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What’s the Difference Between an Apostille and a Document of Legalization?

by | Dec 28, 2020 | Authentication & Legalization of Documents - Apostille Services, Uncategorized

Getting a document notarized for a foreign country’s approval will require an apostille or a certificate of legalization. These certificates are needed for matters of documents generated in one country to be used for legal purposes in another country. Some of these documents are company incorporation; banking issues; power of attorney; proof of live; marriage or birth certificate. Without the approval of a consulate to use the document in their territory, your documents may be rejected. So, is there a difference between legalization and apostille?

What is an Apostille?

An apostille is a form of a certificate that streamlines the process of validating documents within countries that are a part of the 1961 Hague Convention Treaty. Nations that fall under this treaty can forgo the long verification process that comes with international paperwork.

Canada is not a signatory of this Treaty; therefore, you cannot get an Apostille done in Canada.

While an apostille is a type of certificate, it does have benefits over other certificates. Apostilled paperwork may not require additional validation or notarized documents. This makes it much faster to validate your documents and have them ready for approval.

What is a Document Legalization?

To have a document legalized is like an apostille but with additional processes to achieve the same thing. They are necessary when you are intending to conduct business between countries that are not part of the 1961 Hague Convention Treaty – Canada.

Unlike the streamlined apostille certification process, getting a document legalized takes time. The reason for this is there are extra verification steps in place. Each country will have its own requirements. There are basically two ways to legalize a document:

  1. The document must first be notarized with a local notary. It will then be sent to the minister of global affairs for authentication. Lastly, it will be delivered to the embassy of the country you are working with, to have it legalized.
  2. The document must first be notarized with a local notary. It will then be sent to the Notaries Society / Law Society and then to the Attorney General. Lastly, it will be delivered to the embassy of the country you are working with, to have it legalized.

Is there a Difference Between Legalization and Apostille?

The differences between these two certificates relate to the countries involved. If the countries involved are part of the Hague Convention Treaty, an apostille can be used. If the countries are not part of this treaty, a legalization will be needed to validate the paperwork.

Canada for instance is not part of the Hague Convention Treaty. Therefore, anyone attempting to use a document generated in Canada to be used abroad, needs to have it legalized first.

At Zancope Notary Public we have experience dealing with most embassies and consulates throughout Canada. We can work with you to find the best process for the document and country you are trying to deal with. We process these types of documents all the time. We can help you.

At Zancope Notary Public, we offer real estate services for clients in Langley and throughout Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. We can help you with buying, selling, and refinancing real estate, and also provide family property transfers and independent legal advice. We are a full-service firm that is well acquainted with real estate law.

If you have any questions about this article or sworn statements, in general, or if you want to make an appointment with Zancope Notary Public, please contact us at (604) 260-6783.


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