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The Role of Global Affairs Canada’s Authentication Sector

If you need to use a legal document abroad, you may have come across the terms attestation, apostille, or authentication. What are these terms and why do your documents need them? These terms are basically a processing of your legal documents to ensure that they are true, valid, and will be legally binding as per the laws of the country where you intend to use them. In essence, apostille, attestation, and authentication are all interchangeable terms that mean the same thing. They all ensure that your documents undergo the same sets of verification. Global Affairs Canada will grant them recognition and acceptance in the foreign country.

Document Authentication and Legalization vs. Apostille

In Canada, another name for document apostille or attestation is “authentication and legalization”. This is because “apostille” negates the need for documents to undergo the step of legalization by countries who are signatories of the Hague Convention. You don’t need to undergo “legalization” if you need to “attest” your document by a Hague signatory country. Similarly, you don’t need to “legalize” your document if you’re going to use your document in another Hague signatory country. However, since Canada has not signed the Hague Convention, we refer to the process of attestation as authentication. We continue to complete the legalization step required in the process. Since we still carry on authentication and legalization as two separate steps, we need a credible Canadian entity to complete the step of authentication. The embassy of the country where the document will be used will do the legalization.

Where Does Global Affairs Canada Factor In?

In Canada, there is one regulatory body that authenticates all Canadian documents. This regulatory body is known as Global Affairs Canada (GAC), located in Ottawa, Canada. GAC is a government establishment which has standardized the authentication process. To authenticate a document, submit it to the authentication sector at GAC. Usually, it takes GAC 15-20 business days to review said document. Your legal document must also meet other requirements that forth by GAC. Having GAC complete authentication simplifies this step for people as well as the two countries involved.

GAC takes the guesswork out of authentication for people who are unfamiliar with the process. It also makes the work of professionals in the field of document legalization and authentication straightforward by allowing one channel to communicate with. One point of contact means everyone knows what to expect or can be given proper guidance in completing authentication. It also means that factors such as cost and timeline can also be determined without much confusion or ambiguity.

Global Affairs Canada and Legalization Service Centre

As mentioned above, the authentication process at GAC can be time consuming and can typically take up to 20 days to complete. Moreover, while the costs of authentication are typically pre-set, any need for correction in the process can lead to additional fees and time. This is why it is a good idea to have a professional submit and track your documents at GAC. Because professionals like Legalization Service Centre deposit hundreds of documents for authentication to GAC regularly, we enjoy processing times as little as two business days. This, along with our years of experience that ensure documents are submitted correctly at the first go allows you to have the process of authentication in as little time and cost as possible.

What Happens Next?

After authentication, the relevant embassy will legalize your document. This embassy is also located in Ottawa. Here, the embassy will conduct their own review to ensure that the document meets all the requirements of their country. Once they are satisfied, they too will place a stamp or certificate indicating that legalization is complete.

Document authentication and legalization are simple processes that can be daunting for anyone conducting them for the first time. It is a necessary but frustrating process that gives paperwork a bad reputation. At Legalization Service Centre, we understand that you are only interested in the final results being obtained as quickly and easily as possible. Our experience and customer service has garnered us an A+ reputation with the AAA and a stellar customer rating on Google. If you need your documents processed, don’t hesitate to reach out, even if only for a quick chat. Document authentication is what we do best! We are happy to help and ensure a quick and hassle-free deliverance.

 

Image Credit: HiTech

Investing in the U.S. Real Estate Market as a Canadian || Authentication and Legalization

The US investment laws are fairly relaxed for foreign investors. This makes it easy for Canadians to bank on opportunities such collecting assets. This, along with many Canadians choosing to retire in America, are two primary reasons why Canadians invest in real estate. Whether you are a keen investor looking to bank on an opportunity or planning a dream retirement home, you will need to complete document authentication and legalization. Apostille is the equivalent process in the United States.

On September 29, 2008….

The Dow Jones dropped a stooping 777% within one trading day, causing a massive economic collapse which affected the US real estate market in a profound manner. The collapse was the result of lenders taking loans on homes they couldn’t afford. Many had to walk away from their mortgages, as they couldn’t carry on their payments anymore. This caused a significant drop in the housing market prices due to foreclosures, the effects of which can be seen even today. At one point, a single family swelling was as low as $50,000 US dollars! These conditions were dismal for home owners. However, these sudden low prices opened up a gate for foreign investors. Many Canadian investors began collecting these assets and still hunt for such deals to date.

What You Might Need for Apostille

Some documents you may need to apostille may include a mortgage agreement, Power of Attorney, property Deed, time-share contract or purchase/sales agreement. Regardless of what your apostille needs are, having a document authentication and legalization professional complete the process can save significant time and money.

Authentication and Legalization Simplified: Apostille

America requires documents to be apostilled, instead of authenticated and legalized. The difference in terminology is due to the fact that America is one of the countries that has signed the Hague Convention while Canada has not. Without going into much detail, what is important to recognize is that while the terminology may be different, the process of authentication and legalization are the same as document apostille.

If you want to authenticate your property documents, a professional such as Legalization Service Centre (LSC) will review what your end goal is. LSC will collect all of the necessary documents and forms, then fill them out. Global Affairs Canada (GAC) will validate that the sent documents meet their standards. Once satisfied, they will place a large red stamp on your documents.

The next and final step is legalization. The US embassy in Ottawa is in charge of legalizing your documents. They will be checking that the GAC stamp is valid and meets their standards, too. Should everything go well, they will also affix their stamp (certificate of legalization) to your document. After these steps, your documents will be apostilled! Or in Canadian terms, authenticated and legalized.

Why Choose A Professional?

While both of these processed can be completed on your own, involving a professional includes several advantages. For one thing, Legalization Service Centre has a network with GAC which allows for documents sent by us to receive preferential processing time. While it can take upwards of 20 days if you send the documents on your own, LSC can have your documents authenticated as early as one business day.

Our professional oversight allows for reduction in chances of error. This can save you more money and time. LSC’s connections and proximity to the US embassy in Ottawa also help with processing time at the legalization stage. The process will be timely and cost-effective! Investing in the US can very exciting, we know. Paperwork, however, can be daunting if not done right. Having the right paperwork certified in the right manner can save you hassle. Not just in the present, but it can create a secure foundation for many years to come, too. Regardless of what your document authentication and legalization needs are, give us a call to chat with one of our highly skilled professionals. We are happy to help whenever we can!

 

Image Credit: BioWorld, Karen Carey