University Degree & Transcript Authentication & Legalization

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University Degree Attestation and Transcript Authentication and Legalization in Canada

Working, studying, or living abroad is exciting, but it also requires a lot of paperwork. If you’re moving to a new country to work or study, you’ve probably been asked to present an authenticated and legalized degree, or a degree attestation or apostille.

These terms are used interchangeably, but the official Canada process is known as authentication and legalization. In this guide, we will go over all you need to know about each step of the process, including how to prepare your degree for acceptance abroad.

How to authenticate your degree or transcript in Canada

Authenticating your university degree or transcript is a three-step process:

  1. Document Preparation
  2. Authentication
  3. Legalization


Let’s go into each of these in more detail:

1. How to prepare your Degree or Transcript for Authentication

The first step in the authentication process is to prepare your documents so that they’re accepted by every party in the process: Global Affairs Canada, the Embassy or Consulate of the country where you will be using your documents, and the final recipient (your new employer, or university).

Global Affairs Canada authenticates college degrees and university diplomas issued in Canada by recognized post-secondary educational institutions. You do not need to notarize your college or university diploma before submitting it. Diplomas in Latin or Greek, provided they meet all criteria, are also accepted without the need for a certified translation.

Global Affairs Canada also authenticates academic transcripts issued by recognized Canadian post-secondary institutions. If your transcript is signed by the registrar, then you do not need to have it notarized.

Usually, once Global Affairs Canada authenticates a degree, the Embassy or Consulate has no issue accepting it. However, there are a few countries that are stricter in their list of recognized institutions. Degrees from online institutions may be problematic, so it’s best to check with the Embassy before starting the process.

If your degree is not from an accredited institution, it may still be possible to authenticate it, however, there may be additional steps to follow, depending on the rules in the recipient country.

Some embassies also ask that official transcripts are sent by the educational institution directly to them.

Since the authentication and legalization process requires that stamps are placed directly on the document, you may prefer to submit copies rather than an original. It’s completely normal to not want your official degree stamped in this way after all that hard work!

Depending on the Embassy you’re submitting your degree too, you may have the option of presenting a certified copy of your degree. If you prefer this option (and provided it is acceptable to the Embassy and the final recipient), you can submit your original together with a copy of the document to a Canadian notary public.

The notary will confirm that both documents are identical and will certify the copy as a “certified true copy”. Some universities and colleges also provide certified copies of degrees, prepared for submission to Global Affairs Canada. Check with your educational institution to determine if this is possible.

Once you’ve prepared your documents, it’s time to submit them for authentication.

2. How to authenticate your University Degree in Canada

Global Affairs Canada is currently not accepting in-person submissions. Instead, you have to send your documents by mail or courier and include:

  • The authentication request form
  • The document you need to be authenticated
  • A self-addressed stamped envelope or a prepaid courier shipping label.

You can then 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 will not authenticate degrees and transcripts that:

  • Are plain photocopies
  • Have an unknown signature or seal
  • Have been glued or laminated
  • Are covered in a substance that makes it difficult to stamp
  • Have misleading content

If you have any questions, you can also call the Global Affairs Canada authentication services phone number: 1-833-928-1551.

Once they’ve reviewed your document, Global Affairs Canada places a stamp of authentication on the degree, stating that they have authenticated the signature of the registrar of the school.

3. How to request legalization of your Canadian Degree or Transcript

In most cases, the final step concerns the Embassy or Consulate of the country where you will be using your degree or transcript.

Some embassies ask for supporting documents, such as translations, application forms, and a copy of your ID card. It’s important that you comply with these requirements as failure to do so will lead to your documents not being processed – and hence long delays.

Once received, the consular staff at the Embassy will review your degree, ensuring it meets the country’s requirements, and will also check the authentication stamp. If all is in order, they will place a stamp or sticker on the document, confirming that it has been legalized.

Some countries, such as Italy, require an additional step which you complete with Italian authorities. Generally, though, this 3-step authentication and legalization process is sufficient. It’s important to always check with the specific embassy or consulate about their requirements.

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.

The process can get quite overwhelming as multiple entities are involved. Get in touch with us on 1-855-700-5840 if you need help securing your degree authentication.


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 University Degree and Transcript Authentication and Legalization

Authenticating your university degree in Canada is a three-step process. You first have to prepare your documents, especially if you intend to authenticate a copy of your degree.

The next step is to submit them to Global Affairs Canada in Ottawa for authentication. The final step is legalization at the Embassy or Consulate of the country where you will be using your document. We provide more detail about this process in the section above.

Different countries use different terms to refer to the process of preparing your documents to be recognized abroad. In Canada, the process is called authentication and legalization and the section above provides detailed information on all of the steps involved.

The term attestation is more commonly used in the Middle East. Authentication and legalization is an acceptable equivalent for Canadian documents intended for use in the Middle East and other countries which use the term.

You cannot apostille your Canadian degree or transcript because Canada is not a party to the Hague Apostille Convention. This means Canada cannot issue apostilles, and it does not recognize them, either. Authentication and legalization is an acceptable equivalent and you can learn about that process in the section above.
You can legalize your degree at the Embassy or Consulate of the country where you will be using it, provided it has been authenticated by Global Affairs Canada first. You can learn more about the steps in this process in the section above.

If you’re moving to Canada to work, you need to have your foreign licenses and certificates recognized before you can start your job. An authorized official will review your foreign education certificates and confirm that federal, provincial, or territorial standards are met.

The Government of Canada website provides more information on the credential assessment process.

Excluding the time it takes to obtain the degree or transcript from your university and notarization (if you’re submitting a certified copy), the authentication and legalization process can take anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks.

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 degree or transcript authenticated, legalized, and ready for use abroad in just 3 to 5 days. Get in touch with us for a free quote!

Global Affairs Canada doesn’t charge any fees to authenticate documents. However, each Embassy has its own list of fees to legalize your documents, often depending on the type of document it is. You can find more information on Embassy pricing in our Embassies section.

For authentication purposes, there is no need to translate your degree or transcript. Global Affairs Canada also accepts degrees in Latin or Greek.

However, embassies have different rules. You should always check the Embassy’s specific requirements before submitting your documents.

Global Affairs Canada can authenticate the following academic documents:

University Degree – information about document preparation is available in the first section
University Transcript – information about document preparation is available in the first section
College Diploma – information about document preparation is available in the first section
Elementary or High School Diploma – you must notarize your high school diploma before submitting it to Global Affairs Canada
Elementary or High School Transcript and/or Report Cards – you must notarize your transcript or report card before submitting it to Global Affairs Canada
Certificates (teaching, trades, experience) – you must notarize apprenticeship and trade certificates before submitting them to Global Affairs Canada.

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You should now have a better idea of the authentication and legalization process for Canadian university degrees and transcripts (degree attestation).

Preparing your documents and then submitting them 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 university degrees, transcripts, 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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