Authenticating and Legalizing a Document in Arabic

Published on Wednesday, August 21, 2019

If you are in Canada and need to use a document in a foreign country, it may first need to be authenticated and legalized. The authentication and legalization process is used to certify the authenticity of a document so that it will be officially recognized by another country. Our company specializes in navigating this process on behalf of our clients. We authenticate and legalize many thousands of documents every year, and our website has a wealth of information on this process. But what if your document is in Arabic? Are there any special considerations when authenticating and legalizing an Arabic document for use outside Canada?

The simple answer is that a document in Arabic can be authenticated and legalized like any other document, but you will be required to have it translated. This article reviews the authentication and legalization process, and then focuses on the specific translation requirements that apply to a document written in Arabic.

The three steps to authenticating and legalizing a document

There are three steps involved in authenticating and legalizing a document in Canada:

Step 1 involves preparing your document for the authentication and legalization process. Required preparations may involve having the document notarized by a notary public, preparing required supporting documents, or having your document translated.

Step 2 involves authenticating your document at Global Affairs Canada (GAC). The GAC staff will verify that your document meets their requirements, and then will place a large red stamp on your document.

Step 3 involves legalizing your document at the embassy or consulate of the country in which you will be using this document.

Translations required by Global Affairs Canada

The translation requirements of Global Affairs Canada are simple. If your document is in Arabic, or any other language other than English or French, Global Affairs Canada requires that a certified translation be submitted along with your document. If your document is partially in English or French, and partially in Arabic, you will need to have the Arabic portion translated. See below for information on how to find a certified translator. You can visit the Global Affairs Canada website for more information on document authentication.

Translations required by the relevant diplomatic mission

Each embassy or consulate sets its own unique requirements for legalizing a document. There are a few embassies and consulates who require the translation of any document not in their official language. For example, the Embassy of Cuba requires that any document that is not in Spanish be accompanied by a Spanish translation, which they process along with the original document. Some embassies and consulates require that specific types of documents be translated before they are legalized. For example, the Embassy of Libya requires that certain types of documents are accompanied by an Arabic translation. However, most generally don’t require that you translate your document before it is legalized.

Getting accurate information on the translation requirements of a particular embassy or consulate can be difficult. A search of their website is a good place to start, and in some cases you will be able to get an answer from their staff if you contact them directly. We also invite you to contact our friendly staff to determine what translation requirements apply to your specific situation.

How to find a certified translator

In Canada, each province has its own certification process for the translators located in that province. To find a certified translator in your province you can go to the website of the relevant certification agency. This website will have a list of certified translators in that province or territory, along with their contact information.

Here is a list of provincial and territorial associations of certified translators across Canada:

  • Alberta – ATIA
  • British Colombia – STIBC
  • Manitoba – ATIM
  • Ontario – ATIO
  • Quebec – OTTIAQ
  • Saskatchewan – ATIS
  • New Brunswick – CTINB
  • Nova Scotia – ATINE
  • Prince Edward Island – CTIC
  • Newfoundland and Labrador – CTIC
  • Nunavut – CTIC
  • Northwest Territories – CTIC

Getting more information

If you have more questions about how to authenticate and legalize a document in Arabic, we invite you to contact us. We’ll review your specific situation, answer any questions you have, and outline your options. Phone us toll-free at 1-888-433-1011, or submit our quick form and we will get right back to you.