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  Official Canadian Documents for use in the United Kingdom

Once a part of the United Kingdom, Canada continues to share an unparalleled bond with its English, Scottish, and Northern Irish populations. With many citizens regularly travelling between the two countries for school, work, or immigration, and likewise many businesses having interests, partnerships, and existing subsidiaries in both countries, it is no surprise that there are mountains of paperwork exchanged between the two countries. If you are a citizen or business from the UK looking to use your documents in Canada, you may need to have your documents legalised. This may also be known to you as an apostille. We recommend you contact the requesting party in Canada to see if this is necessary, as requirements for documents used between commonwealth countries are not always clear. Whether you have a Canadian birth certificate, marriage certificate, death certificate, RCMP police check or a Certificate of Incorporation, Commercial Invoice, or Corporate Power of Attorney, your Canadian documents will first need to go through a process of validation before they can be used in England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland.

As you may have guessed, the process to make Canadian documents valid for use in the UK can be very confusing. Since Canada has not signed the Hague apostille convention it does not have the widely used apostille process. It also does not use the process of attestation found in many middle eastern countries. Instead, it uses the original two step process of authentication and legalization. Authentication takes place at Global Affairs Canada, and legalization takes place at the consular section of the embassy of the appropriate country. Using Canadian documents in commonwealth countries including the UK depends entirely on the requesting party and the associated processes you will have to go through in that country (in this case Scotland, England, Wales, or Northern Ireland). In many cases, your Canadian documents may not require anything beyond the signature, stamp, and seal of a notary public or lawyer. In some other cases, your Canadian documents may only require authentication by Global Affairs Canada here in Ottawa. It should go without saying, but Ireland is not part of the United Kingdom and is its own sovereign country. If you have any documents such as a Canadian marriage certificate for use in Ireland, they will have to go through the full process of authentication at Global Affairs Canada and legalization at the Irish embassy here in Ottawa. Some commonwealth countries do not have a high commission or embassy, such as Antigua, England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Other commonwealth countries do not offer legalization such as Andorra and the United Kingdom. Conversely, there are some commonwealth countries which do offer and require legalization such as St Lucia, India, New Zealand, and Australia. This can make it very unclear as to what needs to be done so that your Canadian documents can be used there. Fortunately, we are here to help you with your inquiries.

The Experts in Canadian Documents for use in the UK

Although it may be difficult to determine what exactly you will need to do to make your Canadian documents valid for use in the United Kingdom, the good news is that they will not require legalization, as it is not even offered by their embassy. The stage of legalization is also where the most requirements are demanded and where fees change frequently. No embassy legalization makes using Canadian documents in the England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland a quick and simple process for our clients. However, it is up to our clients to contact their requesting parties and find out what degree of verification they require. As mentioned earlier, it is common that Canadian documents only require notarization by a lawyer or notary public to be valid for use in the United Kingdom. If this is the case then you do not require our services and you are good to go! There are also many instances where you will require authentication of your Canadian document for use in the UK. If this is something you need to do, we can help.

As the first provider of this service 30 years ago, we have built a strong relationship with the staff at Global Affairs Canada, ensuring we are always in the loop whenever they make changes to their requirements and process. We are experts in all Canadian documents. We have helped thousands of Canadian individuals and businesses with their documents for use overseas and have been the leaders of our industry since our foundation. At every step of the way you will receive notifications to ensure you are always up to date. Additionally, as our client you will have your own personal agent to assist you with preparing your documents prior to our services and to answer any subsequent questions or concerns you may have throughout the process. When your documents have been authenticated we can ship them anywhere in the world they need to go through one of our many shipping partners. If you have questions about your Canadian documents for use in the United Kingdom, you should contact us if you have been told they will require authentication!

Canadian Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Death Certificate for use in the United Kingdom

As you may already know there are many types of vital statistics documents issued by the different provinces and territories of Canada. These include but are not limited to: birth certificates, marriage certificates, and death certificates. They are some of the most important documents that can be issued in a lifetime but are seldom required, especially within Canada. As such, it is common for them to become damaged or lost over time. Thankfully, it is quite easy to get your Canadian birth, marriage, or death certificate if you are having trouble finding yours. Logically, you must order your vital statistics document from the province which issued it. Prior to doing so, it is important to know that only certain types of Canadian vital statistics documents will be accepted for authentication at Global Affairs Canada. Specifically, you must provide long-form versions of these documents if you want to have them authenticated without notarization. The standard issue long-form vital statistics documents do not require any additional procedures such as notarization to be authenticated since the signatures on those documents are recognized by Global Affairs Canada. Please note that it is important to check with the requesting party as to which type of vital statistics document will be accepted. It is fairly common that only originals are accepted. Furthermore, depending on your uses, your vital statistics document may not even require authentication for use in the United Kingdom. Many of our clients choose to have their documents authenticated anyways just in case to ensure there are no delays in their affairs in the UK. You can have your vital statistics document ordered directly to our office to save you time, especially if you are currently located in the United Kingdom; we can have your document authenticated and sent to you before it would arrive to you unprocessed from the Canadian vital statistics department. If you need to order your Canadian birth certificate, marriage certificate, or Death certificate for use in the UK, here is a link to our where to order a document for the authentication and legalization process.


RCMP Police Check for use in the United Kingdom

Another document that is often requested from Canadians for use in the United Kingdom are police checks. There are hundreds of different locally issued police checks that you can get across Canada. However, these police checks require notarization before they can be authenticated by Global Affairs Canada, as they do not have the signatories of all of the local police departments on file there. We can do this for you when you use our services, but note that these police checks are not always accepted by foreign bodies due to concerns of forgery and inaccuracy. This is because are only based on names and sometimes only draw from local crime databases. This is usually why people choose to get the RCMP check instead. The RCMP has a status similar to Interpol in the United Kingdom; they are recognized internationally and are the primary law enforcement authority in Canada. Since they are based on both names and fingerprints, they provide a more thorough and accurate background check. The signatures on RCMP checks are also recognized by Global Affairs Canada, which means that they do not require notarization. Another advantage of choosing to get an RCMP check is that their headquarters are located here in Ottawa, minutes from our office. This means that you can sometimes reduce the amount of processing time you would have with locally issued police checks, especially if you are currently living outside of Canada. Since we are so close, it only takes a few days for RCMP checks to arrive to our office if they are ordered from their headquarters. Many of our clients choose this option and those who do are thrilled that they did! If you require any additional law enforcement related documents such as fingerprint forms, those can also be easily attained through the RCMP.  Make sure you have your original fingerprint forms notarized before you send them to our office for a fast and hassle-free process.

Trust The International Document Experts

Using your Canadian documents overseas can seem like a stressful process. Many of our clients come scrambling to us when the realize that their documents need to go through a process before they can be accepted in a foreign country. This is especially true for the United Kingdom, as it is not always clear as to what needs to be done before your Canadian documents can be accepted there. In the past it was a challenge for us too but over three decades we have become the experts in Canadian documents for use in the UK. We have over a dozen service centers in most major cities across Canada. If you live near one of them, you can save yourself a trip to the post office as well as shipping costs. Once you have made an appointment through our head office, you can drop off your documents at our service center and receive free priority shipping to our head office here in Ottawa via FedEx for processing. Upon completion you can choose to have your document shipped free of charge for pick up back at our service center, or shipped anywhere in the world for additional charges. Whatever your Canadian documents are, we know what you will need to use them globally.

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