How do you get a diploma notarized and apostilled?

Published on Monday, April 29, 2019

You have a Canadian diploma and you’ve been told you need to get it notarized and apostilled. Read on for the information you are looking for on how to do this. Find out why you need to get your diploma apostilled and what steps are involved in the apostille process.

Why do I need to notarize and apostille my diploma?

The apostille process is used to certify the authenticity of a document so that this document will be officially recognized in another country. If you have been told you need to get your diploma apostilled it is because you will be using your Canadian diploma in a foreign country.  The apostille process confirms that your diploma is authentic and legitimate. Having your diploma notarized is often required before the diploma is apostilled.

Canada does not actually issue apostilles

Now here is an interesting twist – Canada does not actually issue apostilles. Countries that are signatories to the Hague Apostille Convention both issue and recognize apostilles. However, Canada is not a signatory. So instead of issuing apostilles, Canada has an equivalent process called document authentication and legalization. If you’ve been told you need to apostille a Canadian diploma what you will actually be doing is authenticating and legalizing this diploma.

Getting a diploma “apostilled” is a 3 step process

Step 1 – Preparing your diploma

Preparing your diploma for processing may involve having your diploma notarized, having a certified true copy made, and providing supporting documents.

Notarization – The notarization of your diploma is done by a notary public. If your diploma is from an established, recognized Canadian university or college you won’t need to have your diploma notarized. However, if your diploma is from a high school, a private school or college, or from a smaller educational institution you will have to notarize your document before it can be apostilled (authenticated and legalized). Contact our friendly staff for help determining if your diploma will need to be notarized before processing.

Certified True Copies – The authentication and legalization process will involve placing a large red stamp and an additional stamp or sticker directly on your diploma. If you want to keep your diploma unmarked then you can have a notary public make a Certified True Copy of your diploma. You then have this copy apostilled instead of the original. Important – make sure that the recipient of your diploma will accept a Certified True Copy.

Supporting Documents – You will often have to submit supporting documents to get your diploma apostilled (authenticated and legalized). You may need to provide a cover letter, and some embassies and consulates require that you submit transcripts in support of your diploma. The rules about what supporting documents you need to provide are set by the specific embassy or consulate that will be legalizing your diploma (see Step 3 below). You can contact the embassy or consulate directly for this information, or you can contact our friendly staff for accurate, up-to-date information. Please note that in some cases it will be necessary for your educational institution to send your transcripts directly to the embassy or consulate.

Step 2 – Document authentication

Once your diploma has been prepared for the Canadian apostille process (document authentication and legalization), the second step is to have your document authenticated. Authentication is done by Global Affairs Canada. Global Affairs will ensure your diploma meets their requirements. When satisfied they will put a large red stamp directly on your diploma. Your diploma is now ready for the third and final step.

Step 3 – Document legalization

The third and final step of the Canadian apostille process is to have your diploma legalized. Legalization is done by the embassy or consulate of the country you will be using your diploma in. The embassy or consulate will confirm that the diploma has been authenticated by Global Affairs Canada. They will also confirm that all required supporting documents have been provided. When satisfied the embassy or consulate will place a stamp or sticker directly on your diploma. Your diploma is now legalized.

At International Documents Canada we specialize in navigating the Canadian apostille process quickly and accurately on behalf of our clients. Our friendly staff would welcome the chance to discuss your particular document processing requirements and to answer any questions. We’ll clearly explain your options and give you the information you need to decide how best to proceed. Contact us today! Our website also has a wealth of information on the Canadian apostille process – here’s a good place to start.