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 an Apostille for their Canadian document only to find out from us that it’s not possible. The reason it is not possible to get an Apostille stamp in Canada is that Canada has not signed the Hague Apostille Certificate Convention. Therefore, the Canadian government does not issue an Apostille to validate documents for international use. If you have been asked to get an Apostille certificate for your Canadian document, it means that it is going to be used in a country that has signed the Hague Apostille 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 Apostille process. If you need to have your Canadian document accepted in an Apostille country talk to the experts at ALSC, we are here to help make the process easy for you!