Federal Authentication in Canada
Global Affairs Canada Website: https://www.international.gc.ca/gac-amc/about-a_propos/services/authentication-authentification/step-etape-1.aspx?lang=eng
Some provinces in Canada like British Columbia, New Brunswick, Ontario (ROLB) and NWT provincially authenticate only original birth certificates, not notarized copies. Therefore, the provincially authenticated birth certificates require further authentication federally to achieve official authentication. Authenticated documents must have 3 signatories on them!
Authentication is sometimes required before you can use a Canadian document abroad. Authentication speaks to the genuineness of the signature of a public official found on a document. In other countries, authentication is also known as apostille. To be authenticated, your document must bear an original, recognized signature (and seal, if applicable).
Note: If all or part of your document written in a language other than English or French, you must send a certified, notarized translation (check the website for further instructions if translation is necessary).
We do not charge a fee for our service.
Average processing time is:
15 business days
You must add up to 5 business days for mailing time. Please note that the processing time posted above is an average estimate at a point in time. Some types of requests may be processed more quickly and others may take longer depending on their nature or complexity. Please also note that processing time may fluctuate depending on work volume and operational factors. This turnaround applies to all the requests submitted prior to the current date.
We do not offer expedited services. For that reason, please send your request with as much notice as possible and ensure to take into consideration all the timelines and deadlines that apply to your case. If you have exceptional and urgent circumstances (generally defined as an unexpected event outside of your control that makes it impossible to wait the regular processing time) and want us to consider processing your document in priority, you may contact us.
We will inform you in writing if we cannot authenticate upon returning your document.
Birth certificates must be issued by a provincial or territorial vital statistics office. They do not need to be notarized.
We cannot authenticate birth certificates that are:
-notarized copies (if you need a copy, it must be issued by the appropriate vital statistics office)
-issued by religious institutions
Please note that we do not authenticate proofs of birth issued by hospitals containing the name of a newborn, even if they are notarized.
Sending your request by mail or courier in Canada
When sending your documents by mail, please make sure to enclose:
-the authentication request form
*To minimize the risk of errors, we strongly recommend you to fill in the form using a computer.
Visit the following section if you are having trouble opening the form. In short, you must open the form with a PDF reader (e.g., Adobe Acrobat Reader) rather than with a browser (e.g., Chrome, Safari, Firefox).*
-all documents required for authentication
-a self-addressed stamped envelope or a prepaid courier shipping label
The person submitting the request must:
complete the form
print the form
sign the form
date the form
The person submitting the request does not need to be the person whose name appears on the document to be authenticated.
IMPORTANT: Our office is unable to confirm receipt of your request or provide a status update of your request before the minimum wait time has lapsed. Therefore, if you wish to obtain confirmation of delivery, we strongly encourage you to send your application using registered mail or courier, which will allow you to track the delivery status.
Courier waybills with account numbers are not accepted. They will be returned by regular mail. We accept prepaid shipping labels only.
Send your documents to:
Global Affairs Canada
Authentication Services Section (JLAC)
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON K1A 0G2
Please note: If you drop off your request at our department’s Distribution Centre, it will be processed as per our current processing time. The Authentication Services Section does not offer in-person service. Please also note that the Distribution Centre is unable to answer questions regarding our service or provide status updates.
Location of Global Affairs Canada’s Distribution Centre:
Lester B. Pearson Building
125 Sussex Drive, King Edward entrance
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0G2
Please ensure to address your envelope to the Authentication Services Section (JLAC).
Hours of operations: Monday to Friday (except statutory holidays) 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Getting your documents returned
Once processed, your documents will be returned to you by mail or, if you included a prepaid label or prepaid envelope, by courier (courier waybills with account numbers are not accepted). If you wish to have them returned by mail, ensure include a self-addressed stamped envelope. If you wish to have your documents forwarded to a foreign embassy, high commission or consulate, they will be shipped as per the methods outlined in the next section.