How Do I Get an Apostille Stamp?

Published on Monday, July 29, 2019

The apostille process can be complicated. Getting information can be frustrating and confusing. Getting information on the Canadian apostille process can be even more frustrating, as other names are frequently used to describe this process in Canada, including “document authentication and legalization” and “document attestation”. This article continues our series of posts that answer some of the most common questions we are asked about the Canadian apostille process. The question we are answering this week is “how do I get an apostille stamp?”

What is the apostille process?

The apostille process is used when you have a document from one country that you need to use in another country. The apostille process confirms the authenticity of the document, so that the document will be officially recognized in other countries.

What is an apostille stamp?

To get an apostille you need to submit your document to the authorized government agency. This agency will examine your document, ensuring it meets all requirements. When satisfied, a large stamp will be placed directly on your document, confirming its authenticity for use in another country.

How do I get an apostille stamp in Canada?

We specialize in navigating the Canadian apostille process on behalf of our clients, processing many thousands of documents every year. There are three steps to getting your Canadian document officially processed to use in another country.

Step 1 – Preparing your document for processing. This can involve having your document notarized, making a certified true copy, having the document translated by a certified translator if it is not in English or French, and providing supporting documents.

Step 2 – Authentication at Global Affairs Canada. After preparing your document it needs to be submitted to Global Affairs Canada in Ottawa. They will examine your document, making sure it meets their regulations. When satisfied, they will place a large red stamp directly on your document, confirming that it has been authenticated.

Step 3 – Legalization at the embassy or consulate of the country in which you will be presenting your document. The consulate staff will ensure your document has been authenticated by Global Affairs Canada and that it otherwise meets their specific requirements. When satisfied, they will place a stamp or sticker directly on your document. Your document is now legalized, and will be officially recognized in this country.

So, to apostille a document in Canada you will actually get two stamps on your document – one from Global Affairs Canada and one from the embassy or consulate of the appropriate country.

The Proper Name for the Canadian Apostille Process

This is where it can get confusing. This article has discussed how to get an apostille stamp on a Canadian document. However, Canada does not technically issue apostilles. Only countries that have signed the Hague Apostille Convention can issue apostilles. And Canada has not signed this convention. Instead, the proper name for the Canadian process is “document authentication and legalization”. If you have been told you need to get an apostille stamp on a Canadian document, what you will need is an authentication stamp from Global Affairs and a legalization stamp from the appropriate embassy or consulate.

Where can I find more information?

Our website has a wealth of information on the Canadian apostille process (document authentication and legalization). Or better yet, contact our friendly staff directly to discuss your situation. Our experts will explain the Canadian apostille process, answer your questions and clearly outline your options. No pressure and no obligation. Phone us toll-free at 1-888-433-1011, or fill out our quick form and we’ll get right back to you.