Neighbourhood Notary now offers authentication & legalization services to our valued clients who are looking to use their Canadian document outside of Canada.
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Frequently asked questions about authentication & legalization in Canada
Ready to authenticate & legalize your document(s) with us?
Frequently Asked Questions About
Authentication & Legalization in Canada
1. What is authentication?
If you are looking to take a Canadian document (i.e. university transcript) to a foreign country, they may require you to authenticate your document with a Canadian authority (federal or provincial government). This is the first step in making Canadian documents valid for use in foreign countries.
Authentication speaks to the genuineness of the signature of a public official found on a document. To authenticate a document means to have a Canadian authority (federal or provincial government) verify/certify the document is genuine. In short, the Canadian authority is giving their stamp of approval to another foreign government / authority that the authenticated document is genuine.
To be authenticated, your document must bear an original, recognized signature (and seal, if applicable).
2. Is authentication the same thing as apostille?
Yes. In other countries, authentication is also known as apostille.
An apostille is an authentication of public documents utilized by countries that are signatories of the Hague Apostille Convention, Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation of Foreign Public Documents.
Canada is not a signatory of the Hague Apostille Convention and therefore does not fall within its requirements. As such, Canada does not issue apostilles. Instead, provincial authentication services like the Ontario provincial government's Official Documents Services (ODS) and the Canadian federal government's Authentication Services Section at Global Affairs Canada will authenticate documents.
3. What is legalization?
After being authenticated, your document may need to be legalized by the authorities of the country of destination (e.g., by their embassy, high commission or consulate in or accredited to Canada). In short, the authorities of the country of destination decide they will recognize your authenticated Canadian document. This is the second step in making Canadian documents valid for use in foreign countries.
It is important to note that not all countries the legalization of Canadian documents before they can be used in their territory.
4. Do all documents need to be authenticated and legalized?
No. Not all countries require the authentication, legalization, or both of Canadian documents before they can be used in their territory.
Contact the appropriate consulate or embassy to verify their requirements. You can find a list of foreign missions here:
5. Do I need to have my document notarized before it can be authenticated?
Find out if your document needs to be notarized before it can be authenticated. Check the specific requirements for your document with Global Affairs Canada and Official Document Services.
6. Do I need to come to your office to have my document authenticated and legalized?
No, we are able to assist you to have your Canadian documents authenticated and legalized even if you are unable to attend in-person at our offices, including if you are not located in Canada.
All we require to assist you with authentication and legalization is that you mail to our offices the original of your document.
7. Should I authenticate my document with Global Affairs Canada or Ontario's Official Document Services (ODS)?
Some countries may accept the authentication of documents by ODS. If they are accepted, such authenticated documents would be considered equally valid as those authentications performed by Global Affairs Canada.
We recommend that you contact the consulate or embassy of the country of destination for your authenticated document to see if they accept authentication of documents by ODS. If they do, we recommend authentication with ODS because they often have shorter processing times.
8. How can you assist with authentication and legalization?
Whether you need assistance with notarization, authentication, or legalization, Neighbourhood Notary is here to assist. We provide professional, affordable, and comprehensive services to those in Canada or abroad looking to have their document authenticated and/or legalized.
We can: (1) either meet you at one of our affiliated offices or have you mail your original documents to us; (2) help you notarize your original documents to us, if necessary; (3) take your document(s) to Global Affairs Canada or Ontario's Official Document Services to be authenticated; (4) forward or take your document(s) to the appropriate consulate or embassy for legalization; and (5) mail the document(s) back to you.
9. What is the cost of authentication and legalization?
Our fee to assist with authenticating and legalizing your document(s) depends on the complexity of the job. Generally, the more documents that need to be authenticated/legalized, as well as when a consulate/embassy has additional requirements (i.e. multiple attendances at the consulate), will add complexity and thus result in a higher fee.
To learn more about how we can help you and for an accurate price quote, we ask that you contact us below.
Have a question or want to know if we can help you with your authentication and legalization request?
Please write "Authentication & Legalization Request" in the Subject Line.
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