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What is an apostille and what is it for?
1
An apostille is a confirmation of the legality of a document for its use in another country.
In order for a document issued in one country to be used in another country, this document needs to be legalized. There are 2 types of legalization: full legalization (two-step procedure) and simplified legalization (single-step procedure or apostille).

As of January 11, 2024, a simplified document legalization procedure — the apostille — has been introduced in Canada.

Previously, to be able to use Canadian documents in another country, you had to undergo a two-step legalization process (first, authentication at the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and then, legalization at the consulate), which required a significant amount of time and money. As of January 11, 2024, Canada has adopted a one-step procedure called the apostille.

After receiving an apostille, your document is completely ready for use in another country, if that country, like Canada, is a party to the Hague Convention. That means that you no longer need to go to the consulate. This certainly reduces your time and costs for legalization.

If the country for which your document is intended is not yet a party to the Hague Convention (for example, the UAE, Cuba, Jordan, etc.), then, after receiving an apostille, you will have to go through the consular legalization procedure as earlier.

The full list of 126 countries that are parties to the Hague Convention, which means that they accept apostilles, can be found on the official website here.
To use Canadian documents in most countries, it is now sufficient to obtain an apostille.
The procedure for obtaining an apostille is very similar to the old authentication procedure. Apostilles for many documents are issued by Global Affairs Canada, but some documents can only be apostilled at a provincial Foreign Affairs office. It all depends on the province where your document was issued or notarized.
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What documents need to be apostilled?
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All documents issued by a Canadian authority or by a provincial or territorial authority, or executed by a Canadian notary that you need to use in another country.
1) Certificates issued by civil registry offices, for example, certificates of birth, death, marriage, change of name, last name, etc.
2) Powers of attorney and notarial statements, including statements of being alive, renunciation of inheritance, absence of past and current marriages (certificates of single status, single status declarations), which are drawn up or signed by a notary
3) Diplomas, supplements/addendums/transcripts to diplomas, certificates and other documents related to education
4) Bank statements, court documents, divorce decrees
5) Cremation or burial certificates
6) Corporation registration certificates, bank statements, letters of guarantee from directors of a company, extracts from registers of corporations, certificates for products for export from Canada to other countries
All of these types of documents go through different authentication procedures.

The apostille procedure also includes all cases when a child born in Canada needs to obtain citizenship of another country (Cuba, Germany, Russia, Ukraine, etc.), because in order to obtain citizenship of another country, you'll need to provide a Canadian birth certificate, and it, in turn, will have to be apostilled.
The most common documents subject to this procedure are:
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How much does it cost to get an apostille and how long does it take?
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Global Affairs apostilles documents only from the following provinces:
  • Manitoba
  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Northwest Territories
  • Nova Scotia
  • Nunavut
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Yukon

Documents from the provinces listed below can only be submitted for apostille in the same province:
  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Ontario
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan
Global Affairs only accepts documents by mail, and processing takes 3 months, it is free of charge. It is not possible to visit them in person or expedite the process.

Alberta accepts documents only by mail, and processing takes 5–7 business days. The cost of an apostille for one document is $10.

British Columbia accepts documents only by mail, and processing takes 30-45 business days. The cost of an apostille for one document is $20.

Ontario accepts documents both by mail and in person, with processing taking 15 business days by mail and approximately one hour in person. The cost of an apostille for one notarized document is $16, and for a government-issued document (a birth or a marriage certificate, etc.) is $32.

Quebec only accepts documents by mail, and the document processing time is 10 business days. The cost of an apostille for a single document is $65. For notarized documents in Quebec, there is also a mandatory intermediate step—verification of the notary's signature at the Chambre des notaires, which takes 20 business days or 72 hours for an additional fee. The cost of verifying a notary's signature at the Chambre des notaires is $64 or $175, depending on the speed of processing.

Saskatchewan accepts documents only by mail, and processing takes 3–5 business days. The cost of an apostille for one document is $50.
Each provincial authority has its own forms that must be filled out to obtain an apostille, as well as its own requirements for formatting and document translations. Some provinces have very strict requirements for notarized document certifications.

The fastest way to obtain an apostille is in the province of Ontario because you can personally go to the ODS office and have everything done in one day. For this, the document must have been issued or signed by a notary in the province of Ontario.

Fortunately, we have found a way to apostille any notarized documents in Ontario, regardless of which province you are in. To apostille a document in Ontario, it needs to be signed by a notary from Ontario. You can sign your document with our Ontario notary online, i.e., via video call, and your apostille will be ready within a week!

For other documents (birth certificates, marriage certificates, diplomas, references), it turns out that not everyone is as lucky in terms of apostille processing times as holders of Ontario documents. However, in some cases, even for documents issued in other provinces, we can obtain an apostille in Ontario through a notarized certified copy, saving you precious time.

Our fees for obtaining an apostille, regardless of the number of documents in one order, are $100.

We usually charge $58 per page for translations.

Additional costs will be added: the cost of sending documents by courier (within Canada or abroad), notary services (optional), and the cost of the apostille at the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

An additional 13% HST tax will be added on top.
Example procedure for obtaining an apostille with prices and timelines
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Below, as an example, is a detailed procedure for obtaining a turnkey apostille with prices and timelines.

Document — birth certificate issued in the province of Ontario.

1
You send us the original document by Xpresspost courier or bring it in person (Vaughan, Ontario).
2
We will collect the necessary document package for ODS (provincial ministry in Toronto) and personally go there to apply the apostille.
3
After receiving the apostille, we will translate the apostilled document from English to ensure the document is fully ready for use in your country.
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Some organizations in other countries require the translation to be notarized. If you need notarized certification of the translation, we can do that additionally.
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We will send you the apostilled and translated document by courier.
Costs:
— For turnkey apostille services, we charge $100.
— For translations, we charge $58-88 per page.
— Notarization of the translation costs $75 per document (Optional).
— The cost of an apostille at ODS is $32 per apostille plus a bank fee of $10.
— The cost of one shipment with Xpresspost courier is $25, thus, it is 1 shipment to you. 1 * $25 = $25.
A 13% tax is added to the final amount.

Timelines:
— Translating a document takes 1-3 days.
— Notarization of the translation takes 1 day (Optional).
— Apostille at ODS is done in 1 business day.
— Delivery of documents by Xpresspost courier usually takes 1-3 days for each shipment.

Second Example procedure for obtaining an apostille with prices and timelines

Below, as a second example, the procedure for obtaining an apostille "turnkey" with prices and timelines is detailed.

The document — diploma issued in the province of Manitoba.


All documents issued in the following provinces can only be apostilled at Global Affairs Canada (a federal ministry in Ottawa): Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, the Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Prince Edward Island, Yukon.


The procedure for apostilling documents through Global Affairs is as follows:

1
You send us the original document via Xpresspost courier or bring it personally (Vaughan, Ontario).
2
WeI will send the necessary package of documents to Global Affairs Canada (in Ottawa) to apply the apostille.
3
After receiving the apostille, we will translate the apostilled document from English so that the document is fully ready for use in your country.
4
Some organizations in other countries require the translation to be notarized. If you need notarized certification of the translation, we can do that additionally.
5
We will send you the apostilled and translated document by courier.
Costs:
— For turnkey apostille services, we charge $100.
— For translations, we charge $58-88 per page.
— Notarization of the translation costs $75 per document (Optional).
— Apostille at Global Affairs is provided for free.
— The cost of one shipment via Xpresspost courier is $25, thus, to Global Affairs and back, and then from us to you – that is 3 shipments. 3 * $25 = $75.
A 13% tax is added to the final amount.

Timelines:
— Translation of the document takes 1-3 days.
— Notarization of the translation takes 1 day (optional).
— Apostille at Global Affairs is usually placed within 30 working days, but from the beginning of 2024, the period has been extended to 3 months.
— Delivery of documents by Xpresspost courier usually takes 1-3 days per shipment.


There is an alternative option for apostilling documents – through ODS (a provincial ministry in Toronto).

To apostille a document at ODS, a notarized copy of the document (True Copy) must be made by a notary from Ontario; then, the apostille is placed on this copy, not on the original. Some consulates and countries allow apostilling of notarized copies instead of originals, but not all.

Please check with the consulate of your country if this option suits you, and if yes, then the apostille process will take just one week. Otherwise, you will have to wait 3 months for the apostille from Global Affairs.
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What does an apostille look like in different provinces?
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Here is an example of an apostille issued by Global Affairs:
Here are some examples of apostilles issued by the Province of Ontario:
And this is what an apostille issued by the province of Alberta looks like:
This is what an apostille looks like issued by an office in Victoria in British Columbia:
This is what an apostille issued in Quebec looks like:
Apostille on a Birth Certificate
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Short Form without parental names
(document is blue, approximately A5 size)
Short Form with parents' names
(document is blue, approximately A5 size)
Long Form
(document is white, Legal size — approximately 1.5 A4 sheets in height)
-1-
-2-
-3-
— this certificate will NOT be suitable for use anywhere, as it lacks information about the parents
— usually suitable for consulates and for other purposes
— usually suitable for consulates
Note that Canadian birth certificates come in three forms:
For applying for citizenship at a consulate, usually only the Long Form of the birth certificate or the Short Form with parents' names is suitable.
Typically, Canadian birth certificates are apostilled in order to apply for citizenship at your country's consulate.
How to issue a power of attorney for someone who is in another country while you are in Canada?

Read the detailed procedure with prices and timelines on the separate page
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DISCLAIMER
Information and services outlined on this page do not constitute legal services, legal advice, or legal representation under the Law Society Act in Ontario. The service provider is not a registered paralegal or a lawyer or a notary, does not pretend to be them, and is not licensed by the Law Society of Ontario.
The information compiled on this page is coming from official sources as is.
Services provided on this page are merely assisting clients with obtaining translations, collecting necessary documents, filling out necessary forms, and shipping documents.
The clients are advised to obtain legal advice from registered legal professionals (paralegals, notaries, etc.) in their province or territory.
Clients reading the contents of this page and submitting requests for further consultations and agreeing to use these services are agreeing to these terms and are discharging the service provider, his representatives, agents, heirs, and successors from any legal claims related to these services or this information.