Authentication of documents: 1. Before you start

Our processing times are higher than normal. Before submitting your request to the Authentication Services Section at Global Affairs Canada, we recommend you explore the options listed in Alternatives to authentication by the Authentication Services Section at Global Affairs Canada.

We do not offer in-person service. All requests must be submitted following the instructions on step 4 . For information about our service and instructions on submitting your request, please read steps 1234. If you have further questions, please consult our Frequently Asked Questions.

Our service is offered free of charge. For information on estimated processing times, see Processing times.

On this page

This website is the only authoritative source of information regarding the authentication services provided by the Authentication Services Section at Global Affairs Canada.

Authentication is sometimes required before you can use a Canadian document abroad. Authentication speaks to the genuineness of the signature of a public official found on a document. In other countries, authentication is also known as apostille. After being authenticated, your document may need to be legalized by the authorities of the country of destination (e.g., by their embassy, high commission or consulate in or accredited to Canada). To be authenticated, your document must bear an original, recognized signature (and seal, if applicable).

To find out if your document requires authentication, see the section below. To explore alternatives to authentication by Global Affairs Canada, please visit Alternatives to authentication by the Authentication Services Section at Global Affairs Canada.

Unless otherwise indicated, you must submit your documents in paper format by following the instructions outlined in steps 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Check whether your documents need to be authenticated

Please note that not all countries require the authentication or legalization of Canadian documents before they can be used in their territory. The same applies to the requirement to submit a statement in lieu of certificate of non-impediment for marriage if you intend to get married abroad. Therefore, as first step, 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:

If you receive confirmation that your document must be authenticated, we would suggest you to consult Alternatives to authentication by the Authentication Services Section at Global Affairs Canada.

Get your document translated

If all or part of your document written in a language other than English or French, you must send a certified, notarized translation (see exception below). You have two options:

Translation by a certified translator

What is a certified translation? It is a translation that is certified by a member of:

Some countries may require a translator’s affidavit. An affidavit must be signed and sealed by a Canadian notary.

or

Attestation by Canadian notary public provided they speak both languages. If that is the case, ensure that the notary public adds to their declaration the following statement:

Exception: We do not need translations for:

Reasons we cannot authenticate your document

If we cannot authenticate your document, we will inform you in writing.

We cannot authenticate the following documents:

We can decline authentication and refer your case to the appropriate authority if

Fees

We do not charge a fee for our service.

Processing times

At June 1, 2022, the processing time is:

65 business days

from the day the request is delivered to our office. You must add up to 5 business days for mailing time. Please note the processing time is only an estimate at a point in time and it may fluctuate depending on work volume and operational factors. This turnaround applies to all the requests submitted prior to the current date .  

We do not offer expedited services. For that reason, please send your request with as much notice as possible and ensure to take into consideration all the timelines and deadlines that apply to your case. If you have exceptional and urgent circumstances (generally defined as an unexpected event outside of your control that makes it impossible to wait the regular processing time) and want us to consider processing your document in priority, you may contact usPlease note that you do not need to hire a third-party company to submit your request to our office.

Processing can take longer if:

We will inform you in writing if we cannot authenticate upon returning your document.

For more information on how we count processing times.

Provincial and territorial authentication services

The majority of the documents processed by the Authentication Services Section at Global Affairs Canada are issued under provincial or territorial authority. Most provinces and territories offer authentication services for documents issued or notarized in their jurisdiction, which some countries may accept instead of an authentication by Global Affairs Canada. These provincial and territorial services operate independently of the Government of Canada and may have shorter processing times. Global Affairs Canada recognizes these authentications as being equally valid to those performed by our department.

Please note that Global Affairs Canada does not require provincial or territorial authentication or from organizations such as the Society of Notaries Public of British Columbia or the Chambre des notaires du Québec to be able to authenticate a document.

Find more information about the following provincial and territorial authentication services:

Contact details

Before contacting our office, please read steps 1234 and 5, the Frequently asked questions section and, if applicable, the Statement in lieu of certificate of non-impediment to marriage abroad page.

If you are in Canada and submitted your documents more than 75 business days ago (approximately 3 months and 10 days) and wish to obtain a status update, please fill in the form available at the Check the status of your request. If you submitted your document from abroad, the wait time to request a status update is 80 business days (approximately 3 months and 20 days). If you have asked us to forward your documents to a foreign embassy, high commission or consulate, please check the status with them first. Due to the volume of requests, we regret that we cannot provide status updates for requests submitted before the waiting period has lapsed.

Access our contact details

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