What Documents are Required for Authentication and Legalization?

Published on Tuesday, May 5, 2020

What documents are required for the Canadian authentication and legalization process? There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as a wide range of documents can get authenticated and legalized for an even wider range of reasons. And greatly complicating the matter, each embassy and consulate sets their own unique requirements for what supporting documents are required.

To try and give you some clarity on what documents are required for authentication and legalization, we’ll discuss the two types of documents that you need to consider:

  1. The documents you need authenticated and legalized. We’ll call these your primary documents.
  2. The supporting documents you need to provide in order to authenticate and legalize your primary documents.

Before we dive in, if you have any questions about the authentication and legalization process itself, click on the link for more info.

What primary documents do I need to authenticate and legalize?

The Canadian authentication and legalization process is used to certify the authenticity of Canadian documents so that they will be officially recognized in another country. As Canada’s leading authentication and legalization experts, we see a broad range of documents being processed, including educational documents, civil certificates (birth, death, marriage), commercial and legal documents, and criminal record checks. Our website provides more information on the most common document types being authenticated and legalized – click on the link for more information.

The answer to the question of what specific documents you need to authenticate and legalize depends entirely on your particular situation. What are you doing in another country that requires you to present Canadian documents? Who are you presenting these documents to? What documents are they requesting from you?

What supporting documents will I need to provide?

When preparing your documents to be authenticated and legalized, you will often be required to provide supporting documents. These supporting documents may include a cover letter, application form, certified true copy, translation, Articles of Incorporation (for commercial documents), transcripts (for educational documents), a letter of confirmation or a letter of accreditation. It is critically important that you provide the correct supporting documents when authenticating and legalizing your documents, as any mistakes will mean your documents are rejected, forcing you to re-start the process from the beginning.

There is no one-rule-fits-all when it comes to providing supporting documents. Global Affairs Canada, the government agency that will authenticate your documents, has one set of requirements regarding supporting documents (click on the link for their website). And the embassy or consulate that will legalize your documents will also have their own specific requirements for supporting documents. As each embassy and consulate sets its own unique requirements, it is very important to verify before launching the authentication and legalization process.

Where can I get more information on required documents?

Our website is a good place to get started. In addition to information on many of the most frequently processed documents (see link above), we have information on many of the most commonly used embassies and consulates where documents are legalized in Canada.

However, the best way to determine the documents required for authentication and legalization is to talk with an expert. As Canada’s leading authentication and legalization services provider, we manage the authentication and legalization process for thousands of clients every year. We would welcome the chance to discuss your document authentication and legalization needs – no pressure and no obligation. When you contact us, we will review your situation, answer your questions, and work with you to identify the specific supporting documents required.

Contact our expert staff to get the information you need to ensure you have the documents required for authentication and legalization. Call us toll-free at 1-888-433-1011 or send us an online enquiry and we’ll get right back to you.