Apostille & Legalization in Canada

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Thinking about a move to Costa Rica? You aren’t alone! Costa Rica has become home to thousands of Canadians flocking to a piece of paradise. And for good reason too – the economy on this island has been soaring to impressive measures. Tourism, agribusiness, and its natural resources make for a wide diversity of opportunities. As businesses set up shop and people flock to vacation there, a growing need for professionals in all levels is becoming apparent. And as you may have encountered first-hand, this is great news for anyone looking to make a settlement there. Whether you’re a professional or student, one thing’s for sure – you’ll need degree legalization for Costa Rica!

Preparing Your Degree

If you’re applying for a job or higher education,  the institution you’re applying to would want to check your credentials. You’ll need degrees and diplomas on hand and ready to submit them.As legalization professionals, one of the issues we see people encounter is a lack of preparedness ahead of time. For example, many people often don’t have their degree or diploma on hand. This leads to a rush job and panicking.

For this reason, you should request the document as soon as possible. It often takes institutions several weeks to prepare and mail them out to you. From that point, receiving it through courier services or snail mail can also take time. Also on that note – it is good practice to also have your transcripts on hand and processed, in case you need to provide this as well. Best practice calls to have all of these documents ordered together so you can expect to receive them around the same time.

Degree Authentication for Costa Rica

Once you have your degree or diploma and official transcripts, you will need to have all of these documents authenticated and legalized in order for them to be valid for use in Costa Rica. In Canada, Global Affairs Canada (GAC) located in Ottawa is responsible for all document authentication. There may also be an option to authenticate them through provincial Document Services Office. To find out which office you need to go through, you should contact the embassy to consult with them. Alternatively, you can contact Legalization Service Centre, where we have up-to-date information on all authentication and legalization information.

Document Legalization for Costa Rica

Following authentication, which can take up to 30 days to complete, your documents will need to be legalized by the Costa Rican embassy in Ottawa. The embassy will review the documents, along with the authentication stamp, to verify that the documents and authentication meet their country’s standards. The embassy will place their stamp or certificate completing the entire attestation process.

What makes document processing difficult?

Document authentication and legalization can be dreadful work. In fact, it’s often the least looked-forward-to part of the process for many Canadian applicants. For security reasons, GAC can take a very long time to process your documents, which can feel cumbersome. Moreover, any out-of-province travel you have to do can mean time spent away from work and hundreds or thousands of dollars in travel costs alone. For these reasons, we highly recommend using a service provider to manage these processes. Not only will a service such as ours save you time and money, but we take the headache out of figuring out what to do next.  In most cases, all you have to do is submit the required documents and everything else, including delivery to their final destination, is up to us.

Still have questions and confusions? Don’t be alarmed, it’s natural to feel this way. Moving to a whole new country, whether for a short while or long, is a huge step. There’s definitely a lot to get done, but keep your head up high and remember that all of this is temporary. But for everything related to attestation, just give us a call. We’re happy to help you every step of the way!


Image Credit: Hemis/Alamis Stock Photo and Lonely Planet

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