Searching for Apostille Canada? You Are Not Alone Here's Why

Slide Government of Canada
Uses a different process to validate documents for use internationally.
Until Canada Joins
The Hague Apostille Agreement there is no Apostille Services in Canada.
So Now What Do I Do?
Well don't let it slow down your international plans we can help!

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Apostille Canada - What, Where & Why

If you are searching online about how to get an Apostille in Canada, you are probably relocating to a new country for a job or school, looking to do business in a foreign market or a foreign authority has asked you to get one. If so, like most people that have, you are thinking I do not know even know how to pronounce it let alone how to get one. Not to worry at Authentication Legalization Services Canada (ALSC), we have been helping people for 30 years as Canada's recognized experts in international document certification. However, before we begin, it is important to note that the Apostille process is only used by certain countries.

Let's start with why you have been asked to do it. The process helps to assure the foreign receiving party that your document is legal and not fraudulent. This happens when using important documents internationally like a Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Degree, Police Check, Power of Attorney, Incorporation Certificate or Certificates of Origin.

What is an Apostille?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions that we get from our clients. Hopefully this will explain a bit about why and what it is. Since 1961, a total of over a 120 nations have signed the Hague Apostille Convention, which established a new process for validating documents for use in another country. The purpose of the Convention is to eliminate the second step of having to legalize a foreign document at the embassy of the country it is going to be used in. Now here is the important part, Canada has not signed the agreement, and therefore the Government of Canada does not issue Apostille Certificates. So now that you know there is no Apostille process in Canada, let's talk about how to get the equivalent to it for countries such as the ones listed here for your Canadian document.

Apostille Canada

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Apostille Canada 2 Step Equivalency

The process for certifying documents for international use here in Canada is known as Authentication and Legalization. This process is the equivalent to an Apostille and is recognized by all countries who have signed the Hague Apostille Convention. The 2-step process involves first authenticating your document at Global Affairs Canada here in Ottawa. So what does that mean? Good question; Global Affairs Canada examines documents to make sure that the seal and signature of the official on your document is authentic. They also confirm the position of the official who had the authority to issue or notarize your Canadian document.

Authentication at Global Affairs Canada

To qualify, Global Affairs Canada Authentication Requirements must be followed or it will result in delays or the document not being authenticated. Don't worry about this, if you are using our service we guarantee authentication. One of our experts will review your document to make sure that it meets Global Affairs Canada requirements. We understand like any government process it can be confusing, but we have a solution for this and the experts to answer your questions.

The most important advice we can pass on to our clients or those navigating the process themselves is to get started as soon as possible with Authentication at Global Affairs Canada. Why? Unfortunately, in our 30 years of providing services Global Affairs Canada is taking longer than it ever has. You can find out what Global Affairs Canada current authentication processing time is here. 

Legalization at the Embassy

To complete the process the authenticated document then needs to be legalized at the foreign countries' Consulate in Canada. Like Global Affairs Canada, each country has specific requirements that must be followed. We keep up on the requirements, as they change often, so to save unexpected delays speak to one of our experts. Once you have completed Authentication at Global Affairs Canada and Legalization at the Embassy, your document will be valid for use in a country who requires an Apostille Certificate. ALSC is here to ensure your document is authenticated and legalized in a manner which will allow it to be accepted in any foreign country. Our experts will help expedite the process, and can even send your document to the destination country in which it will be used. If you have more questions see our most FAQ's below or speak with one of our friendly experts.


Apostille Canada Instructions

How to get a Canadian document accepted in an Apostille country. First get Authentication at Global Affairs Canada Check out their website although the information can be confusing, they do explain their services. The downsides are they take 50+ business days to respond if you have a problem and their rules can be complex with no one to answer questions. Learn More Then you need Legalization at the Embassy The experts say this is the most difficult part of the process. Rules change often and information provided can be outdated on Embassy websites. To find out more here are the foreign representatives in Canada and how you can get in touch with them using the link below. Learn More Or hire an expert for a quick trouble free solution In today's uncertain world common sense tells us it's best to choose a service with the most experience. Why trust such an important life matter to just any service on the internet. Get what you deserve and pay for get Canada’s experts working for you! Learn More

Apostille Canada FAQ’s

ALSC is celebrating 30 years of service in 2022 and without a doubt this is still the most frequently asked question that we get. 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 that it is not possible. The simple reason you cannot get one is that Canada has not signed the Hague Apostille Convention. Therefore, the Government of Canada does not issue an Apostille to validate documents for international use. If you have been asked to get one for your Canadian document, it means that it is going to be used in a country that has signed the Hague Apostille Convention. Before the Apostille Convention, all countries used the 2-step process of Authentication and Legalization which requires both stamps to validate a document for international use which Canada still uses 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. As an example, 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 completed the document will be accepted for international use or as the equivalent to an Apostille. If you need to get your Canadian document legally accepted in a foreign country talk to the experts at ALSC, we are here to help make the process easy 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:

A

  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan

B

  • Bahamas
  • Bahrain
  • Barbados
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Belize
  • Bolivia
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Bulgaria
  • Burundi

C

  • Cabo Verde
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Cook Islands
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic

D

  • Denmark
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic

E

  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Estonia
  • Eswatini

F

  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • France

G

  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Guyana

H

  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary

I

  • Iceland
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy

J

  • Jamaica
  • Japan

K

  • Kazakhstan
  • Kosovo
  • Kyrgyzstan

L

  • Latvia
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg

M

  • Macau
  • Malawi
  • Malta
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritius
  • Mexico
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Morocco

N

  • Namibia
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua
  • Niue
  • North Macedonia
  • Norway

O

  • Oman

P

  • Palau
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal

R

  • Romania
  • Russian Federation

S

  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Samoa
  • San Marino
  • São Tomé and Principe
  • Serbia
  • Seychelles
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Africa
  • South Korea (Republic of Korea)
  • Spain
  • Suriname
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

T

  • Tajikistan
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey

U

  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan

V

  • Vanuatu
  • Venezuela

 

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: 

  • 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 

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! 

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