Apostille – Authentication – Legalization – Attestation – Help?

Published on Thursday, July 11, 2019

Apostille. Authentication and legalization. Attestation. Consularization. Super-legalization. These are all different terms that are used to describe the Canadian authentication and legalization process. The fact that there are several different terms that describe the same process leads to a lot of confusion. This article cuts through the confusion.

What is authentication and legalization?

Authentication and legalization is the process used to verify the authenticity of a Canadian document so that this document will be recognized in a foreign country. For example, if you have been offered a job in the United Arab Emirates you will be asked to submit your professional credentials and/or degree. Before these documents will be accepted in the UAE they will need to be authenticated and legalized in Canada.

Document authentication and legalization is generally a three-step process. Step 1 involves preparing your documents for processing. Step 2 involves authenticating your documents at Global Affairs Canada. And Step 3 involves legalizing your documents at the embassy or consulate of the country where you need to present these documents. Our website has a wealth of additional information on the authentication and legalization process.

What is an apostille?

In Canada, the term apostille refers to the document authentication and legalization process. Every country that has signed the Hague Apostille Convention will issue apostilles and recognize apostilles issued by other countries. However, Canada is not a signatory to the Hague Apostille Convention. So, instead of getting an apostille on your Canadian document you get your document authenticated and legalized. However, the term apostille is still frequently used to describe the Canadian authentication and legalization process, even though technically this term is not correct.  Click here for more information on Canada and the Hague Apostille Convention.

What is document attestation?

Attestation is another term that is sometimes used to refer to the Canadian authentication and legalization process. We hear this term used most commonly by countries from the Middle East when talking about educational and professional documents. Using the example above, if you are applying for a job in the UAE you will probably be told that you need to have your degree attested before submitting it. What you will actually be doing is authenticating and legalizing your degree. Here is some more information on attesting a document in Canada.

What is consularization?

In Canada the term “consularization” refers to the authentication and legalization process. Legalization, the third step of the authentication and legalization process, is done by the consular staff at the embassy or consulate of the country where you need to present your documents. While we don’t hear this term often, some embassies refer to the legalization process as “consularization”.

What is super-legalization?

By now it probably won’t surprise you that in Canada the term “super legalization” also refers to the authentication and legalization process. This is another term that we don’t hear often, but it does come up every now and then. If you have been told you need to have your documents super-legalized you will need to authenticate and legalize these documents.

Where can I get more information?

At International Documents Canada we specialize in rapidly navigating the document authentication and legalization process for our clients. Our website has a wealth of information. Or better yet, contact our friendly staff. We’ll explain the process, answer any questions you have, and clearly outline your options – no pressure and no obligation. Contact us toll-free at 1-888-433-1011, or submit our quick form and we’ll get right back to you.