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In order to use a Canadian document outside of Canada, it must first be fully authenticated and legalized.

The Apostille in Canada is a confirmation that the documents have been obtained legally and therefore can be recognized by the countries that are signatories of the Hague Apostille Convention of October 5, 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents.

Canada is not a member of this convention, therefore all Canadian documents must undergo the authentication and legalization services  in order to be valid in foreign countries.


This typically involves three steps:

Step 1 – Prepare Your Document

This can require some or all of the following: notarize your document, certify a true copy of a document, translate a document and provide an additional supporting documents if required. 

If a document has been issued in one country, a notary public’s certification is all that is needed to permit that document to be used in another country, provided that the Notary Public has certification by Apostille.

Document Translation:

If all or part of your document written in a language other than English or French, you must translate a document by a certified translator. You should find out whether the country will require a particular document to be translated into its own language, in which case you will have to notarize a translated version of the document and get that translated document authenticated and legalized as well.



Step 2 – Authenticate your document


The authentication process is carried out by a designated government authority. 


In Canada, the primary federal authority designated to carry this out is Global Affairs Canada.

(For more information, please visit:

In Ontario, authentication is done by the Official Documents Services

(For more information, please visit:

Please note that not all countries require the authentication or legalization of Canadian documents before they can be used in their territory. The rules of authentication and legalization, vary depending on the country and the situation. Therefore, please always confirm the requirements by contacting the authority requesting your document or the embassy, high commission, or consulate of the country where your document will be used:

When your document is presented to Global Affairs Canada or Official Documents Services, they will confirm the authenticity of the signature on your document and that your document meets their other requirements. If your document meets their requirements they will place an Apostille stamp confirming it has been authenticated.

Step 3 – Legalize Your Document


You must present the authenticated document to the consulate or embassy of the country where you intend to use the document, along with the certificate of authentication, and any such application forms and proofs of identity as the consulate or embassy may require.

The consular staff will confirm that the authentication stamp on your document is valid and that your document meets their specific requirements. When they are satisfied, the embassy or consulate will place a stamp or a certificate directly on your document, confirming it has been legalized.

You will have the original document, the certificate of authentication, and the certificate of legalization. 


All of these must be in your possession for the document to be valid in the country to which you are traveling or sending a document. 

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