Authentication and Legalization

Foreign governments and other bodies often require Canadian documents to undergo a validation process before they will be accepted for use abroad. This validation process generally consists of two steps: authentication and legalization.


Authentication is the process by which a government authority verifies the signature and seal of a notary public. In Ottawa, you can have your Canadian documents authenticated for free by taking them to the Authentication and Service of Documents Section of Global Affairs Canada.


Once they are authenticated, documents must be legalized at the embassy or consulate of the country in which the documents are to be used. Contact the relevant embassy for details on the procedure, fees and processing time for legalization. The addresses and contact information for embassies located in Ottawa are listed here for your convenience.