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Power of Attorney Authentication Legalization the Apostille Equivalent

For commercial or personal reasons, you may be asked to provide an international Power of Attorney to be used in a foreign country. In order for a Canadian Power of Attorney to be accepted as legal abroad it must be authenticated and legalized. The validation process of Power of Attorney Authentication Legalization may also be called Power of Attorney Apostille or Power of Attorney Attestation in other countries. It is important to remember that the Authentication Legalization, Apostille and Attestation processes are equivalent to each other. If you have been asked to get an Apostille for your Power of Attorney it is from someone who resides in a country that has signed the Hague Apostille Convention. Since Canada has not signed the Apostille Convention, it uses the older two-step process of Authenticating and Legalizing a Power of Attorney to make it valid in those countries that require an Apostille on a Power of Attorney.

How to Validate an International Power of Attorney with Help from the Canadian Experts

ALSC has been helping people for 30 years authenticate and legalize their Canadian Power of Attorney for countries such as the Netherlands, Spain, USA and Mexico where it is called Power of Attorney Apostille, and the UAE and Saudi Arabia where it is known as Power of Attorney Attestation. Let’s start with getting your Power of Attorney ready for Authentication at Global Affairs Canada, the first step in making it valid internationally.

Global Affairs Canada Power of Attorney Authentication Requirements 

In order for the Global Affairs Canada Authentication Services Section to authenticate a Power of Attorney, it first must be sworn and then sealed by a Canadian Lawyer or Notary Public. Any Canadian Lawyer/Notary in your local area should be able to assist you or for those with a commercial Power of Attorney you may have corporate legal counsel to help with this step. You can also do a quick search using the yellow pages for a Notary near you in Canada.

You may also need Translation Services 

It is often the case that a Power of Attorney being used internationally may not be in one of Canada’s official languages of English or French. If this is the case Global Affairs Canada requires a translated version that has been prepared by a certified Canadian translator and further notarized. If you need translation services simply let us know we can assist you with this step.

Swearing an International Power of Attorney – What you Need to Bring to the Notary Public

When you go to your appointment to have your International Power of Attorney sworn and the Notary’s seal affixed to it, you will need to bring a government issued identification like a passport. When you meet with the Lawyer or Notary they will examine your identification to confirm your identity, have you swear to this verbally, then to complete the process you will sign the Power of Attorney in their presence. They will then sign and affix their seal to the Power of Attorney. Now you are ready for the first step of Authentication that takes place at Global Affairs Canada here in Ottawa.


First Step Authentication at Global Affairs Canada

Now the Power of Attorney is ready for Authentication at Global Affairs Canada located near our head office In Ottawa. Using the above requirements the Global Affairs Canada Authentication Services Section will examine the Notary’s signature and stamp. If it meets their requirements they will place the Government of Canada’s Authentication Stamp on the Power of Attorney which then Authenticates the Notary’s signature. 

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 Foreign Embassy

The second step of Legalization takes place at the embassy consulate of the country where you are going to be using the Power of Attorney. This can be the more difficult step of the two. Most embassy consulates are located here in Ottawa and charge a fee to provide document legalization services. In addition, some have other requirements to legalize a Power of Attorney and processing times that change often. When you use our document legalization services we will take care of all of that, making sure it gets done correctly and meets your timeline. After the Power of Attorney has been authenticated and legalized it will be valid for use in that country. We then 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.

Additional Documents you may need Authenticated and Legalized

If you have been asked to get a Power of Attorney Authenticated and Legalized or Apostilled you may have other documents like a notarized copy of a Passport, Birth Certificate, and Incorporation Documents that may require authentication and legalization. We can help you authenticate and legalize these and more documents speak with one of our friendly agents about yours.

Canadian International Power of Attorney FAQ’s

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.

As Canada’s experts, ALSC can efficiently help you get your Power of Attorney 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 Power of Attorney accepted internationally and get the experts working for you.

Yes. For a Canadian Power of Attorney to be legally valid for use outside of Canada, it would need to first be Authenticated by Global Affairs and then Legalized by the Embassy of the country in which you wish to use the Power of Attorney. In some countries, this process is referred to as an Apostille which is the equivalent process to Authentication and Legalization for validating documents internationally. So, whether someone has asked for an Apostille or the Authentication and Legalization of your Power of Attorney, ALSC can help you.

No, you cannot Authenticate and Legalize a photocopy or digital copy of a Power of Attorney because it is not an original, only a copy of the original. To Authenticate and Legalize a Power of Attorney it needs to be an original sworn and signed in front of a Canadian Lawyer or Notary Public. For more information about Powers of Attorney, you should speak with your legal professional they will be best able to help you. Once you have spoken with them ALSC is ready to help you Authenticate and Legalize your Power of Attorney for whatever country you need to use it in.

Yes, in order to have your Power of Attorney authenticated at Global Affairs Canada, it would first need to be sworn before a Canadian Lawyer or Notary Public. This would be done at the time that the document is signed by you or the party. This step is taken in order to ensure that all signatures are authentic and have been witnessed by an official party. Most of our clients use a legal professional they have used in the past for this but if you need help look online for a legal professional who offers the service nearest you.

Unfortunately, you cannot get an Apostille Certification for a Canadian Power of Attorney to use it abroad. Since Canada did not sign the Apostille Convention of 1961, we rely on the older two-step process of Authentication & Legalization. This process starts at Global Affairs Canada and ends with the Embassy Consulate of the country in which you intend to use your document.  The good news is that this two-step process is the direct equivalent of an Apostille and is accepted in any country requiring one for your Canadian Power of Attorney. Talk to an ALSC expert about how we can get the equivalent of an Apostille for your Canadian Power of Attorney.

We cannot speak legally as that is best left for the legal professional who is preparing your Power of Attorney, whether for personal or commercial reasons. What we can advise you on is the strict requirements that some countries have for accepting your Power of Attorney for legalization at the embassy or for Authentication at Global Affairs Canada. In addition, fees may differ between personal and commercial Powers of Attorney, which changes often. To save our clients any delays in processing our experts are always keeping up to date on any changes with Global Affairs Canada and the Embassies. Whether it is a personal or commercial Power of Attorney ALSC has been helping clients Authenticate and Legalize at the country of their choice for over 25 years and we are ready to help you.

As many of our clients have Powers of Attorney that contain a language other than English or French, this question comes up often. In most cases, the Embassy will not have an issue although Global Affairs Canada has strict rules about documents that contain foreign languages. Global Affairs Canada will only authenticate a foreign language Power of Attorney if a notarized translation in English or French has been prepared by a certified Canadian translator. If your Power of Attorney contains a foreign language, simply speak with one of our ALSC agents. They will be able to assist with the fastest and most economical way to have your foreign language document translated.

ALSC makes it simple to get started with translation services. All we require is a scan of the original notarized foreign language Power of Attorney for review, as fees are determined on a per word basis. In the rare case where we are unable to assist because of the availability of a translator in the language required, we will quickly let you know. In most cases we will be able to help, responding with more information on how to begin the process. It’s that easy!

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