Every day we get dozens of requests from both current and former clients to help them process their documents for use overseas. We occasionally get mistaken for Global Affairs Canada, and although this can be very flattering at times we are certainly not Global Affairs Canada. We are simply the leaders in the field of authentication and legalization; we provide the service to our clients at a competitive price and allow them to validate documents up to 25 business days faster than they could on their own. Any Canadian document that needs to be used outside of Canada has to go through the two step process of authentication and legalization. You can think of authentication and legalization like the “older version” of the Apostille. Many countries which use the apostille process used the authentication and legalization process before; Canada has not yet signed on to that new standard, the Hague apostille convention, and therefore still uses the “older” way of verifying documents for use overseas. Authentication and legalization is very simple on paper: Global Affairs Canada simply stamps your documents (authentication) and then the embassy of the country in which you will use the documents also stamp them (legalization). Once Global Affairs Canada and the embassy have both stamped your documents, they are legally valid for use in that country. Again, every Canadian document that needs to be used outside of Canada needs to go through this process. There are a few exceptions with countries like the UK, France, and occasionally even the United States. If you have documents for any of these countries you should contact us immediately. Although authentication and legalization is simple in theory, in practice it can be very difficult as there are numerous requirements at both steps of the process. This is why our services exist. But, what if you are a Canadian citizen with a document that isn’t Canadian? Or what if you are in Canada with a non-Canadian document for use elsewhere? Maybe you have even notarized your degree or police check with a Canadian lawyer or notary public, but the police check itself is originally issued in another country. How can you tell if a document is Canadian?
Validating Non-Canadian Documents for use in or outside Canada
Processing a document that is not Canadian can be incredibly complicated. In almost every case your document will need to be processed in the country of origin. For example, if you have a degree that was issued in the United States, it would need to go through the apostille process inside the United States to make it valid for use in another country. Foreign documents can not be authenticated and legalized in Canada for use in another country if the document is not Canadian. This can still be a bit confusing to some people since they will often be sent documents from abroad to be notarized and processed in Canada. Documents that are not related to education and vital statistics such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, and death certificates can usually be notarized in Canada. In short, most documents that are not issued by a foreign government or education related body can be notarized in Canada for the Authentication and Legalization process. This technically makes the document Canadian. To use another example, suppose your lawyer from Greece has sent you a document via email that you need to notarize in front of a Canadian lawyer or notary public. Even though the document was drafted by the lawyer in Greece, it will be a Canadian document once it has been notarized by a Canadian lawyer or notary public. In contrast, if you make a notarized copy of a police check from Spain here in Canada, that document would not be legally valid since it was originally issued by an institution in Spain. In this case, the original Spanish police check would need to go through the apostille process in Spain if you need to use it in Canada or elsewhere. This can be very frustrating if you have multiple documents from different countries, especially if there is no clear instruction available on how to process them. You will unfortunately have to process all of them according to the international document law of the issuing country.
When is a Document Canadian for an Apostille, Authentication Legalization Stamp
Although there are some exceptions, as a general rule of thumb a document is Canadian if it has been issued by the federal government, the provincial government, an accredited educational institution, Canadian Chamber of Commerce, and other government-accredited institutions such as local police and federal police (the RCMP). However, many documents do not fall under these categories. Most documents are issued privately, and in some cases these documents can even be originally drafted in a different country that is not Canada. Documents such as powers of attorney, affidavits, will and testaments, timeshares, consent letters, board resolutions, etc., become Canadian once they have been notarized by a Canadian lawyer or notary public. It does not matter where these documents were drafted as long as the notarized original documents are made in Canada. In short, if you were sent a power of attorney from the UAE but sign it and notarize it in front of a Canadian lawyer or notary, that document will be Canadian. Note that this can become very complicated since many documents drafted in foreign countries tend to be in a foreign language. If your document is in a language other than English or French, even if it has been notarized by a Canadian lawyer or notary public, there are additional requirements it will need to meet before it can be used outside of Canada. If you have a document you need to use outside of Canada and you’re not sure if it’s Canadian, contact us. As the leaders of our industry we guarantee we will be able to assist you or at least guide you in the right direction. International documents are our expertise and you should trust the experts!
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Personal or Corporate Document
Are you using the Canadian document internationally for Personal or Corporate use?
Some of our clients require a Notary before Authentication or would like to keep their original document so they request us to make a notarized copy. If this is you simply choose our Notary services. Translation services are required if your document contains a language other than English or French or if you need it translated to the foreign language. If this is you simply send us a scan of the document. We will send you a quote which is determined on a per word basis. If you want a scan of the official stamps on your Authenticated & Legalized document sent to you by email let us know. Make sure if requesting Notary or Digital Copies you choose the number you require.
1, 3, 10 Business Day Authentication Service
Validating a Canadian document for international use is a 2 step process. First choose the ALSC Global Affairs Canada Authentication Service that best suits your timeline and budget. When choosing your service make sure you tell us how many documents you need Authenticated.
Embassy Legalization Fee
The Embassy charges a fee to legalize your document which varies per country and sometimes by the type of document. To make payment easier and to save our clients time, if required in secured funds a standard $10 money order fee will be added to the legalization fee. With some countries we will need to confirm the fee upon confirmation of your order. For others simply select the amount of fees for the number of documents you need legalized. If you do not see your country listed choose the world icon. Please note that some fees are estimated as they change often.
Argentina fee to be confirmed
Italy fee to be confirmed
Consultation with an expert one of the benefits before choosing ALSC
Give us 1 hour to receive your request and one of our friendly agents will be waiting for your call at your scheduled appointment, from anywhere in North America call 1-800-336-1132 or 011-613-226-1001 from outside North America.
Embassy Legalization Service
Document legalization at the embassy consulate is the second step. Most will be able to legalize their document at an embassy in Ottawa. Others, due to government rules, will need to legalize their document at an embassy located outside of Ottawa. Country's that require outside Ottawa embassy legalization include: Argentina, Bahrain, Brazil, El Salvador, Germany, Italy, Oman, Spain. For the UAE it will depend where your document was issued. The UAE Toronto consulate will only process documents from Toronto and Southern Ontario, while the UAE Embassy Ottawa will legalize documents issued from the rest of Ontario and all other provinces. Select the legalization service that applies to the country where you will be using your document. The estimated legalization processing time is in addition to the authentication time and will be provided upon the confirmation of your order as it varies per country and changes often. Make sure the number of documents you select for Legalization matches the amount of documents you need Authenticated.
ALSC Easy Shipping Solutions
Once your document is authenticated and legalized it needs to get back to you or wherever it needs to go. To make this easy for you, but more importantly save you money, take advantage of our Free Priority FedEx overnight shipping available at any of our ALSC service centers in Victoria, Vancouver, Surrey, Edmonton, Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto, North York, Mississauga, Montreal or Halifax. If you are not close to one of our ALSC service centers, or our Ottawa national office, not to worry we do have solutions for you. To make this easier for you we have teamed up with our shipping partners Canada Post & FedEx for your national and international delivery needs, simply choose the shipping solution the works best for you. Please note the quoted shipping fees are for delivery to most major centers for a standard envelope weighing no more than .5kg/1 lb.
Yes, I want to save $70-80 in FedEx shipping fees and drop off & pick up at an ALSC Service Center
Canada Post Xpress Regional Ontario or Quebec $20 Projected delivery 1-2 business days
Canada Post Xpress National Delivery in Canada $25 Projected delivery 2-3 business days
FedEx Canada $50 Next business day
FedEx USA $70 Next business day
FedEx Mexico- Europe $100
FedEx China $120
FedEx Middle East - South America $140
FedEx Russia $195
I Will Provide Shipping
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The estimated price not including taxes is
Estimated Cost & Embassy Fees Not Including Taxes