Frequently Asked Questions
Below you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the document authentication and legalization process and the services we offer. If you don’t find what you are looking for below contact our friendly staff directly. We would welcome the opportunity to answer your questions.
Document Authentication & Legalization
If you have Canadian documents that will be used in another country, they will likely need to be authenticated and legalized. You should ask the recipient abroad whether your documents need to be authenticated and legalized, also known as apostille or attestation. You can also contact our friendly staff to discuss your situation.
In many cases the answer is yes. However, that depends on the type of document in question, the embassy or consulate requirements, and whether a copy is acceptable to the recipient abroad.
We can provide you with a free consultation and a detailed quote. Contact an IDC expert to find out more.
The processing times for authentication and legalization can vary depending on the diplomatic mission involved. Each embassy or consulate has its own processing time, subject to consular availability. Some will also offer rush services for an additional fee.
If you decide to handle the process yourself by mail, the process will take some time. Global Affairs Canada takes 10-15 business days to authenticate documents submitted by mail. Following the authentication, typical processing times at most embassies and consulates range from 2 to 5 business days.
We can expedite the authentication process by attending in person, saving you weeks of waiting. We will also help you prepare the documents and ensure they meet the criteria of the process. IDC experts are standing by if you have any questions or concerns you need to discuss. Contact IDC for your free consultation.
We have a few helpful videos that can be found on YouTube or on the home page of the IDC website. We are happy to provide these videos which will give you a clear explanation of the process and helpful hints on how to ensure your documents are processed quickly and hassle free. They are:
The Canadian Apostille Process
The term Apostille refers to the Hague Apostille Convention, of which Canada is not a signatory. Therefore, in Canada the comparable process is called “Authentication and Legalization”.
Both the apostille and the document authentication and legalization process have the same purpose - to certify a document created in one country so that it can be officially recognized in another country. Apostille stamps are issued by countries that are signatory to the Hague Apostille Convention of 1969. However, Canada is not a signatory to this convention, so instead of issuing apostilles, Canada uses a process called authentication and legalization.
Yes! We specialize in helping people just like you prepare your documents to be used in foreign countries. We accurately and rapidly navigate the authentication and legalization process (the Canadian equivalent to the apostille process) on your behalf. Contact our friendly specialists to discuss your options and get your questions answered.
An apostille is only issued by countries that have signed the Hague Apostille Convention. Canada is not a signatory to this convention. Instead of issuing apostilles, Canada uses a process called document authentication and legalization. So for Canadian documents, the authentication and legalization process is directly equivalent to the apostille process.
Questions about using our services
There are a few different aspects to consider when preparing your documents for authentication and legalization.
- The recipient abroad should advise you what document they need, whether it must be an original, and how they want it processed.
- You must meet the criteria of the authentication process. Whether you will authenticate with Global Affairs Canada, or the appropriate provincial office, they each have specific criteria for authentication.
- Each embassy or consulate has their own specific requirements and rules for submission of documents for legalization.
We will happily discuss and review your documents for authentication and legalization. Contact an IDC expert for more information and to answer your questions.
In many cases, a Certified True Copy of a document can go through the authentication and legalization process. However, there are some diplomatic missions that will only accept original documents. We will verify the requirements of the diplomatic mission on your behalf. We ask you to verify with the recipient of your document whether a Certified True Copy is acceptable in the destination country.
Yes, in most cases we can make a certified true copy on your behalf. We would require the original document, which we will take it to a Canadian Notary Public who will make the certified true copy.
We recommend that before you have a certified true copy made, you first verify with the recipient abroad if a copy will be acceptable.
Feel free to contact our friendly staff for assistance and to answer any questions.
Creating a workform is essential to the process. Your workform will provide us with all the details we need to ensure that we perform all the steps you require and in the time frame that suits your needs. It also provides us with your contact information and final shipping address. You can find the Workforms page here: IDC Workforms
Once we have confirmed that your documents meet the criteria of the process, you may ship your documents to International Documents Canada. You may send your documents using the method of your choice. We always recommend using a traceable method, such as a courier or Canada Post Xpress Post. Your documents should be shipped to our Ottawa office at 226 Argyle Avenue, Suite 3, Ottawa ON K2P 1B9. It is helpful if you include your workform number on the package.
If you have questions about what to send, please feel free to contact our friendly staff.
You can choose your preferred method of final shipping. We recommend using a trackable method of shipping, such as FedEx or Xpress Post.
We offer three levels of authentication service depending on how quickly you need your documents processed. The complete process can take as little as a day, or as much as two weeks.
To find out how long it will take to authenticate and legalize your documents, contact our friendly experts.
We will prepare a Detailed Quote for you that itemizes the specific costs associated with your particular authentication and legalization needs. These costs may include consular fees, our fees for authentication and legalization services, and shipping costs.
Contact IDC for your free consultation and detailed quote.
Still looking for information?
You have several options. Access our informative videos and extensive collection of articles by clicking below. We also encourage you to contact our friendly staff directly.