Power of attorney Authentication & Legalization
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Power of Attorney Authentication in Canada
A Power of Attorney that is used outside of Canada will need to be legalized in order to be valid. Each country has its own practices when it comes to recognizing documents issued in other countries – you may be asked for an apostille, legalization, attestation, or authentication.
In this guide, we will go over all you need to know about the power of attorney authentication and preparing the power of attorney for use abroad, with all the documents you’ll need and the format you’ll need them in.
Power of Attorney Authentication Canada: The Process
Authenticating your power of attorney is a three-step process:
- Document Preparation
Let’s go into each of these in more detail:
1. How to prepare your Power of Attorney for Authentication
Your power of attorney must be notarized prior to being authenticated by Global Affairs Canada. Your document can be notarized by any Canadian notary that has a signature that is recognized by Global Affairs Canada. If they do not have a recognized signature, tell your notary to register with Global Affairs Canada by providing a specimen signature.
The notary will sign and seal your document. When signing your document, the notary must have a valid certificate of appointment and sign the document with ink (digital signatures don’t count).
They must also stamp it or apply a seal that shows their full name as it is stated on their certificate of appointment and the Canadian province or territory in which they have been appointed. They must indicate that they have witnessed the signing of the power of attorney, the date of the notarization, and the date of expiry of their appointment as a notary.
Once all this is concluded, it’s time to submit your power of attorney to Global Affairs Canada for authentication.
2. How to authenticate power of attorney Canada
Once your document is notarized and ready, you can submit it to Global Affairs Canada. Currently, the in-person services for authentication are suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Therefore, you can send your documents by mail. Make sure to send:
- The authentication request form
- The document you need to be authenticated
- A self-addressed stamped envelope or a prepaid courier shipping label.
- Send your documents to the Global Affairs Canada address:
- Global Affairs Canada
Authentication Services Section (JLAC)
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON K1A 0G2
- Global Affairs Canada
Keep in mind that Global Affairs Canada won’t authenticate your document if:
- It’s not the original document
- There is an unoriginal signature or seal
- There is an unknown seal or a signature that can’t be verified
- It’s glued
- It’s laminated
- It’s covered in a substance that makes it difficult to stamp
- The content is misleading
- It is suspected that the document may be used for fraudulent, illegal, or misleading purposes.
If you have any questions, you can also call the Global Affairs Canada authentication services phone number: 1-833-928-1551.
3. How to request legalization of your Canadian power of attorney
Finally, you ask the Embassy or Consulate of the country you will be using your document in to legalize your power of attorney. So, for example, if you will be using your power of attorney in Spain, you need to contact the Embassy or Consulate of Spain in Ottawa to legalize your document. Then, it will be valid for use in Spain.
Usually, Embassies will ask for more supporting documents such as a copy of your ID card or passport, a letter detailing the service that you need (legalization of a power of attorney), an application form, and in some cases, a translation.
When sending your document to Global Affairs Canada for authentication (Step 2), you also have the option of telling them to forward the document straight to your Embassy of choice in Ottawa. The Embassy will then complete Step 3, the legalization. To do this:
- Select “Forward to an embassy/consulate” in the “Shipping Details” section of the mail-in form
- Provide the embassy or consulate’s full mailing address
- Include a separate, sealed envelope with documents for the embassy
If you choose this option, get in touch with the Embassy or Consulate before you mail your documents to Global Affairs Canada. Failure to follow Global Affairs Canada’s or the Embassy’s instructions may result in your documents being returned to you without having been legalized.
Our simple 4-step process helps you authenticate and legalize your Canadian documents in a fast & easy manner.
Start by calling us at 1-855-700-5840 or requesting a quote online. We’ll get back to you in 1 hour.
Not sure if your documents meet the requirements for authentication and legalisation? 👇
Reach out to our experts and receive a Free Document Evaluation.
Once you receive a quote and select a time frame that works best for you. We'll provide you with a final price and help you prepare your documents. When your ready ship your documents to our office in Ottawa: 1103-467 Laurier West, Avenue Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1R 5C7.
We recommend that you use a secure, prepaid and tracked courier service for sending your documents.
Have any questions? Feel free to call us at 1-855-700-5840
After receiving your documents we will take care of the rest. We will make sure your documents get authenticated and legalized within your requested time frame.
Want to stay updated throughout the whole process?
Check out Document Authentication Canada's Document Tracking System.
…and that’s it! After completing the document authentication and legalization process, we will send your documents using the shipping method of your choice.
Remember: With Document Authentication Canada you only pay at the end, once your documents have been completely authenticated and legalized.
Common questions about Power of Attorney Authentication and Legalization
What is an international power of attorney?
A power of attorney gives another person official power to act on your behalf. An international power of attorney gives power to someone who resides in another country.
If you’ve moved to Canada from another country, but still have financial interests, property or a business there, or you’ve bought property abroad, you may need to appoint a representative to manage matters on your behalf.
An international power of attorney is governed by the laws of the country in which it will be used. Each country has its own specific requirements for how the power of attorney should look, including the ink used and the number of witnesses. You should check with the Embassy of the recipient country for the requirements around powers of attorney.
Before you can use your power of attorney abroad, you will need to authenticate and legalize it.
How do you authenticate a Canadian power of attorney?
First, you need to prepare the power of attorney for authentication by notarizing it. Once you’ve obtained a notarization, you need to submit it to Global Affairs Canada for authentication. After this process of authentication, the last step is to legalize it at the Embassy of the country you wish to use the power of attorney in.
The entire process is outlined above, in detail. Otherwise, you can choose to contact us and let us handle the entire process for you! At Document Authentication Canada, we can get your power of attorney authenticated, legalized, and ready for use abroad in just 3 to 5 days.
How long does it take to legalize a power of attorney?
Notarizing the document means that you have to liaise with a Canadian notary for their availability – therefore, notarizing your power of attorney can take at least 2 days.
Once that’s done, Global Affairs Canada’s current processing time is 15 days, but this excludes mailing time, and the time it takes for the Embassy or consulate to complete the legalization step. The whole process of the power of attorney authentication can easily take from 4 to 6 weeks, more if you do not submit the correct documents.
If you don’t have all this time available, you can choose to outsource the process to experts who can navigate the process accurately and efficiently. At Document Authentication Canada, we can get your power of attorney authenticated, legalized, and ready for use abroad in just 3 to 5 days. Get in touch with us for a free quote!
How much does it cost to authenticate a power of attorney?
Can I get an apostille (or attestation) on a Canada power of attorney?
It could be that you’ve been asked for a power of attorney apostille or an attestation of your power of attorney. Countries have different ways of referring to authentication requirements, but the process in Canada is called authentication and legalization. Essentially, these terms are the equivalent of attestation and apostille.
So, if Spain asks for an apostille and Qatar asks for an attestation, these both actually mean that you need to authenticate and legalize your documents.
The term ‘attestation’ is commonly used in the Middle East, and the term ‘apostille’ is used by countries that are party to the Hague Apostille Convention and therefore can issue and recognize apostilles. Since Canada did not sign this convention, you cannot obtain an apostille, but authentication and legalization are the recognized equivalents.
Do I need to translate my Canadian power of attorney?
You won’t need to translate your power of attorney to have it authenticated by Global Affairs Canada, since they accept documents in both English and French.
However, each Embassy has different conditions for legalizing your document, and one of these conditions might include needing a translation of the power of attorney. You need to check with the country’s Embassy or Consulate for any language requirements on their end to be able to complete the legalization process.
Do I need to legalize my power of attorney?
Is notary valid for power of attorney?
Any Canadian notary can notarize your power of attorney, as long as his or her signature is registered at Global Affairs Canada. You can do an online search for ‘notary public’ to find one in your area. Rules governing notaries vary across Canada so the notary you find will tell you what they can do to notarize your document.
Regardless of location, the notary must:
- Have a valid certificate of appointment
- Handwrite their signature in ink
- Apply a stamp or seal showing their full name as it appears on their certificate of appointment
- Indicate the act they performed and the date
- And, if applicable, indicate the date on which their appointment as a notary expires.
Does power of attorney need to be original for authentication?
Yes, it does. Global Affairs Canada won’t accept your document unless it is the original one.
In addition, chances are the recipient of the Power of Attorney will need to see original signatures. In the rare instance that the recipient asks for a copy of the Power of Attorney, then you need to contact a Canadian Notary Public and obtain a Certified True Copy stamp on your document before you can start the process.
Is a foreign power of attorney valid in Canada?
This guide has provided you with all you need to know about the power of attorney authentication, including information on the three steps of the process and relevant processing time.
Preparing your power of attorney and then submitting it to Global Affairs Canada and the Embassy or consulate concerned can be a complicated and lengthy process. There are multiple entities involved, as well as specific procedures to follow.
At Document Authentication Canada, we help facilitate the legalization of powers of attorney and other documents in Canada. We navigate through the bureaucracy on your behalf so that you avoid unnecessary delays. Get in touch with our expert team on 1-855-700-5840 to request a quote and a free document evaluation.
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