Global Affairs Canada Apostille

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

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Apostille (Authentication) at Global Affairs Canada

Your Canadian documents must first be apostilled 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 apostilled (or authenticated and legalized) before they can be accepted.

Global Affairs Canada in Ottawa can Apostille your documents, provided they meet all requirements. However, getting an Apostille certificate 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 request an Apostille, costs, and timeframes.

If you’re looking for a fast and easy way to get your documents apostilled, 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 apostille 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 an Apostille, authentication or 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 apostilled (or authenticated and legalized, depending on where you will be using your documents) 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 Apostille 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. In Canada, authentication involves the issuance of an Apostille certificate. You must follow two steps to get an Apostille:

  1. Document Preparation – some documents require notarization and a translation
  2. Submit your request for an Apostille at Global Affairs Canada or a competent provincial authority

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.

These terms are used to refer to processes where documents issued in one country are validated for use in another. While these options may seem similar, they are not interchangeable: making the wrong choice can mean your document is rejected by the foreign country you want to submit it in.

An apostille is a certificate issued and recognized in countries that have signed the 1961 Hague Convention. It’s a simpler process compared to a legalization as it only requires a single Apostille stamp. While Canada is a party to this Convention, not all states have joined. You can view a full list of countries that issue and recognize apostilles.

Document authentication is a process which determines if the signature, stamp or seal on a document is authentic. In other words, authentication validates the document’s authority. The process starts with a party signing the document and then having it acknowledged by a notary. The document is certified after the notarization is examined by a competent authority.

Once a document is fully authenticated, it must then be legalized by the country in which it will be used. This process is known as legalization and is done by the country’s embassy or consulate.

Countries in the Middle East and South Asia refer to legalization as attestationJust like legalizations, an attestation is a step in the process of authenticating a document so that another country accepts it as genuine.

So, while an Apostille only requires a certificate issued by the state in which the document was created, legalizations and attestations involve a longer process where authentication in the document’s country of origin and a legalization or attestation by the country where it will be used are needed.

Also, an Apostille is recognized in all countries party to the Hague Convention. A legalization is only recognized in the country that issued it.

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 apostilled and the requirements for each. If your document is not on the list, contact Global Affairs Canada to determine if they can issue an Apostille certificate. 

Global Affairs Canada does not apostille all public documents. This responsibility is shared with other provincial competent authorities. Where you send your documents will depend on where it was issued or notarized. Competent authorities in some provinces issue apostilles, and Global Affairs Canada issues apostilles for documents issued by the Government of Canada and for documents issued or notarized in specific provinces and territories.

Global Affairs Canada accepts documents issued by the Government of Canada and documents issued or notarized in Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Prince Edward Island, and Yukon. If your document was notarized in a province or territory listed above, you will send it to Global Affairs Canada regardless of where it was issued.

Competent authorities in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan are responsible for issuing apostilles for documents issued or notarized in their respective province.

If your document was notarized in Alberta, Ontario, or Saskatchewan, you will send it to that province’s competent authority, regardless of where your document was issued. In British Columbia and Quebec, the competent authority can authenticate a notarized document only if the original document was issued in the province. 

You can view a list of provincial competent authorities here.

Generally, Global Affairs Canada and provincial authorities will 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 issue an Apostille and will refer your case to the authorities.

Which documents can Global Affairs Canada apostille?

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 issue Apostilles for 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 apostille documents. However, there are fees associated with the notarization and translation part of the process (if required). Embassies of countries that ask for document legalization have their own price list for this service. 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. As of February 16, 2024 the processing time is 30 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). 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 Apostille?

A number of provincial competent authorities are able to offer Apostille services for public documents issued or notarized in their jurisdictions. You can view a list of provincial competent authorities here.  

An alternative to a Global Affairs Canada apostille is authentication by a Canadian provincial or territorial authentication office, provided that the country where you’re submitting your documents accepts this. You can request this service at offices in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, and Yukon.

Another alternative is a direct legalization by the embassy, high commission, or consulate of the country of destination. Some foreign missions can legalize Canadian documents directly, meaning that they do not need to be first authenticated by Global Affairs Canada or a provincial or territorial authentication office. Among the documents that some foreign missions legalize directly are Canadian Vital Statistics documents (for example, birth, marriage, death certificate) and police record checks. You should contact the foreign mission directly to find out if they offer this service.

Another valid alternative is to request an authentication by a Canadian embassy, high commission, or consulate in the country of destination. Several Canadian embassies offer authentication services. If these services are indeed offered by the Canadian mission in the destination country, confirm with the receiving authority of your documents whether an authentication by the local Canadian embassy, high commission, or consulate would be acceptable. The Canadian mission where your document will be used may also be able to indicate whether an authentication by their office is generally accepted by the local authorities.

You can view a list of possible authentication alternatives for private documents here.

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 (30 business days as of February 2024).

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, provided they meet all criteria outlined above.

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.

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, you can fill out the Authentication of Documents Status Request Form to be notified about your documents. 

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 apostilled, 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 apostille issued 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 apostille 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, if requesting a legalization) 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 Apostille

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

Getting an Apostille is a long and somewhat bureaucratic process, as it involves multiple entities. At Document Authentication Canada, we facilitate the notarization and Apostille 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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