Apostille & Legalization in Canada

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Thinking of studying in Panama? Or maybe you’re interested in securing a mortgage for a property? Every year, thousands of Canadians either move to Panama or find ways to become economically attached to it. And for many of these reasons, you may find yourself having to provide proof of income here in Canada. This isn’t uncommon. Just like most first world countries, you will need to show proof of income to gain financial trust.

Your Proof of Income

You can obtain proof of income a few different ways. The most common is through steady and stable Canadian employment.  A proof of income should be easy to secure then. You would simply need to request a letter from your company’s HR to demonstrate the details of your employment. These may include dates and type of employment, your role, and annual salary.

If you have income through other sources, such as a business, rental properties, or pension, you may need to show details from your bank account where the money is deposited. Find out from the institution requesting the information what they will accept as proof of income.

What’s next?

Unlike using a document locally, your proof of income is not sufficient for Panama in its original form. You must attest (authenticate and legalize) the document in order for it to be valid for use in Panama. This is very important, as it’s not valid until you complete both steps.

Authenticating your Proof of Income

Once you obtain the right documents, they will need to be submitted to Global Affairs Canada (GAC) in Ottawa. If you need to authenticate your document on a federal level, not just provincial, GAC is the only body that can do so. But prepare for a lengthy process! It takes GAC  15 to 20 business days to process from submission to ready-for-pickup. GAC will then place a large red stamp to indicate the completion of authentication.

Legalizing your Proof of Income 

Following authentication, your documents will need to be legalized by the Panama Consulate General. The embassy will review the documents and the GAC seal to ensure that they are original and acceptable. The embassy will also place a stamp or a certificate to indicate the completion of legalization.

Accounting for Processing Time

As you’ve probably noticed, the process of document attestation can take time. Particularly, whereas GAC used to have expedited services previously, those services are not easily available anymore. Expedited services now require proof of cause and are subject to a review for eligibility. This change lengthens processing times for anyone who needs the service. Keep in mind, that it will still be a week of waiting even with expedition. While this is certainly an inconvenience, preparing for this ahead of time will save you frustration down the road. We recommend you start preparing your documents at least two months before they must be submitted. This will allow you sufficient time to have the documents authenticated by the GAC, legalized, and couriered to its final destination.

Need Help with your Proof of Income?

Paperwork is never fun! Add constantly changing government policies and requirements to the mix, and they can feel even more tedious. At Legalization Service Centre, we understand that document attestation is the last thing you want holding you back, so give us a call for a step in the right direction. We have years of experience helping countless individuals. We’re happy to help with any queries you may have, even if you are just getting started!

Our customers rate us 5-stars on Google and have let us earn an A++ reputation with the Better Business Bureau. Paperwork may not be fun, but it’s what we do best!


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