How to Attest Documents in Canada

Published on Friday, April 12, 2019

You live in Canada and you need to attest documents for use overseas, but you’re not sure how? Find out what the attestation process is all about.

Why do I need to attest my document?

The attestation process is used when you need to have a Canadian document officially recognized in another country. For example, let’s say you apply for a job in the United Arab Emirates and your employer asks for your university degree. They will ask you to first have your degree “attested”. The attestation process officially certifies that this degree is a legitimate Canadian document.

How do I attest my document?

Now that you know why you need to attest your document, let’s look at what it takes to get your document attested. Attesting a document in Canada is generally a three-step process. The first step is to prepare your document for processing. Two factors determine the type of preparation required: 1) the type of document you need attested and 2) the country in which you need to present the document. Preparing document for attestation may require having the document notarized, having a certified true copy made, having a certified translation done, or providing additional supporting documents.

The second step in the Canadian attestation process is to authenticate your document with Global Affairs Canada. Document authentication is done by Global Affairs’ JLAC branch, located in Ottawa. Global Affairs will check that the document meets all their requirements and then will put a large red stamp directly on the document. The document is now authenticated and is ready to be legalized.

The third and final step in the Canadian attestation process is to legalize your document at the embassy or consulate of the country in which you will be using the document. The consular staff will ensure the document meets their specific requirements and that it has been authenticated by Global Affairs Canada. If satisfied, they will place either a stamp or (sometimes large) sticker directly on the document. The document is now legalized and will be recognized in this country.

Are there different terms for the attestation process?

Getting a document attested in Canada can be confusing because “attestation” is not the only term used to describe this process. The official name for the Canadian document attestation process is “document authentication & legalization”. However, the term “apostille” is also frequently used. So in Canada, the terms “attestation” and “apostille” both refer to the authentication & legalization process.

Where can I find more information?

At International Documents Canada, we specialize in navigating the Canadian document attestation process on behalf of clients just like you. Feel free to contact us directly for further information. Our friendly staff would welcome the chance to explain the process, answer any questions you may have, and clearly explain your options. Phone us toll-free at 1-888-433-1011.

We hope this article has given you the information you are looking for on how to attest documents in Canada. And if you need it, we’re here to help.