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What is Document Authentication and Legalization

Posted by: Michael Atkinson
Category: Document Authentication and Legalization
document authentication meaning

If an individual or company is intent on having Canadian documents recognized for use abroad they must go through a system that is referred to as Document Authentication and Legalization.  This can also be referred to as an “Apostille”. Our office often receives calls from individuals seeking clarification and guidance about what is document authentication and legalization?

What is Document Authentication and Legalization?

Quite simply, document authentication and legalization is a two step process.  The first step requires document(s) to be stamped by Global Affairs Canada.  The stamp by Global Affairs means that the documents are deemed to be legitimate Canadian documents and it is the first step in having the documents recognized as legitimate for use abroad.  Global Affairs Canada has specific criteria for document authentication.  The Global Affairs website should be consulted especially if you have questions about what documents can be authenticated.  In some cases, original documents can be used while other documents must be notarized before they can be submitted for authentication.

The second step in this process is what is referred to as legalization.  In simplistic terms this is the stamp that is affixed to the documents by a particular diplomatic mission which makes the documents legitimate for use in a particular country.  Each diplomatic mission has a specific set of requirements that must be met before a document can be submitted for legalization.

What are the problems in trying to manage the process of document authentication and legalization on your own?

The entire process can be time consuming and in the event that there are errors with the documentation there can be delay which likely will result in increased cost.  On occasion, diplomatic missions can change their list of requirements with little to no notice to the public.

At Capital Authentication we remain up to date with the requirements at Global Affairs Canada as well as the various diplomatic missions.  Our office manages all aspects of the document authentication and legalization process.  If you have questions, reach out to our office and we will happily assist.  We can easily be reached by e-mail at: info@capitalauthentication.com or by telephone: 1 (613) 236-9975.  For more information we can be found on the web at: www.capitalauthentication.com

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