Authentication and Legalization of Documents

Authentication and Legalization of Documents

Canadais a multicultural country, and often the need arises to use Canadian documents abroad. While circumstances under which such need may exist / vary, the procedure required to be followed in order to make Canadian documents accepted for review in other countries is uniform and mandatory.

In general, before any Canadian document can be used abroad, it needs to be notarized and then go through a process of “Authentication” and “Legalization”. Only then can they be accepted by foreign jurisdictions.

ESC Corporate Services, in most circumstances (depending on the country and document in question), will assist you with Authentication and Legalization of your documents. Our services are friendly and our procedures are easy to follow.

What is Authentication?

“Authentication” procedure is used in order to prove that your documents are genuine. Courts and authorities in foreign countries have no way of verifying genuineness of a Canadian document. Thus Authentication is something that removes their burden in proving the legitimacy of such documents.

Why do Notarized documents need to be Authenticated? Authentication is the process that will verify that the notary public which notarized your document is registered and that his/her signature and seal are genuine. When the notary’s authority, signature and seal are confirmed, the Authenticating department places a stamp and/or Authentication seal together with a statement that the notary public is “known to be in good standing”. Once this happens, nothing may be added to or removed from the document. Document is now Authenticated.

What is Legalization?

Legalization takes place after Authentication. To Legalize an Authenticated document, it needs to be presented to the consulate of the relevant foreign country for certification. Once the legal validity for the use of this document in that country is provided, the consulate then Legalizes the document for such country. Without Legalization, even though Authentication has been achieved, the document will not be accepted for review by the foreign country.

How to get your documents Authenticated at ESC Corporate Services?

  1. Notarized documents are delivered to ESC via courier with an attached direction as to which consulate ESC is to attend.
  2. Once ESC receives your documents, we get them authenticated at either the Management Board or the Department of Foreign Affairs

Management Board – Official Documents Services

700 University Avenue, 6th Floor, Toronto, Ontario M7A 2S4

            General information for Authentication of documents at the Management Board:

  • Turnaround time is same day if documents are received before 4:00 p.m. 
  • Lawyer must have a specimen seal and signature on file (if not they have to provide the attached document in original form).
  • Government Disbursement for Authentication is $16.00 per document

Department of Foreign Affairs

125 Sussex Drive, Ottawa,Ontario K1A 0G2. 

            General information for Authentication of documents at the Management Board:

  • Turnaround time is approximately 2-3 business days.
  • ESC utilizes services of our agent inOttawato and from whom we receive documents via courier.
  • There is no fee for Authentication by the Department of Foreign Affairs.
  • Agent’s Fees are approximately $65.00 – $80.00.
  • Courier charge to and from agent in Ottawa applies

Once the documents are Authenticated we then have our clerk or courier (depending on location) attend at the Consulate for Legalization.  Turnaround times vary depending on Consulate as some are done same day and some take between 3-10 business days.  (We always advise client of the turnaround time).

Fees for the Legalization vary by Country.  If a money order is needed to be obtained for the fees, a disbursement of $7.50 to pay for the money order applies.

Once the documents are Legalized we then courier the documents back to the client.

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