Do Notarized Documents Require an Apostille for International Use?

December 24, 2021


Apostille Notary Langley

When you require us to notarize or prepare a document to be used outside Canada, it is very important for you to know the procedure and the available options before you can decide on how to proceed.

The international law requires all the countries who have signed the Hague Apostille Convention to obtain an “apostille” for any documents that are signed in one country but need to be used in a different country. However, since Canada is not a signatory party to the Hague Apostille Convention, it is not possible to obtain a Canadian apostille. Instead, in order for a Canadian document to be accepted in a foreign jurisdiction, each Consulate/Embassy has its own “chain of authentications/legalizations”*, which may contain some or all of the following steps being required to take for authenticating/legalizing that document:

  • Actual Notarized Document (e.g. Power of Attorney, Declaration, Affidavit, etc.)
  • Form 10 – International Notarial Certificate of Identity; and/or
  • Certified True Copy of your Identification(s); and/or
  • Authentication/Legalization of the notarial signature by various levels of government:
  • Society of Notaries Public of BC; and/or
  • Attorney General of BC; and/or
  • Global Affairs Canada; and/or
  • Consulate/Embassy of your country of destination (e.g. Romanian Consulate).

*Therefore, before you start this process, please consult your Consulate/Embassy and confirm the levels/steps of authentications required for your specific country. Based on the instructions received from your Consulate, please decide and instruct us regarding the following options that you’d like to proceed:

We can prepare or/and witness your document in English (or you can have it in your language & translated into English as well) and after we notarize it, you can take it further through those levels of authentications required by your Consulate.

Advantages & Disadvantages:

  • Since this is the prescribed procedure by your Consulate, there is a higher chance that the document will be accepted in your country of destination.
  • However, as you may understand, this may be a costlier and more time-consuming method.

Sometimes, our clients don’t have the time or don’t want to pay the extra-money for those extra-steps of authentication/legalization. So, instead of doing that, they contact a notary in their country of destination, who can prepare & send them a template of the required document and after the clients insert all their details into that document, we can notarize it (on the condition that we understand that language). However, before you choose this option, please read the following implications below.

Advantages & Disadvantages:

There is NO guarantee that the “notarized” document will be accepted in that foreign jurisdiction without being “authenticated/legalized” by all the required levels of authentication as per that Consulate’s instructions.

If you choose to go ahead with this method (signing your document in the language of your country of destination), we can recommend that you at least translate it into English as well and we can notarize them both. This way, the foreign language document + the English translation may be sent further through the “cycle of authentications” as per Option A.

I hope this sheds some light on this topic, which we encounter on a weekly basis. However, if you’re still unsure on how to proceed, please give us a call and we can gladly explain this in more details.

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