Canadian Marriage Certificate Authentication and Legalization for International Use
If you need to use your Canadian Marriage Certificate abroad, it must be authenticated and legalized. This document validation process is also referred to as Apostille or Attestation in some countries, but it is recognized as the equivalent. As experts in international document services, we often receive questions about obtaining an Apostille Marriage Certificate in Canada. Here are some key points to keep in mind.
Marriage Certificate Apostille in Participating Countries
If a foreign country has requested a Marriage Certificate Apostille, it is because they are part of the Hague Apostille Convention. Unfortunately, Canada is not part of this agreement, but we use an equivalent and older process of authentication and legalization. Both processes allow important documents like marriage certificates to be recognized as valid for their intended purpose abroad.
Reasons to Obtain an International Canadian Marriage Certificate
You may need an authenticated and legalized marriage certificate for various reasons such as a visa application, immigration, registering your marriage abroad, or relocating with your spouse. Regardless of the reason, we can help. We have been providing authentication and legalization services for marriage certificates for 30 years for countries like the UAE and Qatar (known as Attestation), or Mexico and Spain (known as Apostille).
Global Affairs Canada Marriage Certificate Authentication Requirements
Before Global Affairs Canada will authenticate your marriage certificate, it must be issued by a provincial government vital statistics office and be an original certificate or long-form type. Global Affairs Canada will not authenticate certificates signed and given at your wedding ceremony or wallet-sized certificates, as they are too small or notarized copies. If you are unsure about the type of certificate you have, our consultations can help you determine the right type.
Ordering a Canadian Marriage Certificate for International Use
If you need a new marriage certificate or want to ensure you have the right type, you can easily order one from a provincial government vital statistics office. Some clients choose to have the certificate sent directly to our office to expedite the authentication and legalization process.
Step 1: Authentication at Global Affairs Canada
To ensure your marriage certificate is accepted as a Marriage Certificate Apostille abroad, it is important to have the right type of certificate for the country you are using it in. The first step of the process is authentication by Global Affairs Canada Authentication Services Section. They will examine the signature on the certificate and authenticate it with the Government of Canada's Authentication Stamp if it meets their requirements.
It's important to start the authentication process as soon as possible, as processing times are longer than ever at Global Affairs Canada. You can find out their current processing time here.
Step 2: Legalization at the Embassy Consulate
The second step is legalization by the embassy or consulate of the country where you will be using the certificate. Embassy consulates, located in Ottawa, charge a fee for legalization services and may have changing requirements or processing times. When you use our document legalization services, we handle all the details and ensure a smooth and timely process. After legalization, we can return the certificate to you or send it to its final destination using our document shipping options or your preferred method.
Other Canadian Documents for International Use
If you need your marriage certificate authenticated and legalized, you may also require the same for other documents like a birth certificate, death certificate, degree, divorce certificate, or police check. We can help authenticate and legalize these and more, so feel free to reach out to one of our friendly agents for more information.