Authentication of documents: 4. Send your document

The Apostille Convention took effect in Canada on January 11, 2024

Visit the Changes to authentications services in Canada for information on changes to authentication services in Canada.

Our processing times are higher than normal

Check the Alternatives to authentication page before sending your request to the Authentication Services Section.

If there are alternative options available for any document in your submission, it may take longer to process your request.

Please be aware that processing times are consistent whether you submit directly to our department or through a third-party service provider.

On this page

Please note that we do not offer in-person service. You may submit your request by mail or courier or drop it off yourself at our department. In all cases, your request will be processed as per our current processing time and sent back to the address indicated in the application form EXT2165 using the below shipping methods.

Sending your request by mail or courier

The following instructions are for sending your requests to Global Affairs Canada for authentication. Please make sure to review the Where to send your documents section to confirm that your documents must be sent to Global Affairs Canada before you proceed. If your document is to be sent to one of the other competent authorities, please review their website for further instructions on how to send them your authentication request.

In Canada

When sending your documents by mail, please make sure to enclose the:

  • authentication request form
    • To minimize the risk of errors, we strongly recommend you to fill in the form using a computer.

    Visit the following section if you are having trouble opening the form. In short, you must open the form with a PDF reader (e.g., Adobe Acrobat Reader) rather than with a browser (e.g., Chrome, Safari, Firefox).

  • all documents required for authentication
  • a self-addressed stamped envelope or a prepaid courier shipping label
    • IMPORTANT: Our office is unable to confirm receipt of your request or provide a status update of your request before the minimum wait time has lapsed. Therefore, if you wish to obtain confirmation of delivery, we strongly encourage you to send your application using registered mail or courier, which will allow you to track the delivery status.

Courier waybills with account numbers are not accepted. They will be returned by regular mail. We accept prepaid shipping labels only.

Send your documents to:

Global Affairs Canada
Authentication Services Section (JLAC)
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON K1A 0G2

Outside of Canada

Foreign authorities may not accept documents that have not been legalized by their embassy or consulate in Canada.

Check with the nearest Canadian embassy, high commission or consulate to see whether they can authenticate your documents. If they cannot do so, you can mail the documents to our office in Ottawa.
Authentication services provided at Canadian missions abroad are subject to fees under the Consular Fees (Specialized Services) Regulations

In-person drop-off

Please note: If you drop off your request at our department’s Distribution Centre, it will be processed as per our current processing time. The Authentication Services Section does not offer in-person service. Please also note that the Distribution Centre is unable to answer questions regarding our service or provide status updates.

Location of Global Affairs Canada’s Distribution Centre:

Lester B. Pearson Building
125 Sussex Drive, King Edward entrance
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0G2

Please ensure to address your envelope to the Authentication Services Section (JLAC).

Hours of operations: Monday to Friday (except statutory holidays) 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Getting your documents returned

Once processed, your documents will be returned to you by mail or, if you included a prepaid label or prepaid envelope, by courier (courier waybills with account numbers are not accepted). If you wish to have them returned by mail, ensure include a self-addressed stamped envelope. If you wish to have your documents forwarded to a foreign embassy, high commission or consulate, they will be shipped as per the methods outlined in the next section.

Forwarding your authenticated document to a foreign mission in Ottawa

Upon request, we can forward your authenticated documents to an embassy, high commission or consulate in Ottawa. If the mission to which you want us to forward your documents is located outside of Ottawa, your document will be forwarded by regular mail unless you include a prepaid label or prepaid envelope.

Documents that have been issued an apostille certificate and are intended for use in a country that is a party to the Apostille Convention may not require additional legalization prior to use in that country. Please confirm with the receiving country whether additional legalization is required for your apostilled document.

You have 3 forwarding options:

Regular mail

Include a stamped envelope with the address of the embassy, high commission or consulate in Ottawa.

Expedited mail or courier

If you want our office to forward your processed documents to an embassy, high commission or consulate in Ottawa using expedited mail or courier, please enclose a prepaid label or prepaid expedited mail envelope with your request. Please note that if we are unable to authenticate one or more documents, depending on the number and type of record that could not be processed we may return them to you instead.

Global Affairs Canada’s internal mail system

This service is offered at no charge (no stamp required). The delivery time normally ranges from 2 to 4 business; however, this may be longer depending on several factors. Please note that if you select this option, you will not be able to track the delivery of your documents from our department to the foreign mission. As such, if you wish to keep track of your request and have confirmation of delivery to the foreign mission, we suggest you including a prepaid label or prepaid expedited mail envelope.

Here are the instructions:

  • Select “Forward to an embassy/consulate” in “Shipping details” (Section 2) in the mail-in form.
  • Provide the full mailing address
  • Include a separate, sealed envelope that contains:
    • payment (if required by the embassy, high commission or consulate)
    • photos
    • accompanying documents that you do not want us to authenticate
    • Note: If you do not put these items in a sealed envelope, we may return your request without being processed.


  • Global Affairs Canada is not responsible for the loss of items sent to a foreign mission.
  • Check with the embassy, high commission or consulate about their requirements to return the documents to you.
  • Do not include cash payments to be forwarded on to the embassy, high commission or consulate. If the foreign mission requires cash payment, please send it to them directly.
  • Failure to follow these instructions may result in your documents being returned to you without being authenticated.

Authentication form

The person submitting the request must:

  • complete the form
  • print the form
  • sign the form
  • date the form

The person submitting the request does not need to be the person whose name appears on the document to be authenticated.

Mail or courier authentication form

Visit the following section if you are having trouble opening the form. In short, you must open the form with a PDF reader (e.g., Adobe Acrobat Reader) rather than with a browser (e.g., Chrome, Safari, Firefox).

Trouble opening the form?

Try saving it to your desktop first. If you are still having trouble, try these PDF form instructions.

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