Global Affairs Canada Authentication

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Global Affairs Canada Authentication
Global Affairs Canada Authentication
Global Affairs Canada Authentication
Global Affairs Canada Authentication

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Authentication at Global Affairs Canada

Your Canadian documents must first be authenticated before you can use them abroad.

If you plan to move, start a new job or company abroad, expand your Canadian business internationally, or even to study at a foreign university, chances are you will be asked to present many documents – and most of these must be authenticated and legalized before they can be accepted.

Global Affairs Canada in Ottawa can authenticate your documents, provided they meet all requirements. However, authentication is only one step in a (much) longer process. In this article we’ll go over all you need to know about Global Affairs Canada authentication, including how to submit your documents for authentication, costs, and timeframes.

If you’re looking for a fast and easy way to get your documents authenticated, then you can also get in touch with our team and we’ll do all the work on your behalf.


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.

What is document authentication?

Authentication validates Canadian documents for use in a foreign country. It proves that the signature and the seal on your document are genuine. Authentication is part of a three-step process:

  1. Document Preparation – some documents require notarization and a translation
  2. Document Authentication at Global Affairs Canada
  3. Document Legalization at the embassy of the country where you will use your documents.


The process involves both the country that issued the document (in this case, Canada) and the country where the document will be used. This is because it’s difficult for countries to prove that a document issued in a foreign country is genuine.

Some countries refer to this process as legalization, attestation, or apostille. More on these below.

What is the difference between authentication, legalization, attestation, and apostille of Canadian documents?

Were you asked to get your documents apostilled before submitting them? Or maybe even to obtain a document attestation? Countries use different terms to refer to the authentication and legalization process.

It’s good to know that the purpose of each of these is the same: to let another country know that the document was obtained genuinely. However, in Canada, you cannot request a document attestation or an apostille. The Canadian alternative is called authentication and legalization.

If you’re asked to present an apostilled document, it means that the country asking has signed The Hague Apostille Convention. Canada is not a signatory to this Convention so cannot issue apostilles.

Countries in the Middle East, such as the UAE, often request an ‘attestation’. This refers to the legalization part of the process, in which case you’d still need to submit your documents to Global Affairs Canada for authentication and the Embassy of the country that requested the document for an attestation.

To summarize, when you’re asked for an apostille or an attestation, you should seek authentication and legalization services in Canada.

Can Global Affairs Canada authenticate my document?

The Authentication Services Section (also known as JLAC) at Global Affairs Canada provides a detailed list of documents that can be authenticated and the requirements for each. If your document is not on the list, contact Global Affairs Canada to determine if they can authenticate it.

Global Affairs Canada does not authenticate documents:

  • Without an original signature or seal
  • With a seal or signature that cannot be verified by Global Affairs Canada
  • Religious documents, such as baptism certificates and religious marriage certificates
  • Foreign documents, that is documents issued in a foreign country for use in another foreign country
  • Educational documents issued by unrecognized institutions
  • Glued or laminated documents and documents covered with a substance that would make them difficult to stamp


If Global Affairs Canada has reasons to believe that the document is misleading or that it may be used for illegal purposes, they will not authenticate it and refer your case to the authorities.

Which documents can Global Affairs Canada authenticate?

Global Affairs Canada can authenticate the following documents:

Document Type Notarization
Adoption papers
Apprenticeship and trade certificates
Bank documents
Birth certificate
Burial or cremation documents
Business or corporate records
CFIA attestations or certificates
Canadian Intellectual Property Office certificates
Certificates with the original signature or seal of a CIPO official do not require notarization. Others do.
Certificate of free sale
No, if issued by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Certificate of origin
No, if issued through essCERT
College/cégep or university diplomas
College/cégep or university letters
College/cégep or university transcripts
No, if original and signed by registrar
Coroner’s certificates
Corporations Canada documents
No, if it bears an original signature or seal
Course certificates
Court documents
No, provided original seal, signature and printed name of a judge, or clerk of the court are included
Criminal Record Check
No, if issued by RCMP HQ in Ottawa, otherwise yes
Death certificate
Delivery verification certificate
Divorce certificate
Domestic partnership certificate
Elementary or high school diploma, report card or transcript
Export permit
Federal legislation
Fingerprint forms
Health Canada licences
No, provided it has an original signature or seal
Identity documents
Yes (certified copies)
Immigration, permanent resident or citizenship certificates or documents
International import certificate
Language school certificate
Letters provided by an educational institution
Marriage certificate
Marriage licenses
Marriage search letter
No, provided the original signature or seal is included
Medical documents
Name change certificates
Private legal documents, including wills, powers of attorney, oaths and affirmations, affidavits and statutory declarations
Professional certificate
No, if issued by the Society of Notaries Public of British Columbia, the Chambre des Notaires of Quebec, and the law societies of any Canadian province or territory
Proof of life
Record of employment
Request for international judicial assistance
Shipment document
Vaccination attestations

All other government documents not listed here must be notarized before being submitted to Global Affairs Canada. This includes Canada Revenue Agency documents, Service Canada documents, certificate of coverage, Canada Pension Plan certificate, and documents from other federal departments and agencies.

Feel free to contact us for more detailed information on the requirements for your documents.

What should I do before submitting my document to Global Affairs Canada?

You should first check with the entity that requested your document to see if a translation is needed. In terms of Global Affairs Canada, they can authenticate documents issued in French or English.

If all, or part of your document is in any other language, you must present a certified, notarized translation done by a certified translator or a Canadian notary public who speaks both languages.

A certified translation is a translation done by a member of the Canadian Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters Council or a recognized provincial translation association.

If you obtain your translation from a Canadian notary public, the notary must add a statement attesting that they speak both languages and certify that the translation is accurate.

How can I get a document notarized for authentication at Global Affairs Canada?

You must book an appointment with a Canadian notary whose signature is recognized by Global Affairs Canada. If your notary is not registered with Global Affairs Canada, you can ask them to provide a specimen signature.

The notary signs and seals the document you need notarized. They can also prepare a separate certificate by signing it and attaching it to your document.
The notary you work with must have a valid certificate of appointment, handwrite their signature in ink and apply a stamp or seal showing their full name as it appears on their certificate of appointment and the Canadian province or territory in which they were appointed.

The notary must also indicate the act they performed (for example, certifying a true copy, witnessing a signature, or receiving a declaration or affidavit), the date on which they notarized the document, and the date on which their appointment as a notary expires.

How much does it cost to authenticate a document at Global Affairs Canada?

Global Affairs Canada does not charge a fee to authenticate documents. However, there are fees associated with the notarization and translation part of the process (if required). Each Embassy also has its own price list for document legalization. It tends to cost more to legalize commercial documents than it does for other documents, such as birth and marriage certificates and educational documents.

What is the processing time for Global Affairs Canada Authentication?

Global Affairs Canada updates its processing time on a monthly basis. Unfortunately, waiting time is currently increasing each month. As of June 1, 2022, the processing time is 65 business days. This excludes mailing time which can add another 5 business days. It also excludes the time it takes to prepare your documents (in cases where a notarization or translation are needed), as well as the time it takes for the Embassy to complete the legalization step of the process.

Getting your documents authenticated and legalized is a lengthy process. Our authentication experts can help facilitate this process by ensuring that you’re submitting the right documentation and hence avoiding delays in what is already a lengthy process. Get in touch with our team for quick document authentication in Canada.

Is there an alternative to Global Affairs Canada authentication?

A number of provinces and territories are able to offer authentication services for public documents issued in their jurisdictions. These include Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec (for educational documents), Saskatchewan, and Yukon.

Is in-person authentication at Global Affairs Canada possible?

No, it is not possible to request Global Affairs Canada’s services in person. You can submit your documents by mail or courier, or drop them off yourself. Even if you drop them off, you still have to wait for the set processing time (65 business days as of June 1, 2022).

Can I get an online Canada authentication?

Unfortunately, the authentication process is not automatic – your documents must be reviewed and stamped by Global Affairs Canada for authentication to be valid. For this reason, there is no online service, although you can outsource the process to third-party service providers, such as Document Authentication Canada, to facilitate the process.

How can I send documents to Global Affairs Canada?

You can send your documents to Global Affairs Canada by mail.

Global Affairs Canada address:

Global Affairs Canada
Authentication Services Section (JLAC)
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON K1A 0G2

It’s important that you enclose this Authentication Request Form together with the documents you need authenticated. To minimize the risk of errors, Global Affairs Canada recommends that you type this in.

You should also include a self-addressed envelope or a prepaid courier shipping label.

When sending your documents to Global Affairs Canada, you have the option to request that they forward your documents to an Embassy or consulate in Ottawa so that the legalization step can also be completed. 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


It’s very important that you get in touch with the Embassy to check that your documents meet all requirements before sending them to Global Affairs Canada for onward transmission.

At Document Authentication Canada, we can help you determine what’s needed for each specific Embassy, so that your request will not be turned down and lead to unnecessary delays. We have the expertise to complete the entire authentication and legalization process on your behalf, saving you time and money.

What happens after I send my documents to Global Affairs Canada?

You can enquire on the status of your documents after the processing time indicated on Global Affairs Canada’s website has lapsed. If you haven’t received your documents back within 75 business days, you can fill out the Authentication of Documents Status Request Form to be notified about your documents. The wait time to request a status if you’re outside of Canada is 80 days.

You will be asked to answer 5 questions to assist Global Affairs Canada to locate your documents.

What happens if I need to authenticate Canadian documents abroad?

If you’ve already left Canada and need to get your documents authenticated, there are three ways you can do this.

  1. Check with the Canadian embassy or consulate in the country you’re living in to see whether they can authenticate your documents. There are fees associated with this service. Before submitting your documents you should check if the country you’re living in or the entity that asked for the authentication can accept your document without an authentication and legalization process carried out in Canada.
  2. Mail your documents to Global Affairs Canada in Ottawa
  3. Mail your documents to a third-party service provider, such as Document Authentication Canada, to complete the entire process on your behalf.

Why should I work with Document Authentication Canada to get my documents authenticated?

The process to authenticate and legalize your documents can get quite complicated. At Document Authentication Canada we help ensure that your documents meet all of Global Affairs Canada’s and the Embassy’s requirements. This way you can avoid delays and ensure that your documents will be authenticated at first submission.

Our expert team follows developments at Global Affairs Canada and all embassies in Canada and has the latest, up to date information on document requirements, timelines and costs. We have great working relationships with Embassies and consulates, ensuring that your documents are seen to efficiently and effectively.

Global Affairs Canada Authentication

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Quick Canada Document Notarization and Authentication

This guide has provided all you should know about Global Affairs Canada authentication, their requirements, as well as the process to follow before and after authenticating your documents.

Authentication and legalization is a long and somewhat bureaucratic process, as it involves multiple entities. At Document Authentication Canada, we facilitate the notarization and legalization of all documents. We navigate through the process on your behalf so that you avoid unnecessary costs and delays. Get in touch with our expert team on 1-855-700-5840 to request a quote and a free document evaluation.

Global Affairs Canada Authentication

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