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What Is an Apostille and When Do You Need One?

March 19th, 2013

Whether you are getting married in Mexico, working in the UAE, travelling to Korea to teach English, conducting business in China, registering a patent in Germany, incorporating a company in Thailand, or engaging in any number of activities outside of Canada, you will be required to provide certain documents to the foreign authorities.

You may be asked for certified copies of your diploma, your college transcripts, your birth certificate, marriage license, passport, or business license. You may also be asked to provide notarized translations of your documents, along with an apostille certificate.

The word “apostille” is French for “certification” and is used in 69 countries that are signatories to the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (1961).

Unfortunately, Canada is not part of the Hague Convention, and thus, no apostilles are issued in Canada.

Canada does, however, have a process that is equivalent to an apostille. It consists of three steps: notarization + authentication + legalization. In order to be accepted in a foreign jurisdiction, documents originating in Canada must go through all three steps.

Red Seal Notary can help.

For many people, the authentication and legalization process can be confusing, cumbersome and time consuming, especially if you are unable to travel to the authentication department or to the embassy or consulate of the country that requires your documents.

But with Red Seal Notary on the case, you can relax. We are authentication and legalization experts.

We will ensure your documents are properly notarized or certified, translated (if necessary), and then hand delivered to the relevant authentication and legalization authorities. Once this process is complete, your documents will be safely couriered back to you.

For more information about Red Seal Notary’s Authentication & Legalization Services, please call 1-888-922-7325 or send an email to [email protected].

We look forward to assisting you.

2 thoughts on “What Is an Apostille and When Do You Need One?

  1. Since you mentioned that one should get the proper documents verified before getting
    married in Mexico or teaching English in Korea, my tip to get them verified is to ask
    recommendations from friends and relatives who have worked overseas. Speaking of
    friends, one of them is leaving next summer for a foreign exchange student program in
    Spain. Any tips on which documents should she bring to have them verified?

    • Blake McClung says:

      Dear Tim,

      Thank you for your comment and for your interest in our website.

      If you require assistance in getting your Canadian documents legalized for use in Spain, please call (888) 922-7325 and ask about our legalization services. The documents you will require will depend upon the requirements of the organization you are ultimately giving them to (i.e. educational institution, employer, Immigration authorities, etc.). You should contact that organization for their requirements first, then contact us and we can determine the requirements of the Embassy or Consulate to legalize those documents.

      I hope this information is of some assistance.

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