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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Apostille?

Apostilles authenticate the seals and signatures of officials on public documents such as birth certificates, court orders, or any other document issued by a public authority so that they can be recognized in foreign countries that are members of the Hague Convention Treaty.

As of January 11, 2024 Canada became a member of the Apostille convention and for countries who did not ratify the Hauge Apostille Convention then documents should go through the authentication from Global Affairs Canada and legalized at the embassy.

What countries request an Apostille?

The countries that will request that you get an Apostille include:


  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan


  • Bahamas
  • Bahrain
  • Barbados
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Belize
  • Bolivia
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Bulgaria
  • Burundi


  • Cabo Verde
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Cook Islands
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic


  • Denmark
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic


  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Estonia
  • Eswatini


  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • France


  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Guyana


  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary


  • Iceland
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy


  • Jamaica
  • Japan


  • Kazakhstan
  • Kosovo
  • Kyrgyzstan


  • Latvia
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg


  • Macau
  • Malawi
  • Malta
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritius
  • Mexico
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Morocco


  • Namibia
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua
  • Niue
  • North Macedonia
  • Norway


  • Oman


  • Palau
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal


  • Romania
  • Russian Federation


  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Samoa
  • San Marino
  • São Tomé and Principe
  • Serbia
  • Seychelles
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • South Africa
  • South Korea (Republic of Korea)
  • Spain
  • Suriname
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland


  • Tajikistan
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey


  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan


  • Vanuatu
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam

What is Authentication of Documents?

The authentication of documents in Canada will be required in cases when the Canadian documents are intended to be used abroad for different purposes. This process basically confirms that the Canadian documents are officially recognized in Canada and can be legally used in foreign countries. The authentication of documents is the only first step in this process. There are more steps to accomplish in order for Canadian documents to be legally accepted abroad. Please contact us to get a free quote for authentication of documents at Global Affairs of Canada.

What is Legalization of Documents?

The legalization of documents in Canada is the process that confirms the Canadian documents are legal to be used in foreign countries. In general, this is a second step in the Document Authentication and Document Legalization process in Canada. The legalization of documents is mostly completed by the embassies and consulates of foreign countries accredited in and for Canada. Please contact us to obtain a free quote in regards to legalizing your Canadian documents for international use.

How can I find out whether I need to authenticate and legalize my documents?

To find out whether you need to authenticate and legalize your documents, you should ask the recipient abroad. However, if you have Canadian documents that will be used in another country, they will likely need to be authenticated and legalized, also known as apostille or attestation. The reason for the process is to verify the signatures on your documents. By having the documents authenticated and legalized, the recipient abroad can rest assured that your documents have been properly processed.

Is document attestation the same as document authentication and legalization?

Attestation is a term used in some countries to describe the process of having a document from one country certified so that it will be officially recognized in another country. The official term for the equivalent Canadian process is called document authentication and legalization. Regardless of the terminology used, the process for a Canadian document will be authentication at Global Affairs Canada and legalization at the embassy or consulate of the destination country.

How long does it take to authenticate and legalize a document?

The processing times for authentication and legalization can vary depending on the diplomatic mission involved. Each embassy or consulate has its own processing time, subject to consular availability. Some will also offer rush services for an additional fee.
If you decide to handle the process yourself by mail, the process will take some time. Global Affairs Canada takes a minimum of 3 months to authenticate documents submitted by mail. Following the authentication, typical processing times at most embassies and consulates range from 2 to 5 business days.
We can expedite the authentication process by attending in person, saving you weeks of waiting. We will also help you prepare the documents and ensure they meet the criteria of the process. Document experts are standing by if you have any questions or concerns you need to discuss. Contact DLC for your free consultation. You can also call us toll-free at 1-833-700-5342.

How are the Consular fees paid?

As a part of our authentication and legalization services, we will take care of every detail, including the payment of the consular fees. When we prepare your quote, we will include the Consular Fees. These fees will be paid by us and will depend on the type of documents, the number of documents, and in some cases the speed of service at the diplomatic mission.
Contact our specialist to discuss your document needs and find out the cost of consular fees for your documents. Call us toll-free at 1-833-700-5342 or fill the online Quote Request form.

Are there different kinds of criminal record checks?

Yes, in Canada there are two types of criminal record checks.
The first is a Basic Criminal Record Check, where only your name and date of birth are used to identify you when the RCMP database is searched. No fingerprints are involved in obtaining a basic Criminal Record Check.
The second type is called a Certified Criminal Record Check, which also uses your fingerprints as an identifier when searching the RCMP database. Certified Criminal Record Checks are considered more reliable because they use fingerprints as an identifier and this is the type of criminal record check most commonly required.

How do I obtain a Canadian criminal record check?

If you are in Canada, you may obtain your criminal record check by either visiting a local police detachment or an agency that has been accredited by the RCMP. If you are outside of Canada, you must use a fingerprinting agency that has been accredited by the RCMP in order to obtain your criminal record check. They will digitize your ink fingerprints and submit the application on your behalf.
You may have the criminal record check sent directly to our office to save time. We can then notify you that it has arrived and begin the authentication and legalization process.
If you need assistance to determine what agencies you may use, you can review this list provided by the RCMP, or feel free to contact our friendly specialists for advice.

What is your pricing for authenticating and legalizing a criminal record check?

The pricing for authenticating and legalizing a criminal record check will vary depending on several factors. These variables include whether or not you require notarization, the services and speed of service you choose, and the processing times with the diplomatic mission. You may have the criminal record check sent directly to our office to save time. We can then notify you that it has arrived and begin the authentication and legalization process.
If you need assistance to determine what agencies you may use, you can review this list provided by the RCMP, or feel free to contact our friendly specialists for advice.

Are there different kinds of Single Status Documents in Canada?

Yes! There are three types of Single Status Documents that can be issued in Canada and used to support your single status. These three types of Single Status Documents are:

If you have been asked for a Statement in Lieu of Certificate of Non-impediment to Marriage Abroad, it can be requested from Global Affairs Canada in Ottawa. It is based on your Single Status Declaration and citizenship.
We can help you to obtain the appropriate document and assist with the preparation of your Single Status Document. Contact us today!

What type of official documents do you Apostille?

We process all types of Canadian documents. We apostille, authenticate and legalize official documents on your behalf. Examples of the most commonly processed official documents are:

We are here to help you in authenticating and legalizing your document for use in a foreign country.  Call our Toll-Free number 1-833-700-5342 for free quote.

I am currently outside of Canada, do I have to fly back to Canada in order to authenticate and legalize my Canadian documents?

No. You do not have to be physically present in Canada to authenticate and legalize your documents. All your need to do is to ship with a courier (FedEx, DHL, UPS) your documents to our office in Ottawa and we will take care of everything upon receiving your documents.

Will one of your agents appear in person at Global Affairs Canada and the embassy on my behalf?

Yes, one of our agents will appear in person both at Global Affairs Canada for the authentication as well as at the Embassy for document legalization. We take care to follow through with your document in-person to ensure that all requirements are met and that the processing of the documents is completed in a timely and accurate manner.

How do I prepare my documents for authentication and legalization?

There are a few different aspects to consider when preparing your documents for authentication and legalization.
The recipient abroad should advise you what documents they need, whether they must be originals, and how they want them processed.
You must meet the criteria of the authentication process. Whether you will authenticate with Global Affairs Canada or the appropriate provincial office, they each have specific criteria for authentication.
Each embassy or consulate also has its own specific requirements and rules for the submission of documents for legalization. You must ensure you also meet their criteria for legalization.
We will happily discuss and review your documents for authentication and legalization. We will make sure your documents have been correctly prepared. Contact our expert and friendly staff for more information and to answer your questions.

How do you return my documents to me?

That is up to you! You can choose your preferred method of final shipping. We recommend using a traceable method of shipping, such as FedEx, DHL, or Canada Post Xpress Post. We will ship how you like, anywhere you like. You can even provide your final shipping envelope so we don’t have to include it in the quote.

Do I need to authenticate and legalize my Canadian birth Certificate?

If you need to present your Canadian birth certificate outside of Canada, you may need to have your certificate apostilled or legalized. Confirm requirements by contacting the embassy, high commission, or consulate of the country where your document will be used:

How do I get my birth certificate from Canada?

Canadian birth certificate must be obtained from the vital statistics office of the province in which the event occurred.  They cannot be obtained through the Canadian Embassy.  Requests should be sent directly to the appropriate provincial vital statistic office.  The fee for issuing a birth certificate will vary from province to province.

You cannot obtain a Canadian birth certificate for a Canadian child born outside of Canada.  You must apply instead for a Canadian citizenship certificate.

Can I authenticate and legalize a copy of my birth certificate, instead of the original?

In most cases, the answer is NO. Global Affairs Canada no longer accepts notarized copies of birth certificates for authentication. If you need to use your birth certificate outside of Canada, it will need to be authenticated and legalized or Apostilled. To meet the criteria of the authentication process at Global Affairs Canada, you must submit an original birth certificate.

What is the difference between long form and short form birth certificate?

A Short Form Birth Certificate contains less information than a Long Form Birth Certificate and is smaller in size.  It will contain basic information regarding the child’s birth but does not show the names of the child’s parents.

A Long Form Birth Certificate contains more information than a Short Form Birth Certificate and is larger in size.  It will contain the name of the child and the names of both parents.  If only one parent was declared, then it will show the child’s name & the mother’s name.

Although a Short Form Birth Certificate is a valid legal document, most government agencies prefer the Long Form Birth Certificate as identification as it contains more information concerning your identity, especially in the case of children/minors.

Can I have my documents delivered directly to your office to save time?

Our customers choose to have their documents delivered directly to our office in Ottawa, saving time.  When having it sent directly to us, we will confirm when it arrives and can begin the process of apostille or authentication and legalization as it arrives.  To do this, have the document delivered to our address as follows:

Our mailing address in Ottawa;

Document Legalization of Canada

2420 Bank Street, Unit 63

Ottawa, ON

K1V 8S1

How much does it cost to have Document Legalization of Canada authenticate my document at ODS?

Our processing fees for your documents are divided into different phases. We kindly request that you Request a Quote or contact our dedicated Document Legalization specialist at 1-833-700-5342 from anywhere in North America to acquire a cost estimate customized to your unique needs. Our representative will be pleased to help you.

Do an apostille stamps and signature expire?

No, a Global Affairs Canada or provincial authentication never expires. The contents of your document may expire, even while the authentication is still valid, and the Embassy of the country in which you intend to use the document may need that it be issued within a specific amount of time in order for it to be processed.

Can I get my Canadian birth certificate Apostilled?

Yes, as of January 11, 2024 Canada will start issuing Apostille for personal official documents.  To ensure that the process is done correctly will depends on where the document was issued from.

Canadian Pension Plan Statements of Benefits

You’ll get payments for the remainder of your life once your CPP retirement pension begins. If you plan to retire outside of Canada, you might need a letter from CPP detailing your benefits for an in-country application. This is the application page.

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