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Embassy Consulate Legalization Services

Document legalization at the embassy consulate is the second step of Canada’s two step process to make documents valid in foreign countries. This is performed at the consular section of a foreign embassy and can only be submitted after the first step of authentication has been completed.  In Canada, authentication is most often done at the federal level by Global Affairs Canada but in some rare cases embassies may require provincial authentication to legalize your document. For a document to be accepted for legalization most embassy consulates have a variety of strict requirements any of which change often and if not followed correctly will delay or prevent your document from being legalized. These may include fees, forms, supporting documents, translations, and special document bindings. We understand that this can be an incredibly confusing and stressful part of the process but not to worry using our embassy legalization services will ensure that you have all the information required.

Legalization The Final Step In Validating Your Canadian Document Internationally

Legalization involves validating the signatures of Global Affairs Canada by the consular section of the embassy of the country where the document needs to be used. As such, legalization follows the same process as authentication. Both involve looking at the signature of a certified individual on a legal document and verifying that the signature is real. The difference is that Global Affairs Canada authenticate the signatures of lawyers or notary publics whereas the embassies authenticate the signatures of Global Affairs Canada.

In most cases you will need to have your document legalized by an embassy consulate if you are using Canadian documents outside of Canada. It is common for some embassies such as Qatar or the United Arab Emirates to refer to legalization as attestation. For those countries that have signed the Hague Convention they may refer to it as Apostille or simply Authentication which is the case for China.

Whatever it maybe called we can help you with document apostille, attestation, authentication, legalization at all foreign embassies or consulates in Canada. Our 30 years of experience working with the diplomatic community allows us a distinct advantage in assuring that your sensitive document is processed efficiently. As a recognized leader in our field Authentication Legalization Services Canada is the recommended document legalization service provider at embassies or consulates in Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver.

Although we exercise every advantage to ensure the efficient processing time of our client’s requests for legalization, it is dependent on the embassy consulate. To receive the current processing time, embassy fee and any other strict embassy requirement that must be followed in order to legalize your document get a Personal Quote or learn more about our Legalization Service Fees.

Embassy Legalization FAQ’s

The legalization step is the most difficult in the process of validating a document for international usage. We at ALSC have 30 years of experience and even with our strong diplomatic ties, it can be a challenge keeping up on the ever-changing legalization requirements for each country. The Legalization step is the most difficult of the process because Embassies change their requirements and regulations periodically. You want to get things right the first time and having a professional like ALSC represent you ensures that you are getting the most up to date information and the attention your important international matter deserves. Delays tend to cost money, time, stress, or more. We here value our clients and understand the difficulties delays can cost, which is why we always strive to solve every problem effectively and efficiently. Our exceptional customer service is why choosing ALSC legalization services should be your first choice. We not only save you time but give you peace of mind knowing you have Canada’s international document experts working hard for you.


ALSC Legalization services can be accessed from anywhere in the world or use one of our ALSC Service Centers located across Canada. Simply go on our website and use our Cost Estimator or call us toll-free 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. If you are using one of our ALSC Service Centers we generally require 1-hour notice to set up an appointment for you. 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 for 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. Rest assured as we do our part, first updating you by email that your document has been received by our Ottawa National Office for legalization. In the email, we will provide you a file number so you can keep up to the minute using our Order Status Tracker. It’s that easy!

This is a question that comes up often as some hope to save time or expense throughout the Legalization process and at ALSC we understand this. There are a select few countries where you can legalize your document outside of Canada. In most of these cases, it’s because the country does not have an embassy operating within Canada. Some countries only have an Embassy in the United States such as Oman or Bahrain, and some other countries use the system of partnering Country to process their documents, such as St. Maarten or Andorra. As such in most cases, you will need to have your document legalized at the country’s embassy located in Canada.

The reason is that the legalization process is a process of verifying signatures, the Embassy verifies the stamp and signature from Global Affairs Canada. All Embassies within Canada have the signatories on file but only a few embassies or agencies outside Canada have their signatures on file, which they require to legalize Canadian documents. Only embassies in the issuing country will have these signatures and be able to legalize a document. Unfortunately, some of our clients find this out once they arrive in destination country, costing them valuable time and money. Get it right the first time, speak to one of our legalization experts about your Canadian document and getting it ready for us internationally.

Legalization processing time is dependent on the specific embassy which varies widely from country to country. The Legalization processing times are in addition to the ALSC authentication service speed that you choose. Your agent will provide you what the current estimated legalization processing time is when you confirm the use of our services. As an example, the current processing time for the Embassy of Mexico for legalization is 5-9 business days. Unfortunately due to Global Affairs Canada Authentication processing delays times are fluctuating weekly. You can find out the current estimated authentication processing times here. This estimate neither includes shipping time to our Ottawa Office nor back to you when the document is legalized by the embassy.

Although it’s important to remember that processing times for legalization can change without notice for many factors. These factors include such things as unexpected embassy closure, national holidays, embassy receiving a high volume of legalization requests, embassy signatory not available, your document is under further review, or needs additional requirements to name a few. Whatever the case may be, delays in processing cost both time and money. At ALSC we understand this, which is why our legalization services are the right choice for your important international document.

No, although we wish we could, unfortunately, we do not provide legalization services at all embassies in Canada for various reasons. Although ALSC 30 years of experience working with the embassies for legalization, which makes ALSC the preferred provider for international document processing in Canada, we cannot help with every country. This is due to reasons such as country regulations insisting that the applicant must do the legalization step themselves or in cases where we cannot guarantee the service provided by the embassy or consulate is a high enough quality. This may occur for various reasons such as political tensions between countries, no consulate is operating, or requirements change too often which is not feasible for us to provide a swift and economical legalization solution for our clients. The countries that we currently do no assist with the legalization of documents include:

Azerbaijan – No personal or corporate documents

Georgia – No personal or corporate documents

India – No personal or corporate documents unless you are a resident in Ottawa or Montreal

Lithuania – No personal or corporate documents

North Korea – No personal or corporate documents

Oman – No personal

Saudi Arabia – No personal or corporate documents

Somalia – No personal or corporate documents

Syria – No personal or corporate documents

Venezuela – No personal or corporate documents

Come back and check as this list changes often. We may begin providing legalization services for the countries listed above at any time in the future.


No, we wish we could but unfortunately, we are just the authentication and legalization experts which means our job is to ensure that you get the right stamps on your document to make it valid for use internationally. Although we do help verify your document to ensure it will be accepted at both Global Affairs Canada and the countries embassy this is where our expertise ends. Since each situation and country has different document requirements, depending on what you are using your document for, it is best to get directions from your in-country contact who is asking you to legalize your Canadian documents. This way you get it right the first time with no delays or possibility of having an incorrect document legalized for the purposes that you need.

For example, our clients often may need what is called a long-form birth certificate as opposed to the usual short-form birth certificate most people are familiar with. Another is with police checks which come up often as most countries require that you obtain one from the RCMP using a digital fingerprint search with their national headquarters in Ottawa as opposed to your local police force. As previously mentioned, it’s important to get it right the first time, so we recommend you ask the right people which are the people who are requesting that you have your Canadian documents legalized.

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