Canada joins the Apostille Convention:
Important changes to document legalization is now in effect!
Click for more details!
Centro Legal Works is a premier provider of document Authentication, Apostille and Legalization services. We work with several of Canada’s largest law firms and corporations and have legalized some of the most complex documents destined for countries across the globe! With almost 3 decades of experience, you can rely on our expert knowledge of the intricate government, consulate, and embassy requirements to simplify the complicated process of Apostille and Legalization.
The process of legalization or apostille is twofold. Authentication is the procedure of verifying the authenticity of the signature and seal on the document against the official information on file for the Notary Public or Commissioner. Depending on the destination country, once a document has been authenticated, it will either be Apostilled, or presented to the relevant foreign country’s Consulate, or Embassy office in Canada for Legalization.
That’s a simple overview for what can be a complex, time-consuming process. Many simply don’t have the time or resources to spend dealing with government, Consulate, and Embassy offices, but we do! At Centro, we look after the details, so you don’t have to.
Document Authentication is first step in the legalization process for notarized documents destined for a country that is not a member of the Hague Apostille convention. It is a process where the signature and seal of the Notary, or issuing authority is validated. Authentication will either be completed by a Provincial authentication authority, or by Global Affairs in Ottawa depending on where the document was issued and notarized. Once the Notary information is reviewed and validated the document will receive an authentication certificate that will be attached, or an authentication stamp placed directly on the document.
For a document that will be used in a country that is a member of the Hague Apostille Convention, the notary seal and signature will also be validated as described above, however, the document will receive an Apostille certificate, which completes the process! The document is now the equivalent of legalized and is not required to be stamped by a consulate or embassy.
Provincial Authority – Authentication and Apostille
In Ontario, the Official Document Services (ODS) authentication and/or apostille process involves comparing the signature and seal or stamp to what is on file for the Notary or Commissioner.
The Apostille, or Authentication certificate will only be granted if:
- The Notary Public or Commissioner for taking affidavits is registered with the ODS.
- All parts of the signature, seal and/or stamp of the Notary Public of Commissioner for taking affidavits are original, complete, and clearly displayed on the same page of the document.
- The name, seal and/or stamp is identical to what is on file with the ODS.
- An original hard copy is provided. Electronic copies will not be authenticated.
Once these pieces of information are confirmed a Certificate of Authentication or Apostille Certificate will be issued and attached to the document.
Important: If the Notary, or Commissioner is not on file with the ODS office, they are required to complete an application and provide a sample specimen of their seal or stamp. Click to download the application.
Global Affairs in Ottawa
Similarly, Global Affairs in Ottawa will confirm and compare the Notary’s signature and seal to what is on record and apply an Authentication or Apostille stamp depending on if the destination country is a member of the Hague Convention.
As of January 11th, 2024, documents notarized in Manitoba, New Brunswick Newfoundland, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Prince Edward Island and Yukon must be sent to Global Affairs, regardless of where the document was issued.
Is a Certified Translation required?
In Ontario, the ODS office will require a translation if the document is in languages other than English and French. If the document is in another language along with English on the same document, then an additional certified translation will not be required.
For Global Affairs (Ottawa), if all or part of your document is in a language other than English or French, a certified, notarized translation must be provided with the original document, regardless of if English is one of the languages.
What is a certified translation?
It is a translated copy of the document that is certified by a member of:
- a recognized provincial translation association, like the ATIO (Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario)
- the Canadian Translators, Terminologists, and Interpreters Council
*WAIT! If the Notary public is fluent in the language in which the document was written, a certified translation will not be required if the Notary adds the following statements to their declaration:
- They attest to speaking both languages.
- They certify the accuracy of the translation.
Legalization is the final step in the Authentication and Legalization process and is completed once the document has been authenticated. For countries that are not members of the Hague Apostille convention, the authenticated documents are taken to the Consulate or Embassy office and the authenticity of the authentication stamp or certificate is reviewed. Once the authentication is confirmed and approved, a combination of a seal or stamp will be affixed directly on the document by the consulate or embassy. The document now becomes a legal document and will be recognized in the destination country.
Legalization fees, forms of payment, processing time and requirements change frequently and vary by Consulate and Embassy. We’ve got your covered! We take care of the fine details and communicate with these offices frequently to closely monitor any changes in the requirements to ensure documents are processed accurately and efficiently!
Consulate and Embassy Fees
Each Consulate and Embassy sets their own fees and the payment format required can range from one of the following: bank draft, money order, credit card, U.S. dollars, CDN dollars, or Euros. The fees are also subject to change, so if you are using Centro, we will let you know what to expect in the way of forms of payment and the amounts. We will arrange for payments to the Consulate of Embassy office with every order.
Once you have your documents in order and they have been notarized, get in touch with us to begin the authentication, legalization or apostille of your documents. Contact us below, or complete the Request more information form to begin the process!
Toll-free in North America:
|Centro Legal Works Inc.
425 University Avenue, Suite 303
|Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
Saturday & Sunday, Closed