Embassy Legalization Services

Embassy Consulate Legalization Services

Document legalization at a foreign embassy or consulate is the second step in making Canadian documents valid for use in non-Hague Apostille countries. This process takes place at the consular section of the foreign embassy and must only be completed after the first step of authentication has been carried out. Authentication is done on the provincial or federal level by Global Affairs Canada depending on the requirements. To be accepted for legalization, most embassies have strict requirements that change frequently and must be followed correctly to avoid delays or rejection of your document. These requirements may include fees, forms, supporting documents, translations, and specific document bindings. Don't stress, our embassy legalization services provide all the information you need to complete the process.

Legalization: The Final Validation After Authentication

Legalization validates the signatures of the authentication office which is done by the consular section of the foreign embassy in the country where the document is to be used. The process is similar to authentication, which involves verifying the signature of a certified individual on a legal document. The main difference is that Global Affairs Canada authenticates the signatures of lawyers or notary publics, while embassies authenticate the signatures of Global Affairs Canada.

If you're using Canadian documents outside of Canada, legalization by an embassy or consulate is often required. Some countries, such as Qatar or the United Arab Emirates, refer to legalization as attestation. Countries that have signed the Hague Convention may refer to it as Apostille or simply Authentication, such as China.

At Global Document Solutions, we offer assistance with document apostille, attestation, authentication, and legalization at all foreign embassies and consulates in Canada. With 30 years of experience working with the diplomatic community, we have a distinct advantage in ensuring efficient processing of your sensitive documents. We are a recognized leader in our field and the recommended document legalization service provider at embassies or consulates in Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver.

Processing time for legalization is dependent on the embassy or consulate and cannot be guaranteed. For current processing time, embassy fee, and specific requirements for legalizing your document, request a personal quote.

Embassy Legalization FAQ's

List of Countries you will need to use the Authentication and Legalization Process for a Canadian Document

For your reference, we have provided a list of countries that have not ratified the Apostille Convention. It is your responsibility to verify the accuracy of this information.

  • Afghanistan
  • Algeria
  • Angola
  • Bangladesh
  • Benin
  • Bhutan
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cambodia
  • Cameroon
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Comoros
  • Congo
  • Côte d'Ivoire
  • Cuba
  • Democratic People's Republic of Korea
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Djibouti
  • Egypt
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Haiti
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Jordan
  • Kenya
  • Kiribati
  • Kuwait
  • Lao
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Madagascar
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Mali
  • Mauritania
  • Micronesia
  • Mozambique
  • Myanmar
  • Nauru
  • Nepal
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Qatar
  • Rwanda*
  • Sierra Leone
  • Solomon Islands
  • Somalia
  • South Sudan
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Thailand
  • Timor-Leste
  • Togo
  • Turkmenistan
  • Tuvalu
  • Uganda
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Tanzania
  • Viet Nam
  • Yemen
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

* The Apostille Convention will come into effect in Rwanda on June 5, 2024.

The process of preparing a document for international recognition can be significantly complicated by the legalization phase. This critical juncture is a specialty of ours at Global Document Solutions, where our three decades of industry experience come into play. Even for us, with our extensive diplomatic connections, keeping abreast of the ever-evolving legalization requirements imposed by different countries can be demanding. The unpredictability is due to the frequent changes in embassy requirements and regulations. In such a dynamic environment, the key to avoiding missteps is to have a professional like Global Document Solutions Legalization Services by your side. We guarantee that you'll always receive the most current information and the focus your international affair necessitates. It's clear that delays can lead to increased costs, wasted time, and unnecessary stress. Therefore, we prioritize our clients, understanding the potential ramifications of delays, and we are committed to resolving any issue swiftly and effectively. Our exemplary customer service is one of the many reasons why Global Document Solutions should be your first choice for legalization services. Besides saving you time, we provide the peace of mind that comes from knowing that Canada’s top international document experts are diligently working on your behalf.

You can avail of Global Document Solutions Legalization services from anywhere globally, or by visiting one of our Global Document Solutions Service Centers situated throughout Canada. To find out more, simply visit our website and utilize our Cost Estimator or contact us toll-free at 1-800-336-1132 from Monday to Friday, between 9 AM to 5 PM. Our friendly representatives at our Ottawa National Office are always ready to assist. If you prefer using one of our Global Document Solutions Service Centers, we typically require a one-hour notice to schedule an appointment. After that, you are all set to drop off your Global Document Solutions order form, documents, and any necessary embassy requirements at the most convenient Global Document Solutions Service Center. Our reception staff will be prepared to expedite your document to our National Office in Ottawa for processing. Rest assured, we'll promptly update you via email once your document has been received at our Ottawa National Office for legalization. The email will include a file number allowing you to track the progress of your order using our Order Status Tracker. It truly is as simple as that!

Category: Legalization FAQ's

This is a question that comes up often as some hope to save time or expense throughout the Legalization process and at Global Document Solutions we understand this. There are a select few countries where you can legalize your document outside of Canada. In most of these cases, it’s because the country does not have an embassy operating within Canada. Some countries only have an Embassy in the United States such as Oman or Bahrain, and some other countries use the system of partnering Country to process their documents, such as St. Maarten or Andorra. As such in most cases, you will need to have your document legalized at the country’s embassy located in Canada.

The reason is that the legalization process is a process of verifying signatures, the Embassy verifies the stamp and signature from Global Affairs Canada. All Embassies within Canada have the signatories on file but only a few embassies or agencies outside Canada have their signatures on file, which they require to legalize Canadian documents. Only embassies in the issuing country will have these signatures and be able to legalize a document. Unfortunately, some of our clients find this out once they arrive in destination country, costing them valuable time and money. Get it right the first time, speak to one of our legalization experts about your Canadian document and getting it ready for us internationally.

Category: Legalization FAQ's

Legalization processing time is dependent on the specific embassy which varies widely from country to country. The Legalization processing times are in addition to the Global Document Solutions authentication service speed that you choose. Your agent will provide you what the current estimated legalization processing time is when you confirm the use of our services. As an example, the current processing time for the Embassy of Mexico for legalization is 5-9 business days. Unfortunately due to Global Affairs Canada Authentication processing delays times are fluctuating weekly. You can find out the current estimated authentication processing times here. This estimate neither includes shipping time to our Ottawa Office nor back to you when the document is legalized by the embassy.

Although it’s important to remember that processing times for legalization can change without notice for many factors. These factors include such things as unexpected embassy closure, national holidays, embassy receiving a high volume of legalization requests, embassy signatory not available, your document is under further review, or needs additional requirements to name a few. Whatever the case may be, delays in processing cost both time and money. At Global Document Solutions we understand this, which is why our legalization services are the right choice for your important international document.

Category: Legalization FAQ's

No, although we wish we could, unfortunately, we do not provide legalization services at all embassies in Canada for various reasons. Although Global Document Solutions 30 years of experience working with the embassies for legalization, which makes Global Document Solutions the preferred provider for international document processing in Canada, we cannot help with every country. This is due to reasons such as country regulations insisting that the applicant must do the legalization step themselves or in cases where we cannot guarantee the service provided by the embassy or consulate is a high enough quality. This may occur for various reasons such as political tensions between countries, no consulate is operating, or requirements change too often which is not feasible for us to provide a swift and economical legalization solution for our clients. The countries that we currently do no assist with the legalization of documents include:

Azerbaijan – No personal or corporate documents

Georgia – No personal or corporate documents

India – No personal or corporate documents unless you are a resident in Ottawa or Montreal

Lithuania – No personal or corporate documents

North Korea – No personal or corporate documents

Oman - No personal

Saudi Arabia – No personal

Somalia – No personal or corporate documents

Syria – No personal or corporate documents

Venezuela - No personal or corporate documents

Come back and check as this list changes often. We may begin providing legalization services for the countries listed above at any time in the future.


Category: Legalization FAQ's

No, we wish we could but unfortunately, we are just the authentication and legalization experts which means our job is to ensure that you get the right stamps on your document to make it valid for use internationally. Although we do help verify your document to ensure it will be accepted at both Global Affairs Canada and the countries embassy this is where our expertise ends. Since each situation and country has different document requirements, depending on what you are using your document for, it is best to get directions from your in-country contact who is asking you to legalize your Canadian documents. This way you get it right the first time with no delays or possibility of having an incorrect document legalized for the purposes that you need.

For example, our clients often may need what is called a long-form birth certificate as opposed to the usual short-form birth certificate most people are familiar with. Another is with police checks which come up often as most countries require that you obtain one from the RCMP using a digital fingerprint search with their national headquarters in Ottawa as opposed to your local police force. As previously mentioned, it’s important to get it right the first time, so we recommend you ask the right people which are the people who are requesting that you have your Canadian documents legalized.

Category: Legalization FAQ's