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Marriage Certificate Authentication Legalization or Marriage Certificate Apostille

If you need to use your Canadian Marriage Certificate in a foreign country it must be Authenticated and Legalized. The document validation process of Authentication and Legalization may also be called Apostille or Attestation in other countries but is recognized as the equivalent. The question about how to get an Apostille Marriage Certificate in Canada comes up often for us as Canada’s international document experts, here are a few important things you should know.

Marriage Certificate Apostille in other Countries

If someone has specifically requested that you get a Marriage Certificate Apostille they will be from a country who has signed the Hague Apostille Convention. Canada has not signed the agreement so instead uses an older alternative but equivalent process of authentication and legalization. What both processes do is allow for important documents like Marriage Certificates to be accepted in foreign countries as valid for use for whatever purpose it is needed for.

Why You May Need an International Canadian Marriage Certificate

Some of the reasons why you may have been asked to get Marriage Certificate Authentication Legalization or Marriage Certificate Apostille are for a visa application, immigration, registration of marriage abroad, your spouse moving with you to a new job. Whatever the reason, we can help. We have been helping people authenticate and legalize marriage certificates for 30 years for countries such as the UAE and Qatar where it is called Attestation, or Mexico and Spain where it is known as an Apostille.

Global Affairs Canada Marriage Certificate Authentication Requirements

Before Global Affairs Canada Authentication Services will accept it, the Marriage Certificate must be one that was issued by the provincial government vital statics office where you were married. It can be a certificate or long-form type, both are acceptable. It’s also important to remember that Global Affairs Canada will only accept original Marriage Certificates that are issued by a provincial Vital Statistics department.

Global Affairs Canada will not authenticate the certificate or license that was signed and given to you at your wedding ceremony. Also, they cannot authenticate the wallet-sized certificate because it is too small or a notarized copy. If you are not sure whether you have the correct type of Marriage Certificate for Authentication at Global Affairs Canada, not to worry, our consultation will make sure that you do speak with one of our friendly experts.

How to Order a Canadian Marriage Certificate for International Use

If you do not have the correct type of Marriage Certificate, or you want a new Marriage Certificates for the Authentication and Legalization process, you can easily order them from the provincial government vital statistics departments see more on our Document Resources page. If ordering a new Marriage Certificate, most vital statistics departments have an option to have it sent directly to our office. Many of our clients choose this option because it allows for quicker Marriage Certificate Authentication and Legalization.

First Step Authentication at Global Affairs Canada

It is important to make sure you have the correct type of Certificate of Marriage for the specific purpose and country in which you are using it. Doing this will ensure that it can be authenticated by Global Affairs Canada Authentication Services Section and also legalized by the embassy. These two steps must be followed for it to be accepted as a Marriage Certificate Apostille outside Canada. Let’s start with the first step of Marriage Certificate Authentication which takes place at Global Affairs Canada here in Ottawa.

Using the above requirements the Global Affairs Canada Authentication Services Section will examine the signature on the Marriage Certificate. If it meets their requirements they will place the Government of Canada’s Authentication Stamp on it which then Authenticates the Marriage Certificate. 

The most important advice we can pass on to our clients or those navigating the process themselves is to get started as soon as possible with Authentication at Global Affairs Canada. Why you ask? Unfortunately, in our 30 years of providing services Global Affairs Canada is taking longer than it ever has. You can find out what Global Affairs Canada current authentication processing time is here. 

Second Step Legalization at the Embassy

The second step of Marriage Certificate Legalization takes place at the embassy consulate of the country where you are going to be using it. Most embassy consulates are located here in Ottawa and charge a fee to provide document legalization services. In addition, some have other requirements or processing times that change often. When you use our document legalization services, we take care of all of that making sure it gets done correctly and meets your timeline. After your marriage certificate has been authenticated and legalized we can return it back to you or anywhere in the world it needs to go using one of our document shipping made easy solutions or using your preferred delivery method.

Other Canadian Documents you may need to use Internationally

If you have been asked to get your marriage certificate authenticated and legalized or Apostilled, you may have other documents like a Birth Certificate, Death Certificate, Degree, Divorce Certificate or Police Check that also require authentication and legalization. We can help you authenticate and legalize these and more documents speak with one of our friendly agents about yours.

International Canadian Marriage Certificate FAQ’s

As Canada’s experts, ALSC can help you get your Canadian Marriage Certificate ready for international use by providing you with 30 years of experience with the most up to date knowledge about the rules and regulations of Global Affairs Canada and the Embassy. Not only will ALSC help you process your documents quickly we also make it easy by guiding you through each step providing you with the up to the minute status of your documents using our Online Status Tracker. Talk to one of our experts on how to get your Marriage Certificate accepted internationally and get the experts working for you.

Category: Marriage FAQ's

Dependent on the purpose of the Marriage Certificate in the foreign country, you might need to get your Birth CertificateDivorce CertificatePolice CheckUniversity Degree and other documents also Authenticated and Legalized. You will first need to confirm with the requesting party in the foreign country which additional documents you will need to provide with your Marriage Certificate. If the requesting party is an Embassy Consulate in Canada, you will need to contact them directly to confirm which other documents they will require from you

Category: Marriage FAQ's

No, as per the Global Affairs Canada rules and regulations, only an original Marriage Certificate issued by a Canadian Provincial Vital Statistics Department can be authenticated. A notarized or certified copy made by a Canadian Notary Public cannot be authenticated.

Category: Marriage FAQ's

There are different styles of Canadian Marriage Certificates such as a Marriage Licence Certificate or Certificate of Marriage but its important to remember the one you got from your wedding ceremony is not your official marriage certificate. The provincial statistics department of the province where you married issues the official marriage certificate. If you need to order a Marriage Certificate you can find links on our resources page on how to do it.

Category: Marriage FAQ's

A Canadian Marriage Certificate is initially only valid for use in Canada therefore a foreign country will not accept a Canadian Marriage Certificate. To make the Marriage Certificate valid for use in a foreign country, it will first need to go through the process of Authentication at Global Affairs Canada and then Legalization at the Embassy Consulate of the country in which the document will be used. In both steps the authenticity of the foregoing signature is verified, effectively making the document valid for use in that foreign country. Some countries might ask you to get your Marriage Certificate Apostilled since that is the process most used in that foreign country. Since Canada has not signed the Hague Apostille Convention, the original two-step process of Marriage Certificate Authentication and Legalization is considered the international equivalent of an Apostille and serves the same purpose.

Category: Marriage FAQ's

Currently you cannot get an Apostille for a Canadian Marriage Certificate. Since Canada has not signed the Apostille Convention the original process of Authentication and Legalization is still used to make a Canadian document valid for use in another country. Your Marriage Certificate will therefore first need to be authenticated by Global Affairs Canada and then legalized by the Embassy or Consulate of the country in which you will be using the Marriage Certificate. These two steps of authentication and legalization together are the equivalent of an Apostille in other countries.

Category: Marriage FAQ's

Most Vital Statistics Departments have an option to have the Marriage Certificate sent directly to a third party such as ALSC. Once you have been in contact with one of our agents regarding your request and confirmed how you want to proceed, we will provide you with our mailing address where the Marriage Certificate can be sent. A few Vital Statistics Departments, such as the Quebec État Civil, do not allow your Marriage Certificate to be sent directly to a third party. In this case the Marriage Certificate will need to be delivered to you first, then you can send it to us for Authentication and Legalization.

Category: Marriage FAQ's

If you have never ordered a Canadian Marriage Certificate, you have misplaced or lost your Marriage Certificate, the original you have is damaged, you can order a new or a replacement Marriage Certificate from the Provincial Vital Statistics Department in the province where the birth took place. You can find links to the various vital statistics departments on our document resources page.

Category: Marriage FAQ's

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