Authentication & Legalization
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1) What benefit is there to using your service for my document authentication and legalization or attestation?
A. Documents submitted by mail to Global Affairs Canada for authentication can take in excess of 25 days to be processed, at which point they must be posted to the embassy or consulate where they may sit for another 5-10 days before be posted back.
Our team is conveniently located in Ottawa, in proximity to Global Affairs Canada’s Authentication Division (JLAC) and 130+ embassies and high commissions. We will submit your documents in person, cutting the processing time to as little as one day. Overall, we can save a month or more of time required to attest your documents.
2) What is the difference between “Authentication and Legalization”, “Attestation”, and “Apostille”.
A. The terms “authentication and legalization”, “attestation” and “apostille” are all equivalent processes.
As Canada is not signatory to the Hague convention, we do not have a process of apostille but rather an equivalent two-step process called authentication and legalization. The name is different, but the end result is the same in that your document will be recognized for use in the foreign country for which it was legalized.
3) What is document authentication?
A. Document authentication involves having Global Affairs Canada (formerly the Department of Foreign Affairs ) stamp and sign a document.
This process does not certify the content of a document, it merely recognizes the signature of the notary or issuing authority as valid.
4) What is document legalization?
A. Legalization is the second step in the authentication and legalization process. It is also referred to as attestation by some embassies.
This process involves having the embassy, consulate or high commission stamp and sign the document for recognition in the foreign country. It does not certify the contents of the document, but recognizes the authority and signature of the authenticating party.
5) How long does the authentication process take?
A. If submitting your documents by mail, the process can take in excess of 25 days. We submit your documents in person, having them authenticated by Global Affairs Canada on the spot, saving you as much as a month.
6) How can I send my documents?
A. You may forward your documents to us by your choice of mail or courier service. We strongly recommend using a tracked service to avoid losing important documents.
7) What methods of payment do you accept?
A. We are able to accept payment by cash, money order, Interac e-Transfer, credit card or company cheque. We do not accept payment by personal cheque.
8) Do I need to send my original documents?
A. Certified true copies from a Canadian notary public are acceptable in most cases but we recommend checking with the particular consulate and end recipient for their requirements.
In no case are standard photocopies sufficient.
9) Do you pay the consular fee(s) on my behalf?
A. We can always arrange to pay the consular fee(s) on your behalf and include it in the invoice. Alternatively, you may include the payment to the embassy in your package.
10) How do you send back my documents?
A. In most cases, we will return the documents by courier. You may either include the prepaid courier or waybill in your package, or we can provide it and include this in your invoice. Should you have any special shipping requests we are happy to accommodate. Due to the important nature of the documents, we strongly discourage any means of shipping that does not include a tracking number.
We can ship your documents anywhere in the world you request.