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Current Authentication Processing Times at Global Affairs Canada

With ALSC celebrating 30 years of service this year most things have changed for the better since we started to offer our Authentication of Document Services. Unfortunately, one thing that has not changed is the processing times at Global Affairs Authentication Services Section. Back in the early 90’s the department was a two-person operation and mail in processing times ranged from 6-8 weeks or 30-40 business days if things were working efficiently. Fast forward to 2022 and the department now has 10 Authentication Officers with signing authority although processing times have surpassed what they were in the early 90’s. That said we have seen their processing times improve considerably in the first few weeks of September and we are hoping this trend will continue 

So, what does that say for quicker Global Affairs Authentication Services in the new age? Somethings never change? or it is best to remember the advice given on our first visit to the department “Tell your clients to get started early.” I know that is easy to say for someone who is not faced with an international matter that comes up fast and needs fast authentication to get on to the next steps in validating their Canadian document for use in a foreign country. But that is the reality those are faced with and hopefully one day Global Affairs Canada will produce a plan to provide same day service once again. Of course, the challenge is making it safe for those working and those visiting the department.

Global Affairs Canada Authentication Delays

Current average processing times as of September 16, 2022 as posted on the Global Affairs Canada Authentication Services Section website state: 

“15 business days from the day the request is delivered to our office. You must add up to 5 business days for mailing time. Please note that the processing time posted above is an average estimate at a point in time. Some types of documents may be processed more quickly and others may take longer depending on their complexity. Please also note that processing time may fluctuate depending on work volume and operational factors. This turnaround applies to all the requests submitted prior to the current date.

As of September 16th our tracking is showing it is actually taking 16-20  business days processing time from when we submit a document to Global Affairs Canada. Our hope is that they will continue to get faster and we will keep you updated as to any changes in processing times.

As you may already know, if you have a Canadian document that you need to use in a country other than Canada, it will have to go through a process of validation that makes it legally valid for use in a foreign country. You may have heard of terms like apostille or attestation, but Canada uses another process that is equivalent or equal to an apostille an attestation. This process is known as authentication and legalization and it is equivalent to the apostille because it was the process used by apostille countries prior to the Hague Apostille convention, which Canada has not signed. The first step of authentication takes place at Global Affairs Canada here in Ottawa and the second step of legalization takes place at the embassy of the country in which you will be using your Canadian documents. Most of these embassies are also located in Ottawa and larger countries tend to have consulates across major cities in Canada as well. 

Embassy Consulate Closures and Slow Downs  

Legalization at the embassy is the more difficult step of the two. There are additional fees, requirements, and processing times which are subject to change. What is also difficult to account for are the various unexpected closures at an embassy consulate which often cause delays. This year due to the current restrictions we expect many if not all with not be operating at full staff. That is why we encourage our clients to start the process as early as possible to prevent any unexpected authentication of document delays so you can get your international document faster. We can help get you started now speak with one of our friendly agents.

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