Documents authentication

Authenticating Canadian Documents for Travel Abroad

There are so many world destinations available to modern travelers, and just as many reasons to travel. In fact, there may be so many options that remembering to have all your documents prepared and legalized could get lost in the shuffle. Fortunately, more opportunities to research your travel plans are available to you now than at any other time in history.

Whether you’re traveling for school or business, or just taking time off to have fun and relax, international travel can carry with it some frustrating complications. You will want to take extra care early on to avoid running into unnecessary problems.

What Kinds of Travel Documents Require Authentication?

If you’ve traveled abroad before, you know how important your passport is. In addition to your passport, some travel situations may require work or residency visas. Visas are issued for specific purposes, and the requirements for them can be varied and difficult to meet without assistance.

When you are traveling for school, you may need your degree transcripts, admission letters or other documents legalized before they are accepted by foreign institutions. If travelling for commercial reasons, you may require certified import-export documents authentication or a verification of incorporation. The range of circumstance is diverse and only a professional will be able to tell for sure what any given situation may call for.

Less common considerations include Travel Consent Letters for minors who will be journeying without an accompanying parent or guardian. While this document is not a legal necessity in Canada, foreign officials may require it.

If you’re travelling with a companion animal, you may require an official document of the animal’s health. This can take the form of an International Health Certificate or something more specific, depending on the requirements of your destination’s government.

How Do I Have My Travel Documents Authenticated?

Most often, your documents will require authentication by a Canadian government official at the Global Affairs Canada headquarters in Ottawa. After authentication by local government representatives, the next step is to have your document legalized by the government of your international destination. This involves a diplomatic mission such as a consulate or embassy official verifying the authenticated document.

Other documents may require additional steps. For some documents, a notary may be enlisted to make a Certified True Copy and to apply their seal. In every case, correct preparation of all relevant material is imperative to avoid rejection or delays.

Travel plans are usually time sensitive, so you’ll want to make sure you have your documents ready to be legalized sooner rather than later. The Legalization Service Centre can authenticate most documents within two business days.

Be aware of holiday or other restrictions around the areas you plan to travel. The Canadian government recommends you check their travel advisory page, twice. Once well in advance of your visit, while you are planning your trip, and again shortly before you leave.

We have helped Canadians verify their documents for every purpose, including travel all over the world. If you’re unsure what may be required, or just overwhelmed by the rest of your travel planning, you can count on the Legalization Service Centre to provide expert help.

attestation

What Role Does Notary Play in the Attestation Process?

You might have heard before that in order to complete your documents’ attestation, you may need to have them notarized first. That could leave you wondering; what exactly is notarization? What is the role of notarization in the attestation process? Notarization can be the first step in the attestation of some documents. If you don’t know what notarization is, or don’t know if your document needs notarization, we can help clear it up for you.

What is Notarization?

In the Roman Empire, notaries originated as special stenographers who kept records in the courts. Some accounts even place their origins as far back as the scribes of ancient Egypt. They have been entrusted to witness and record important events throughout history. Leonardo Da Vinci was the son of a notary, and there is evidence that William Shakespeare may have been employed by a notary, or been a notary himself.

Today, notaries execute official acknowledgements under oath testifying to the authenticity of the documents they sign or witness the signatures of. This is not exactly the same as the authentication process for other documents, which is why it is required only in certain cases. A notarization is a ministerial act, which means that notaries will carry out official laws and regulations impartially. While it is sometimes the case that, in countries like the US, almost anyone can obtain a notary license, In Canada a notary is most often a legal professional.

How to find a notary might not be as important as making sure your documents are well prepared before and after they are notarized, fortunately, the Legalization Service Centre can help you with both. We can connect you with professional notaries and make sure your documents meet the necessary requirements for your purpose.

When Will I Need a Notary?

A notarization will be a required first step in your document’s attestation under some circumstances. If you are submitting a criminal record check for authentication and legalization, and that record check has been issued by a local police department, you will need a notarization. If you require a Certified True Copy of your documents made, you will need a notary. Notarization is typically required for documents concerning Power of Attorney, affidavits and other contracts where a witness to the signing is necessary.

Which Documents Likely Won’t Require a Notary?

It is uncommon to seek out the help of a notary for the attestation of vital records, such as birth certificates, death certificates or marriage certificates. If you have had your criminal record check issued at the headquarters of the RCMP in Ottawa, they have taken your fingerprints and this is unlikely to require notarization. Additionally, if issued by an accredited college or university, documents such as diplomas or degrees will not need notarization if all relevant seals and signatures are clearly visible.

The process of document attestation can be complicated. As always, we’re here to help you every step of the way. The Legalization Service Centre is here to help you get your documents prepared, notarized, authenticated, legalized and fully attested in any situation.