Can a Canadian Notary certify my document for use in a foreign country?
The short answer is yes, but there is more to it. Notarization by a Canadian Notary Public is just the first step in a multi-step process to have a Canadian document recognized in a foreign country. In order to use a notarized Canadian document internationally, it needs to go through several more government steps to make it valid. This question comes up frequently for Notary Publics in the larger Canadian cities, such as Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Montreal, or the greater Toronto area. Being Canada’s most diversified cities, the need to have Canadian documents international recognized comes up more often.
Authentication: The First Step in the Process
The first step in the process is to have the Notary Public’s signature authenticated. This can be done at either the Global Affairs Canada Authentication Office or by provincial authentication, such as the Ontario Official Document Services (OCS) Department. It is important to get the correct authentication stamp on your document at this stage, as using the wrong one may result in wasted time and money. The decision of which government authentication office stamp to use depends on the foreign country’s embassy in Canada. They decide whether you should have the Global Affairs Canada Authentication or the provincial authentication stamp on your international document, but it is never the case that you will need both.
Legalization: The Final Step in the Process
After the notarized document has been authenticated, the next step to validate the document internationally takes place at the country’s embassy or consulate, usually located in Canada. The embassy or consulate calls this service Legalization, Attestation, or in some countries, Apostille. This stage can be the most confusing part of the process, as foreign government rules change frequently and processing information is usually outdated and incomplete on most embassy websites. Navigating the process successfully can be difficult and time-consuming for many, which is why some people choose to hire an expert in international document validation, such as Global Document Solutions.
The Benefits of Hiring a Professional Expert
Global Document Solutions has been specializing in this service for 30 years, and using their professional services can prevent problems and save time and money, as well as get your international document validated more quickly. Once your notarized document has been authenticated at the correct government authentication office and legalized at the country’s embassy, it will be ready to use internationally and valid in any Apostille country.
Do It Yourself: Navigating the Process without Professional Help
For those who choose to do the international document authentication and legalization process on their own without the help of a professional, it is important to get in contact with the foreign embassy. Global Affairs Canada has a website that provides up-to-date contact information for foreign embassies in Canada. Some of the embassy websites have more information about the legalization of documents, but not all do, and the information may be out of date. Contacting the embassy directly is always a good idea.
In conclusion, notarization by a Canadian Notary Public is just the first step in the process of having a Canadian document recognized in a foreign country. It is important to go through the proper government steps and get the correct authentication stamp, and potentially seek the help of a professional service such as Global Document Solutions to make sure the process is done correctly and efficiently. If you need more information about how a Notary Public can notarize or make a certified copy of your Canadian document to use in a foreign country, contact the experts at Global Document Solutions, who can help guide you through the process.