Document apostille is an international process that is widely used when presenting a document from one country in another country. At International Documents Canada, we’re often asked if it’s possible to get an apostille on a Canadian document, and if so, what the process is. So here we’ve broken things down for you.
If you need an apostille in Canada, read on to learn more about what you’ll need to do!
Why Would I Need an Apostille?
The apostille process is used to certify that a document from one country is authentic so that it will be officially recognized in another country. The apostille process can be used to certify the authenticity of a wide variety of documents, including civil certificates such as birth, death, marriage and divorce certificates, educational diplomas, Power of Attorney documents, documents related to the sale of property, and commercial documents.
Can I Get an Apostille on a Canadian Document?
The short answer is, no. Because Canada has not signed the Hague Apostille Convention, Canada cannot issue apostilles on documents. Instead, we use another process that is equivalent to the apostille process, known as document authentication and legalization. However, the term “apostille” is still used frequently within Canada to refer to the authentication and legalization process. So if you’ve been asked to get an apostille on a Canadian document to demonstrate that it is authentic and legal, you will actually be authenticating and legalizing this document.
How Do I Know if I Need to Have My Document Apostilled?
In some countries an apostille (or equivalent) on foreign documents is always required, in some countries, an apostille is sometimes required, and in some countries, an apostille is almost never required. The easiest way to determine if you need an apostille on your document is to contact the person or organization to whom you will be submitting your document.
How Does the Canadian Legalization & Authentication Process Work?
As mentioned above, Canada does not actually apostille documents. Instead, we have developed our own process for confirming the authenticity of documents, called the “document authentication and legalization” process. There are three steps to the Canadian authentication and legalization process:
- Preparing Documents for Processing: Before beginning the process, your document needs to meet the requirements established by the relevant embassy and consulate where it will be legalized (see the third step below), as well as Global Affairs Canada (see the second step below). This may require notarization services, translations, and supporting documents, and/or a cover letter.
- Authentication at Global Affairs Canada: Once your document is ready for processing, it will then be sent to the Authentication Services section of Global Affairs Canada for authentication. Once it’s determined everything is in order, Global Affairs stamps the document to confirm it has been authenticated.
- Legalization at the Relevant Embassy or Consulate: After being authenticated at Global Affairs Canada, your document will then be sent for legalization to the embassy or consulate of the country where it will be used. They’ll review it to make sure everything is in order, then place a stamp or sticker on the document to confirm it has been legalized.
Contact us today for more about document apostille in Canada, and our equivalent authentication and legalization services!
If you require apostille or authentication and legalization on any document, contact International Documents Canada today online or call 1 (888) 433-1011.