For anyone needing to use Canadian documents in a foreign country they may be required to have them processed through a system that is referred to as Authentication and Legalization. It is also referred to as Apostille or Attestation. We are often asked the question “who can authenticate documents in Canada” and are my documents correct for processing. In basic terms, this is a two step process that simply means that stamps are affixed to the documents making them legitimate Canadian documents for use in a specific foreign country. The processing of the documents is quite simple provided that the documents are accurate and and are being presented properly. Although one can manage the processing of their documents on their own it is recommended that one consider hiring a third party service provider such as a authentication and legalization service or process server to assist with the document authentication process.
The majority of Canadian documents are authenticated by Global Affairs Canada (formerly known as the Department of Foreign Affairs), in Ottawa, Ontario CANADA. This is a free service that is offered by the authentication section (JLAC) of Global Affairs Canada. Documents can be couriered, mailed, presented in person or submitted through the use of a third party service provider for processing.
In some cases, there are Provincial authorities that can authenticate documents. For example, there is the Official Documents Services which is a branch of the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General that will authenticate documents. The Provincial authority is not as frequently accepted by diplomatic missions and one must be cautious when using any of the Provincial authorities.
Anyone is able to process documents on their own. If you are familiar with the processing requirements as set out by Global Affairs Canada or the relevant Provincial authority. One could complete the authentication form and courier it along with the documents directly to Global Affairs Canada. Provided that the documentation has been provided correctly the examiners will authenticate and return the documents to you. The two main drawbacks of processing the documents on your own are incomplete documents and time. In the event that the documents have been presented improperly or are incomplete they will be returned without being authenticated. The other factor is time. Depending upon the volume of documents received by courier or lettermail, Global Affairs Canada can take up to fifteen business days to process your documents. In the event that there is a problem with your documents they will be returned to you there by adding more time and potentially costs. If timing is an issue it is strongly recommended that one reach out to a reliable third party authentication legalization service to assist.
Our office specializes in the authentication and legalization of Canadian documents. We will assist in ensuring that the documents that are to be authenticated are correct and that they meet the requirement of Global Affairs Canada. Our office is also familiar with the legalization of documents at the various diplomatic missions. Our office offers four different processing options depending upon the degree of urgency that ones documents must be processed. Our services are directly tailored to the individual needs of our client. We would be pleased to discuss your unique situation. Feel free to reach out to our office by telephone at: (613) 236-9975 or e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org