure to keep a copy of your documents before submitting them for authentication. This can be useful in case you need to submit the documents again in the future.
Conclusion Trust The Experts @ ALSC
Authenticating your documents for use outside of Canada can be a complex and time-consuming process. However, by following the steps outlined in this guide and using the tips provided, you can ensure that your documents are authenticated and legalized in a timely and efficient manner.