How to Get an Apostille on Documents Issued in Canada

Créé: Feb 16, 2024 | Updated: Feb 22, 2024

Getting your documents translated and legalised is important for various reasons. You could be planning to move to Canada, bag a new degree or just do some business there and because of this, you cannot escape the need for an accurate translation and a verifiable authentication. As complicated as the process might seem, we’ve made it really simple for you. Keep reading to learn how you can make sure your papers are accepted in Canada.

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Understanding Document Legalisation in Canada

Document legalisation is the process of giving your document an official stamp of approval. It's a process where authorities confirm that your document is genuine and valid. This is important when you're dealing with papers that need to be recognised in another country. It shows that your document follows the rules and standards set by the government or relevant authorities. There are two ways that documents can be legalised in Canada: By Hague apostilles and by Consular Legalisations.

What is an Apostille in Canada?

In Canada, an apostille is a form of legalisation that requires using a special stamp or certificate that authenticates a document and proves its origin by confirming the legitimacy of the signature and the authority of the official who signed it. It's a simplified way of proving that the document is real and official. 

Apostille legalisation ensures that documents are recognised as valid in countries that are part of the Hague Convention of 1961 on the Simplification of the Apostille. On the 12th of May, 2023, Canada joined the Hague Convention and the apostille application kicked in on the 11th of January, 2024. This simplifies the process of document recognition between Canada and other member countries and eliminates the need for additional certifications like consular legalisation among member states.

What Does the Canadian Hague Apostille Document Look Like? 

There are 156 countries that are part of the Hague Convention. 65 of these countries are connected parties, which means that they are partial members or they are in the process of becoming full, permanent members. The other 91 countries are permanent members of the convention and Canada is a part of them. The Canadian apostille document comes in the form of a rectangular printed stamp that carries the handwritten signature of the apostille official, an official seal, a heading that tells you it is an “Apostille”  and a reference to the Hague Convention in French (Convention de la Haye du 5 octobre, 1961). It also carries information about which competent body issued it, the date of issue and the apostille number, and at the bottom, you will find some disclaimers concerning the apostille. All the information on the Canadian apostille is written in both English and French.


Who can apostille a document in Canada?


In Canada, the authorities responsible for issuing apostilles are: 

What Documents Can Be Legalised in Canada?

People typically need to legalise a range of documents for various purposes, depending on their needs. Common documents that people often legalise in Canada include:

  • Civil status certificates: Marriage certificates, birth certificates, death certificates, etc.
  • Canadian trade register excerpts: Documents related to business registrations and trade activities.
  • Canadian land record extracts: Official documents providing information about real estate or land ownership and legal status.
  • Court documents: Documents related to legal proceedings and judgments i.e. powers of attorney, last will and testaments, declarations.
  • Official documents issued by state authorities.
  • Translations by court interpreters.
  • Patents: Documents related to patents and intellectual property.
  • Academic diplomas issued by Public Institutions: transcripts, overviews of subjects and grades, matriculation certificates, and additional certificates from schools or universities.

Types of Documents That Cannot be Legalised in Canada

  • Documents Not Issued by Competent Authorities: Private contracts, private letters, or documents issued by non-official entities.
  • Commercial Documents: Documents such as invoices, trade contracts, and customs documents. 
  • Diplomatic and Consular Documents.
  • ID Cards.

Consular Legalisation

Consular legalisation involves a more complex procedure. It is also the process of confirming or certifying legal documents to ensure their recognition and acceptance by another country's legal system although it is an extra layer of verification in addition to the apostille that is carried out by the diplomatic or consular mission in Canada representing the country where the document is intended for use. For Example, a document to be used in Congo will be legalised by the Congolese Embassy in Canada. 

This is done if the document is to be used in countries that are not part of the Hague Convention or when one of the states involved has raised objections to the other's accession. Consular legalisation can be a more expensive and time-consuming process compared to getting an apostille stamp. This is because various local authorities and the diplomatic mission of the receiving country are involved in this legalisation process. Several additional certifications are required before your document can receive approval in Canada at the embassy or consulate of the destination country.

How to Legalise Your Documents in Canada

Here is a simple guide to legalising your documents in Canada going to other countries:

Step One - Get the Original Documents: Ensure you have the original document or an official copy issued by the relevant Canadian authorities if you have lost the original. Make sure that this official copy has the official seal and signature of the institution and is a true copy of the original. 

Step Two - Translate the Document: If the document is not already in the official language of the destination country, you'll need to get a notarised translation. This translation should be done by a trusted certified translation service in Canada. Certified document translation services ensure your documents are translated accurately and legally.

Step Three - Have Them Certified: Certify your documents by getting them notarised. Translayte makes this step easy.  You can translate and notarise your documents at the same time. All you have to do is select the “notarisation” option while placing your order. This certification verifies the authenticity of the document and the signatures on it. 

In Canada, each document has a different requirement before it can be legalised. For example, documents like birth and death certificates should not be notarised, but they must be issued by a provincial or territorial vital statistics office. You can read more about the specific requirements for the document you want to legalise on the Government of Canada’s website.

Step Four - Get the Apostille from the Relevant Canadian Authorities: To get an apostille in Canada, contact the office of Global Affairs Canada or any other office responsible for document authentication in your province or territory. Canada does not operate an in-person service, so you have to send your documents either by post or by courier or you can drop them off at the following addresses:

  • Global Affairs Canada: Lester B. Pearson Building, 125 Sussex Drive, King Edward entrance, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0G2, Canada.
  • Direction des Affaires Juridiques: Ministère des Relations internationales et de la Francophonie du Québec, 525, boulevard René-Lévesque Est, bureau 4.28, Québec (Québec) G1R 5R9, Canada. 
  • The Ministry of the Attorney General of British Columbia: Ministry of Attorney General, PO Box 9280 Stn Prov Govt, Victoria, BC V8W 9J7, Canada.
  • The Ministry of Justice of Alberta: Ministry of Justice and Solicitor General, 9820 107 St NW, 3rd Floor, Edmonton, AB T5K 1E7, Canada.
  • The Ministry of Justice and Attorney General of Saskatchewan: Ministry of Justice and Attorney General, 800 - 1874 Scarth Street, Regina, SK S4P 4B3, Canada.
  • The Ministére de la Justice du Québec: Ministère de la Justice du Québec, Édifice Louis-Philippe-Pigeon, 1200, route de l'Église, Québec (Québec) G1V 4M1, Canada

You are expected to submit the following documentation to get an apostille in Canada:

  • The original document(s) that is to be legalised.
  • A completed authentication request form from the website of the relevant authority you wish to get an apostille from. In the search bar, search for “Apostille” and you will receive a link to the apostille request form in the search results.  It is advised that you fill out this form online. 
  • A self-addressed stamped envelope or a prepaid courier shipping label. This is where you will enclose all the documents you are sending. 
  • Apostille fees: The cost of an apostille in Canada differs, depending on where you get it done:
    - Global Affairs Canada - Free
    - Ministry of Justice Alberta - $10
    - The Ministry of the Attorney General of British Columbia- $20
    - Ministry of Justice and Attorney General of Saskatchewan - $50
    - The Ministry of Public and Business Service Delivery of Ontario -$16-$32
    - The Ministére de la Justice du Québec - $65

Step Five - Receive the Apostilled Document: Once the apostille is affixed, the legalised document will be mailed back to you in about 30-40 working days. Your document is now valid for use in countries that are party to the Hague Convention. 

Step SIx - Send the Document to the Embassy or Consulate (for Consular Legalisation): If the receiving country does not recognise the Hague Convention, you will need to visit their embassy or consulate in Canada and further legalise the document according to their requirements. You can request for the Canadian apostille authorities to forward your authenticated documents on your behalf. After this step, your document can then be used in a country that is not party to the Hague Convention.

How to get a Notarised Translation in Canada Online

To get a notarised translation in Canada online, follow these steps: 

1. Visit the Translayte website. 

2. Click on “Order Certified Translation”.

3. Select “Certified Translation”, select the target and source language, and your preferred turnover time. 

4. Upload the document you want to translate. Ensure the file has been named correctly. 

5. Select either the Standard, Specialist or Professional translation services, based on your needs and budget.

6. Specify that you want a “notarised translation” and any other specifications you prefer for your document.

7. Place your order and wait for your translation.  Your translation will be delivered to you either by email or by post on or before the stipulated time.

Getting an Apostille for Documents Going to Canada

Getting an apostille on document(s) to be used in Canada is the process of legalising documents that will be used in Canada, according to the legal requirements of the Canadian authority receiving the document(s). Authorities such as Notaries, or the Embassy do the attestation of documents, however, the final attestation is done by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country. 

Here’s the process for getting an apostille in your country for documents going to Canada:

1. Identify the Competent Authority: Find out the authority responsible for issuing apostilles in your country. The competent authority responsible for issuing apostilles in most countries is usually the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. If it is a different authority, make sure to identify them. 

2. Prepare Your Documents: Make sure your documents are in order and meet any requirements set by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in your country. This usually includes notarisation, translations or other authentication steps. The documents you will be expected to take along with you usually include:

  • The original document that is to be legalised.
  • A national identification like an international passport or national ID card.
  • Photocopies of your documents.
  • Proof of payment of legalisation fees.
  • A filled application form, usually from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country.

3. Submit the Documents: Submit your documents to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs along with any required fees set by your country. This can often be done in person or through their designated channels.

4. Wait for Processing: Wait for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to process your request. Processing times for every country are different, so it's advisable to check with them for an estimated time. 

5. Receive the Apostilled Documents:  Once the apostille is issued, you can either pick up the documents in person or have them mailed to you, depending on the options provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in your country. Before travelling to Canada, ensure that the apostille has been properly affixed as per the requirements of the Hague Apostille Convention. Here are some of the things to check for: 

  • The Seal and Signature: Look for the official seal of the competent authority that issued the apostille. There should also be a signature of an authorised representative from the apostille office.
  • Verify the Document: Ensure the apostille is attached to the correct document. Check that the details on the apostille, such as the parties' names, match the document's information. 
  • Check for Watermarks or Security Features: Every country’s apostille has security features such as watermarks, numbers, barcodes, etc., to prevent forgery. Make sure to confirm which security features are present in your country’s apostille and that they are present in your apostille.
  • Examine the Language: Make sure that the language on the apostille is consistent with the language used in the official documents of your country.
  • Use Verification Tools: Many countries have verification tools, online and otherwise, where you can check the apostille to confirm its authenticity. In Canada, for instance, to verify an apostille, issued with a certificate number starting with CA-, AB-, BC- or SK-, you will need to send an email to [email protected], stating the apostille number and the date of issuance. If you want to verify an apostille with a number starting with ON-, you should contact Ontario’s Official Documents Services and if you wish to verify an apostille with a certificate number starting with QC-, contact Quebec’s Registre des apostilles.

Get French to English Translations With Translayte

Every foreign document that is not in English or French needs to be translated by a certified or sworn translator in Canada. Translayte is your best bet for getting the most accurate professional translation services like French to English translations and meeting the standards set by Canadian and other international authorities is our top priority. 

Our professional French translators ensure that your documents are not just translated, but are in line with Canadian standards. Give it a try and request a free quote in a few simple steps.


Who can Authenticate Documents in Canada?

Canadian documents are authenticated by Global Affairs Canada and other provincial authorities such as the Ministry of the Attorney General of British Columbia, the Ministry of Justice of Alberta, the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General of Saskatchewan, the Ministry of Public and Business Service Delivery of Ontario and the Ministry of Justice of Québec.

How Much Does it Cost to Get a Document Notarised in Canada??

Canadian public notaries charge between $10CAD to $60CAD per document for notarisations. Authentication of documents is free at Global Affairs Canada.

Can I get a Document Notarised Online in Canada?

Yes, you can get a document notarised online in Canada by simply logging on to and uploading it in any of the available formats. The service costs only $24.50.


Related Posts: 

How To Legalise And Translate A Document In The Netherlands

How To Get An Apostille On Documents Issued In Italy

How To Have My Documents Legalised And Translated In Slovakia

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