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As of January 2024, Canada can issue apostilles on official Canadian documents. Understanding the role of Canadian government authorities in apostilles is crucial to the success of obtaining the apostilles on your documents. Throughout this article, we will endeavour to explain the roles and responsibilities of the government offices, as well as the role of apostilles on Canadian documents.

What is an apostille?

An apostille is a type of document certification that confirms the authenticity of a document so that the document will be officially recognized in other apostille signatory countries. Any country that has signed the Hague Apostille Convention, including Canada, will issue apostille certificates and in turn, recognize apostille certificates issued by other countries.

If the country where you are headed is not a signatory to the Hague Apostille Convention, your documents will require an additional step of document legalization. This last step of document legalization is completed at the embassy or consulate of the destination country. You may find more about document legalization from our website and helpful resources here: Canadian document legalization.

Who can apostille a document in Canada?

There are several offices in Canada who can apostille a document in Canada. Global Affairs Canada is responsible for issuing apostilles for Canadian documents originating from the Government of Canada and the provinces of Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, the Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Prince Edward Island, and Yukon.

The government offices in the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Quebec, will be responsible for issuing apostilles for documents that originate from (or are notarized in) their jurisdiction. 

What is the difference between a Global Affairs Canada apostille and a provincial government apostille?

Each of the government authorities in Canada (as described above) who are responsible for issuing apostilles, can issue apostilles on Canadian documents that fall under their jurisdiction (as described above). Care should be taken to research the authorities’ requirements in advance so that your documents are not rejected or delayed.

The apostille certificates themselves will appear quite similar. The main differences between the apostille certificates will be the issuing authorities’ name, the date of issuance, and the name of the signatory who was verified for the apostille. 

Another difference which seems subtle, but can affect the acceptance abroad, is the method the authority uses to secure the apostille to your document. Some of the government apostille authorities may staple the certificate to your document, others may use a rivet, and some will apply a ribbon and rivet. The method that each of these offices chooses may differ depending on the destination country.

How can we help with your Canadian document apostilles?

Whether you are looking for more information, or you would like assistance with the document apostille process, we can help. Supporting our clients to navigate the ins and outs of the process has been our business for over a decade. We would welcome the opportunity to speak with you about your documents and answer your questions. Call us toll-free at 1-888-433-1011 or send us your questions through our quick Contact form. Our friendly staff will get back to you right away!

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