Apostille Canada: What, Where, and Why
International document certification can be a confusing and time-consuming process, especially if you are not familiar with the procedure. This is where Authentication Legalization Services Canada (ALSC) comes in, with over 30 years of experience in assisting individuals and businesses in certifying their Canadian documents for international use.
What is an Apostille?
An Apostille is an internationally recognized certificate that verifies the authenticity of a document for use in another country. The Hague Apostille Convention, signed by over 120 nations, established this process in 1961 to simplify the validation of foreign documents. However, it’s important to note that Canada is not a signatory to the Convention and does not issue Apostille Certificates.
Apostille Canada Equivalency
The equivalent to an Apostille in Canada is the two-step process of Authentication and Legalization. This process is recognized by all countries that have signed the Hague Apostille Convention and is necessary for important documents such as Birth Certificates, Marriage Certificates, Degrees, Police Checks, Power of Attorney, Incorporation Certificates, or Certificates of Origin.
Step 1: Authentication at Global Affairs Canada
The first step in the process involves authenticating your document at Global Affairs Canada in Ottawa. This is where the officials examine the document to verify the authenticity of the seal and signature of the official on your document, as well as confirm their authority to issue or notarize the document.
It’s important to note that Global Affairs Canada has specific requirements for authentication, and failure to meet them can result in delays or rejection of the document. ALSC offers a guaranteed authentication service to ensure that your document meets these requirements and is processed smoothly.
Step 2: Legalization at the Embassy
The authenticated document must then be legalized at the foreign country’s Consulate in Canada. Each country has specific requirements for legalization, which can change frequently, so it’s best to speak with an ALSC expert to avoid any unexpected delays.
Once both steps are complete, the document will be valid for use in any foreign country that requires an Apostille Certificate. ALSC can assist in expediting the process and even send your document to the destination country.
In conclusion, the Authentication and Legalization process in Canada is the equivalent to an Apostille and is necessary for certifying Canadian documents for international use. ALSC is here to help, providing expertise and support to ensure that your documents are authenticated and legalized efficiently and effectively. For more information or to speak with an expert, check out our FAQs below or get in touch with us today.
Apostille Canada FAQ’s
ALSC, the leading provider of international document certification services, is marking its 30th anniversary in 2022. Throughout the years, one of the most commonly asked questions we receive is regarding the availability of Apostille for Canadian documents.
To clarify, obtaining an Apostille for a Canadian document is not possible as Canada is not a signatory to the Hague Apostille Convention. The Government of Canada does not provide the certification required for international use. As a result, individuals who have been instructed to obtain an Apostille for their Canadian document are often left confused and frustrated.
It’s important to understand that although Canada does not issue Apostilles, the country follows a two-step process of Authentication and Legalization to validate documents for international use. Global Affairs Canada Authentication Services Section, located in Ottawa near the ALSC National Office, is responsible for authenticating the document. After authentication, the document must be legalized by the relevant embassy in Canada of the country where it will be used. Once the authentication and legalization processes have been completed, the document is considered valid for international use, fulfilling the equivalent role of an Apostille.
ALSC is committed to helping clients navigate this process with ease. If you require assistance in obtaining a Canadian document for international use, reach out to our team of experts. We are here to make the process simple and stress-free for you.
Yes, authentication and legalization stamps together are the equivalent to an Apostille Certificate as they both validate documents for international use. Countries that have signed the Hague Apostille Convention agreement issue an Apostille Certificate while those countries who have not signed require authentication and legalization stamps.
In Canada, authentication stamps are issued by Global Affairs Canada located in Ottawa close to our head office. After verifying the official signature on your document, the authenticating officer will sign their name and apply the Government of Canada authentication stamp. Then the document is ready for the legalization stamp at the embassy to become legally valid in the destination country. At this stage, the embassy or consulate will verify Global Affairs Canada’s signature and stamp to verify all is correct. If correct, they will apply their legalization stamp and a registration number depending on the country. Now that the document has been authenticated and legalized it is ready to be used legally in any foreign country.
The countries that will request that you get an Apostille include:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Brunei Darussalam
- Cabo Verde
- Cook Islands
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- Hong Kong
- Marshall Islands
- New Zealand
- North Macedonia
- Russian Federation
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- San Marino
- São Tomé and Principe
- South Africa
- South Korea (Republic of Korea)
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United Kingdom
- United States of America
It is important to remember that if you have been asked to get an Apostille for your Canadian document by someone in one of these countries the two steps of authentication and legalization must be completed for it to be accepted as the equivalent.
Since Canada has not signed the Hague Apostille Convention it uses the original process to validate documents for international use called authentication and legalization. Although the Government of Canada has not signed the convention it is currently studying the idea. Responding to a recent Hague Conference questionnaire that it has no projected timeline for an outcome on the study of implementing this new process in Canada. In 2015 Authentication Legalization Services Canada was contacted by Global Affairs Canada about our opinion on the idea of joining the convention. Having experience of working with both the Apostille process and the current authentication legalization method in Canada, we were happy to provide what we saw as the pros and cons of both.
There are all types of documents that you may get asked to get an Apostille for it will depend on what you are going to be doing in that foreign country. The best way to begin the process is to speak with you in country contact who is asking you for the Apostille. They will be able to provide the exact documents that you will require but to give you some examples they may include:
- Agent Authorization Letter
- 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
- Police Check
- Power of Attorney
- Property Deeds
- Teachers Certificate
3 step process to get the equivalent to an Apostille in Canada
Step 1 – It is important that your document is properly prepared for the process. The best way before starting is to speak with one of our experts. The requirements are dependent on the type document as it may require notarization, translation or supporting documents.
Step 2 – Once your document has been prepared it is ready for authentication at Global Affairs Canada located here in Ottawa. Their role is to verify that the official signature on your document is valid by checking in their registry. Once verified they affix their stamp, seal, and official signature on it.
Step 3 – Then the document is ready for legalization although some countries may call it attestation. This step is when the signature of Global Affairs Canada is verified by the consular agent at the embassy of the country where the document needs to be used. Once satisfied they will affix the countries legalization stamp and possibly a registration number. Now the Canadian document is ready for use in an Apostille country.
It is important to remember just because you are using your Canadian document in a foreign country does not mean that it needs to have an Apostille Certificate for it to be legally valid. In fact, if you were to obtain an Apostille Certificate for your Canadian document it would make it invalid for international use. Trust your important international matters to the experts at ALSC, we will ensure that your document meets the destination country’s requirements for Canadian documents. We take the guessing out of the process contact us today!