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.