Moving abroad – How to get your Canadian documents recognised in your destination country

Published on Thursday, May 16, 2013

Moving abroad is exciting! However, taking care of all the details involved can be overwhelming and confusing. Getting your important Canadian documents officially recognized in the country you are moving to can be especially frustrating and difficult, as most people have no idea where to start.  This article briefly describes the process of having Canadian documents officially recognized abroad and points you towards additional information and assistance.

In Canada, the process of having your Canadian documents officially recognized in another country is called authentication and legalization. Other countries have different terms for this process, including apostille and document attestation, but these terms all refer to the same process. 

The first step of the authentication and legalization process involves having your document authenticated at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Ottawa. The second step is to have the authenticated documents legalized at the embassy or consulate of your destination country.

While this two-step process is theoretically straightforward, the reality is a lot more frustrating. Every country has unique rules and regulations about the authentication and legalization process, and it can be difficult to source the right information. Details are critical – do the documents need to be notarized first? Are there any supporting documents that need to be submitted at the same time?  And if you are handling this process yourself and don’t have the ability to appear in person in Ottawa you will be waiting many weeks for your documents to be ready.

International Documents Canada (IDC) is a Canadian company that specializes in assisting our clients with the authentication and legalization process.  We would be happy to discuss your situation and handle the authentication and legalization process on your behalf, returning your processed documents to you, often in as little as a few days.

Contact a document specialist at IDC by calling toll-free at 1-888-433-1011 or visit us at

Contact Us

1-888-433-1011Toll-free in North America

00+1+613-701-0533Outside North America

info@idocscanada.caSend us an email