Since Canada did not sign the Convention of 5 October 1961 "Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents" (hereinafter "Hague Apostille Convention"), the term "apostille" is not really a correct one to use here. We will use "legalization" instead.
From international legislation standpoint, all U.S. public documents must be legalized at the Embassy or Consulate of Canada in the USA for use in Canada. Prior to legalization by the Canadian Embassy/Consulate, such U.S. documents need to be authenticated by the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC. And oftentimes if the American documents are not federally-issued, then they must be authenticated first by the respective Secretary of State.
However, many people and organizations in both Canada and the USA are often confused on the requirements (e.g., at a minimum they use the word "apostille"), and some might even falsely assume that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) allows free document circulation by which documents notarized by U.S. notary publics can be accepted in Canada without any additional certifications. This is not the case! Just like in Canada, document frauds do happen in the USA as well, and from time to time U.S. notaries public are debarred from their commissions by the states and punished due to document mistakes or wrongdoings. But unfortunately, many Canadian individuals and legal entities at their own risk still accept either simple photocopies of U.S. documents or documents notarized by American notary public. The risks may be low if the issue being solved by submission of such document is not really a significant one. However, imagine the repercussions in an international deal or transaction across the borders that can be contested and reverted in courts on the grounds of improper documents!
Thus, if you need to prepare a U.S. public document for use in Canada and want to do a proper job without rejections in Canada that can cost you money, then you are in for WDC Apostille & Legalization Services! Or you may be in the position of authority at the destination in Canada (i.e., where the U.S. documents are being submitted) and need to be fully assured of the authenticity of the American document under your scrutiny. Then, information on this page can also benefit you and will protect your position if you start requiring U.S. public documents destined for use in Canada to be authenticated by the U.S. Department of State and legalized by the Canadian Embassy or Consulate.
How to Use Our Legalization Service at the Embassy of Canada in the USA
WDC Apostille & Legalization Services can speedily authenticate documents at the U.S. Department of State. After that, we can legalize your documents at the Embassy of Canada in Washington, DC. We can offer regular or economy service with discounts for multiple documents. Please check out Our Service Fees.
It is super-easy to use our services if you follow the below suggested algorithm of actions:
You contact us preferably by email explaining your document situation. If it is urgent, you can call us 24/7. Please provide as many details as possible about your documents but the key information we usually need is: 1) who issued them in the USA, 2) where you intend to use them in Canada, 3) how many you have, 4) are they originals or notarized copies, 5) how fast you need them back and 6) the destination they need to be sent to. If your shipment destination (after processing) is neither in the USA nor in Canada, then we would need the exact address including postal code so that we can give you exact courier quote.
- We will reply by email as well as fast as we can with our comments, suggestions, questions and/or confirmation with preliminary or final quote.
- You can then write us back with additional questions, comments or concerns. Or you may just be satisfied and ready to send your documents.
- At this stage we agree on the course of action and our services. You would make the payment, ship the documents and email us the tracking # so that we can start tracking your inbound shipment and provide you interim updates.
- We will complete your service request and ship the documents back to your agreed destination either in your attached prepaid envelope with filled out air waybill or in our envelope (but we would have to charge you extra for this service). If you prefer, we can scan the completed documents and email them to you prior outbound shipment so you would know that we did indeed do everything as previously discussed.
- After shipment is sent, we will email you the tracking # so that you can monitor the arrival.
Thus, prior sending documents to us, you are encouraged to get a quote based on your specific document situation or contact us if you have any questions. This is an important step as we can help you to ensure you did not miss any official requirements.
We hope to hear from you soon!