If you have to get a document “apostilled” or authenticated and legalized, it can be a complicated process. You might want to work with an expert to avoid any issues. At International Documents Canada, we’re often asked what sets us apart from other firms that provide authentication and legalization services, so we want to touch on what makes us experts and why the authentication and legalization process is so important.
But before we begin, we’d like to review a few of the reasons why you might need to have a document authenticated and legalized in the first place, so read on!
Why Would I Need a Document Authenticated & Legalized?
If you need to have a Canadian document officially recognized in a foreign country, you may be asked to first “apostille” this document. Apostille is an internationally recognized process used to certify the authenticity of a document from one country so that it will be officially recognized in another country. Unfortunately, Canada cannot issue an apostille (click here for more on why Canada does not issue apostilles). Instead, we use an equivalent three-step process known as document authentication and legalization. When working with an authentication and legalization service, they’ll be responsible for:
- Assisting You in Preparing Your Documents: This can require notarizing documents and providing supporting paperwork, as well as having them translated if necessary. An expert document authentication and legalization service will make sure your documents meet all of the requirements of Global Affairs Canada (where the documents will be authenticated), and the relevant embassy or consulate (where the documents will be legalized).
- Once the documents are ready for processing, they will then be sent to the Authentication Services Section of Global Affairs Canada, who will check to ensure all of the documents meet the specified requirements. If everything is in order, Global Affairs Canada will place a stamp directly on each document, confirming they have been authenticated.
- Legalization: Once authenticated by Global Affairs Canada, your documents will be sent to the relevant embassy or consulate to be legalized. They’ll review everything to ensure they’ve been authenticated and meet all of the necessary requirements, and then place a stamp or sticker on the documents to confirm they have been legalized.
How Do I Find an Expert Authentication & Legalization Service?
There are many Canadian authentication and legalization services out there, so how do you find the best one? Some of the most important characteristics to look for include:
Experience in the industry is a key component of choosing the best authentication and legalization service. For example, a newer company will likely offer better rates, but we all know the saying “you get what you pay for.” Just because a company is cheaper doesn’t mean it’s better. A company with years of experience will have a thorough understanding of the necessary requirements and also a great working relationship with Global Affairs Canada, embassies, and consulates. An experienced team will work with thousands of clients each year and will avoid the common mistakes and pitfalls that could hold up the process and add costs to your document authentication and legalization.
You don’t want to be waiting months and months for your document to be authenticated and legalized, especially if it’s for an important or urgent matter. That’s why turnaround time is essential when searching for the right service. Many require an authentication and legalization service because they may be traveling soon, so ask about the turnaround time upfront so there’s no confusion once the process begins. Communicate when your documents will be needed and make certain the company can work with your timeline.
A Qualified Team
Before deciding on what authentication and legalization company to use, make sure that the team you’ll be working with is competent and qualified to be doing such work. If they’re not, it could result in delays and penalties and can be a real hassle. Choose a team that focuses solely on the authentication and legalization process and nothing else, so you can be sure that the services you need are the core focus of the company.
Have Your Questions Answered
The authentication and legalization process can be complicated, so an expert company will do its utmost to answer all of the questions you have and put you at ease. At International Documents Canada, we make sure to clearly outline your options and explain any questions you might have. We determine precisely what you need and provide you with a detailed quote beforehand so there’s no confusion down the road. It’s our goal to ensure you’re comfortable in making the choice to work with us.
Expert document authentication and legalization services will use innovative technology to make the process more efficient. International Documents Canada has created their own proprietary software to easily obtain the information they need to accurately process your documents. You will also have access to the software so you can check the progress of your documents in real-time, and update any necessary information.
In-Person Document Presentation
Another important aspect of hiring the best company for your document authentication and legalization is to ensure that the team you work with presents your documents in person to Global Affairs Canada and the relevant embassy or consulate. This reduces the amount of time the process takes and ensures you get your processed documents as soon as possible.
In addition to experience, working with a team that keeps abreast of all of the changing requirements issued by Global Affairs Canada is key. An expert service will have a working knowledge of all the most up-to-date information and requirements regarding the authentication and legalization process. This also includes all of the information from embassies and consulates that don’t always publish such requirements online or elsewhere.
A Commitment to Customer Service
A reliable authentication and legalization service will be dedicated to providing their clients with the friendliest, fastest service possible, checking that everything is processed quickly and accurately to avoid delays, and working overtime to address any issues that might arise.
Contact us for more about document authentication and legalization services!
For more about the authentication and legalization (apostille) process, contact International Documents Canada online today or call us at 1 (888) 433-1011.