Apostille or Authentication – Why and What’s the difference?

Apostille or Authentication why am I being asked to do it and what’s the difference are questions that we hear often from our clients here at Authentication Legalization Services Canada (ALSC). To help explain Canadian documents being used outside the country, for personal or business affairs, must go through the two step process of authentication of documents and legalization to make them valid for use internationally. The process of authentication and legalization must also be followed in order for a Canadian document to be accepted as the equivalent to an Apostille Seal. We talk more about this below as many of our clients have been asked to get one for their Canadian document only to discover that it’s not possible. The Authentication and Legalization process applies to a Canadian Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Degree, Police Check, Power of Attorney, Certificate of Incorporation or Certificate of Origin to name a few official documents that maybe used in a foreign country. As Canada’s first service provider Authentication Legalization Services Canada has been helping people and corporations for 25 years authenticate and legalize all types of documents for use internationally, feel free to speak to one of our friendly specialists about yours.

Apostille Canada – The Authentication Legalization Equivalency

Outside of Canada another commonly used method to have a document validated for use internationally is to get an Apostille stamp. This is the process used when both countries have signed the Hague Convention Agreement. If you want to find out more about the Hague Convention agreement see more about it here. It outlines the process and helps explains that it is a new method adopted by a group of countries to validate documents for use internationally, although Canada is still not a member. Since Canada has not signed the Hague Convention Agreement it does not issue Apostille Certificates. Instead the Canadian government uses the older internationally recognized equivalent that starts with the first step of Authentication of Documents at the Department of Global Affairs Canada located near our ALSC Ottawa national headquarters. The second step of document legalization takes place at the embassy of the country in which the document will be used which once again most are located here in Ottawa close to our headquarters which gives our clients the benefit of quicker processing. The two steps of authentication and legalization to validate a Canadian document internationally still applies when the country where the document will be used has signed the Hague Convention agreement.

 All Countries Require Authentication of Documents Canada

Here are some of the countries who use the Apostille process and may specifically ask you to get one for your Canadian document. These countries include Albania, Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Mauritius, Mexico, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States and Venezuela. It’s important to remember that if you have been asked to get an Apostille for your Canadian document the two steps of authentication and legalization must be completed in order for it to be accepted as the equivalent in one of the countries I just mentioned. Now that we have covered what an Apostille is and who uses them, let’s talk about the authentication of documents in Canada the first step in having your Canadian document accepted internationally.

Types of Documents ALSC Authenticates at Global Affairs Canada

We authenticate all types of documents at Global Affairs Canada Authentication Services Section. Below is a list of some of the more common ones. If you don’t see your document listed below speak with one our friendly specialists they will be able to provide you more information.

  • Adoption
  • Affidavits
  • Agent Authorization Letter
  • Assignments
  • Birth Certificate
  • Certificate of Pharmaceutical Product
  • Commercial Invoice
  • Certificate of Free Sale
  • Certificate of Origin
  • Corporate Documents
  • Court documents
  • Death Certificate
  • Degree, Diploma Transcripts
  • Divorce Certificate
  • Good Manufacturing Practices Certificate
  • Health Canada Certificates
  • Health Canada Medical Device Licence
  • International Trade Certificates
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Passport
  • Police Check
  • Power of Attorney
  • Property Deeds
  • Teachers Certificate

How Documents Get Authenticated

Global Affairs Canada Authentication Services Section in Ottawa is responsible for the authentication of documents for use in a foreign country. Once they verify the official signature on your document is valid by checking in their registry, they affix their stamp, seal and signature. Before doing this there are certain requirements that apply to the document, but not to worry our consultation guarantees document authentication. Currently Global Affairs Canada takes 20 business days using their mail in service to authenticate a document but using Authentication Legalization Services Canada can shorten this to as quick as 1 business day, another benefit of choosing our authentication of documents service. Find out more about our Authentication Service Speeds & Fees

How ALSC Can Help You

Top 5 Questions About Document Authentication in Canada

If you have been asked to validate your Canadian document for official purposes in a foreign country you want to get it right the first time. Time is of the essence for most of our clients, the sooner it’s done, the sooner you can move on with the important matter related to why you have been asked to authenticate the document. We understand that waiting for the usual 20 business days for Global Affairs Canada to authenticate your document will not work for your timelines. Not only does ALSC have 1, 3 and 10 business day authentication solutions to choose from, but also our experts can save you time and money with shipping. Our ALSC order status tracker and up to the minute email updates provide peace of mind throughout the process. Choosing ALSC authentication services means no red tape frustration waiting for Global Affairs Canada to confirm if they have received or had a problem authenticating your document, we take the guessing out the authentication process. ALSC saves you time giving you Canada’s international document experts on your side to answer any question you may have with the utmost customer service. For our clients, this is what differentiates ALSC from navigating the public service on their own they want an expert to guide them.

No, we can either authenticate the original document, if it has an official signature recognized by Global Affairs Canada or a notarized copy made by a Canadian Notary. The authentication process requires the document to be physically present because it is reliant on the official signature on the document and not the content of the document. What Global Affairs Canada is doing when authenticating a document is verifying the official signature on your document and confirming it matches the one in their registry. If the document is a digital scan or photocopy there is no real signature to authenticate only a copy of a signature. If you need help with sending your document to us for authentication, simply ask your ALSC agent about our easy shipping solutions.

When using a document internationally it’s important to check with the requesting party in-country for requirements to find out the correct type of document that you need. In most cases, they will need you to provide your document in a certain format style or the original document itself. To reiterate, in no way can a digital scan or photocopy of a document be authenticated with Global Affairs Canada.

In some cases, you may want to make a notarized copy of your original Canadian document in order to keep your original document in pristine shape for use in the future. For those clients that must have their Canadian documents notarized, it is because their document does not have an official signature on it that is recognized by Global Affairs Canada. In these cases, you will need to have your document notarized by a Canadian Notary. This is a service we can provide if you send the Original Document to our office. Simply ask your ALSC agent about our notarization service.

In order to use your notarized document internationally, the document must go through a few more government steps to be validated. The first of these steps is to have the Notary Public’s signature authenticated at Global Affairs Canada. All registered Canadian Notaries have their signatures on file with Global Affairs Canada. Therefore, all English or French documents that have been Notarized by a Canadian Notary can be authenticated if it is for use internationally. As this question comes up often and with so much misleading information about this on the internet, we thought it important to hear it from the experts at ALSC.

The simple answer is, Yes, it does matter. Global Affairs Canada will only authenticate a foreign language document if a notarized translation in English or French has been prepared by a certified Canadian translator. This problem comes up often for our clients which is why we help with translation services. If this is you 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 authenticated.

To get started with the translation of your foreign language document for the authentication and legalization process in Canada is easy with ALSC. All we require is a scan of the original notarized foreign language document 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 for your document, we will quickly let you know. In most cases we will be able to help, responding back with our quote for translation services with the required notary fee and the authentication and legalization service fees to complete the process.

No, all documents are authenticated by the Global Affairs Canada Authentication Services Section located in Ottawa which is near our ALSC National Office. Our ALSC Service Centers in Victoria, Vancouver, Surrey, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto, Mississauga, North York, Montreal, and Halifax are to assure our clients’ regional ease of access to authentication services across Canada with free FedEx shipping saving them both time and money.

If you want to use one of our ALSC Service Center, submit a request through our ALSC Cost Estimator or call our toll free number at 1-800-336-1132 Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM to speak to a friendly agent at our Ottawa National Office. We generally require 1-hour notice to set up an appointment for you at any of our Service Center locations. Once this has been done you are ready to drop off your ALSC order form, documents, and embassy requirements if necessary, at the ALSC Service Center most convenient to you. The reception staff will be waiting for you to ship the document overnight to our National Office in Ottawa, where it will be processed. Now we do our part, first updating you by email that your document has been received by our Ottawa National Office for processing. In the email, we will provide you a file number so you can keep up to date using our Order Status Tracker.

Upon completion of the process, we will update you by email that your document on its way back by ALSC Service Center. After FedEx delivers the package you will be notified by email and you can pick up your completed document at our ALSC Service Center at your convenience Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM, its that easy.

 

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Personal or Corporate Document

Are you using the Canadian document internationally for Personal or Corporate use?

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Additional Services

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.

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Yes, for $50 per document I want a Notarized copy for processing

Yes, send me a fee quote for translation services my document is not in English, French or the language I require

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Yes, for $15 per document I want a digital scan of the Authentication & Legalization stamps sent to me by email

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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.

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Economy 10 Business Day - $100 for up to 10 documents

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Standard 3 Business Day - $125 for 1st document + $25 per additional document

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Priority 1 Business Day - $175 for 1st document + $25 per additional document

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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.

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Albania

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Austria

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Algeria Corporate

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Algeria Personal

Argentina fee to be confirmed

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Australia

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Bahamas US$

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Belgium

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Bosnia & Herzegovina

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Brazil

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Bulgaria 1 Business Day

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Bulgaria 3 Business day

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Chile US$

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China Personal 4 Business day

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China Personal 3 Business day

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China Personal 2 Business day

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Colombia US$

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Costa Rica US$

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Croatia

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Czech Republic

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Dominican Republic Corporate US$

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Dominican Republic Personal US$

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Ecuador Corporate US$

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Ecuador Personal US$

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Germany Birth, Marriage, Death

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Germany Other documents

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Greece

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Honduras US$

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Iraq US$

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Israel

Italy fee to be confirmed

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Kazakhstan US$

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Kuwait Corporate

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Kuwait Personal

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Mexico

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Netherlands

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Panama US$30 + $2 per additional page

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Peru Corporate

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Peru Personal

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Philippines

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Poland

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Portugal

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Qatar Personal

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Romania

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Russia

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Spain

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Turkey

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Ukraine Corporate 1 Business day

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Ukraine Corporate 3 Business day

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Ukraine Personal 1 Business day

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Ukraine Personal 3 Business day

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UAE Personal AED$150

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UAE Corporate AED$2000

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United States US$

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My Country Is Not Listed

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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.

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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.

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Ottawa Embassy $125 1st document + $25 per additional

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Outside Ottawa Embassy $175 1st document + $25 per additional

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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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