Tips for Legalizing Your Birth Certificate for Colombia

One of the most common documents you need to attest are birth certificates. This isn’t surprising if you think of all of the applications of the document. Whether you are going through immigrations, applying for a visa, need to document a live birth in another country, or are planning a marriage in another country, you may need to include a birth certificate. Things are no different for your affairs in Colombia! If you’re in need of attesting a birth certificate for Colombia, keep reading for some pro tips!

Tip # 1: Go for the long form of the birth certificate!

Just take our word for it on this one – you’ll thank us later. In general, for official purposes you will almost always require the full length document of any sort. A birth certificate for Colombia especially would need to be non-wallet sized. The long-form certificate includes a lot more details which add great value to your overall application. These details add strength to your application and solidify the facts that you state in other areas.  The additional information shows details of the parents which help to demonstrate these connections officially.

Tip # 2: Gather everything in one place

The birth certificate most likely won’t be all that you need. Start the application/official process early and dedicate a file to start assembling the pieces together. Remember that you must keep your important documents in physical records, even in today’s digital era for attestation. It’s also important to keep them safe, intact, and easily accessible. Also, remember that when paper transfers hands, they can get worn out or dirty. Consider keeping them in plastic sheet protectors to prevent damage to the paper or ink. Having a designated file for storage and transfers can also lend to keeping them safe, protected, and easily accessible.

Tip # 3: Keep your documents confidential

It’s important to keep your birth certificate in a safe place to prevent loss or theft. Legal documents such as your birth certificate and IDs contain personal information about you that can create havoc in the wrong hands. In fact, one of the ways identity theft can happen is if original documents fall into the hands of someone with malicious intentions.

Tip # 4: Start your process early

No really – please start early. Often when we tell our clients that they need to start the authentication process months ahead of their scheduled application date, they think we’re exaggerating. We really aren’t. Authentication and legalization can take quite some time to complete. And your birth certificate for Colombia will need to undergo both of these steps. In fact, until early this year, you could pay extra for rushed same day services at Global Affairs Canada (GAC) for document authentication. However, GAC has taken that option entirely off the tables and now all authentication services take a minimum of one week to complete, even those requested for rush.

If your service is not “rush”, it will take about a month to be authenticated. Only after this can you proceed with legalization which can take another month, depending on factors such as time of year, embassy availability, etc. Note: GAC authentication rush services are subject to application and approval. You must have a valid reason for requesting a rush service and not all requests are granted approval.

Tip # 5: Hire us for the job!

Not to be tooting our own horn, but a service like Legalization Service Centre can make your document attestation journey a really easy one. We understand the nitty-gritty details of authentication and legalization because it’s all we do.

When you call us to take care of your attestation needs, you can rest assured that your document processing has been entrusted to professionals with years of service experience and a seriously good rating on Google! We also stand with an A++ status with the Better Business Bureau. Our reputation is our crown and because we take our business so seriously, we work tirelessly on each case with individualized attention from start to finish.

Does this mean we’re expensive? Absolutely not! We stand for fair pricing on our projects and quote based on only what you need. So give us a call – at the very least we’ll give you the guidance you are looking and answer any questions you may have.




Image Credit: Shutterstock/Javier Crespo and Fodor’s Travel

Birth Certificate Legalization for Brazil

Did you know that Brazil is considered one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world? That shouldn’t come as a surprise, actually. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people immigrate there. My guess is that its beautiful landscape, culture, and climate work magic together to attract people from around the world! But, official processes, including immigration, can require a great deal of paperwork. Of these, birth certificates are often the most requested document you will need to provide. If you started the immigration process and need this document, keep reading! We’ll cover all of the basics for what you need to know to prepare a birth certificate for Brazil.

Choose the Long Form Birth Certificate

If you haven’t yet requested an official birth certificate, then make a note to apply for the long form. This one generally contains more information, such as details about each parent, along with place of birth. Official work often calls for long forms of original documents, and it isn’t any different for birth certificates. Starting with the right document is essential to completing the official process efficiently.

Notarize and Translate 

The official language of Brazil is Portuguese. You are requires to translate and notarize a lot of official documents before you can submit them for legalization. Find an official translator and have your documents translated. Only originals and true copies are accepted by Global Affairs Canada (GAC), provincial Document Services, and consulates. Thus, it is a good idea to certify and notarize a copy of an original before submitting.

Authentication of the Birth Certificate for Brazil at GAC 

Finished with the translation and notarization? Next, you need to authenticate your birth certificate by Global Affairs or it may be possible to do so provincially. However, each consulate and each embassy have different, sometimes even contradicotry, requirements. Please make sure you contact us to help you through this step!

It is best practice to have GAC authenticate a document whenever possible. However, GAC has a lengthy processing time and their office is located in Ottawa, whereas provincial offices often offer same-day service and are more easily accessible. You should check with the Brazilian consulate before proceeding to authenticate through a provincial office.

Legalization of the Birth Certificate for Brazil at the Consulate General of Brazil

The final step to having your documents attested is legalization through the Consulate General of Brazil.

GAC or Document Services office will place a stamp on your birth certificate for Brazil once they have authenticated it. Now, it is ready for further submission. The consulate will conduct their own review of your document. They will also place a seal or certificate on the finished document to show that they have legalized it. Your document is now ready for official work in Brazil!

Choose an authentication service provider

You may have read online that authentication services can help you process your documents to meet appropriate attestation requirements. Why should you choose a professional to do the work for you, though? The process is time consuming and tedious. In the midst of preparing other aspects of your official work, authentication and legalization can often feel like a hurdle in the path. Not to mention, obtaining certified copies, translating, and notarizing only add to the length of processing time.

When you go through a service like Legalization Service Centre, all of that extra work is handled on your behalf. You won’t need to take time off of work for official work, travel anywhere for GAC or the consulate, or spend any additional money on courier fees. All you have to do is provide us with the original or a true copy of your document! After we complete attesting your documents, we will send them directly to their final destination! For these reasons and many more, we recommend having a professional handle your authentication needs.

Now you know everything there is to know to about birth certificates and authentication. We know how tedious the work seems right now, but can bet that the thought of beautiful Brazil is going to keep you going! Don’t forget to send a postcard once you get there.


Image Credit: Globalgrasshopper

Legalization of Birth Certificate for Use in Nicaragua

Known for its emerald lakes, volcanoes, and largest rainforest in Central America, Nicaragua has become a prominent tourist hub in recent years. As tourism increases, knowledge of everything this hidden oasis has to offer has also spread. A rich history of colonialism and ethnic changes contributes to its diverse food and culture. It isn’t a surprise why many Canadians look forward to making Nicaragua their new home after retirement.

But retired people aren’t the only ones setting up for long-term living here. The cost of living and generally low expenses has attracted many businesses and educational institutions as well. This has given many Canadians a variety of reasons to visit, stay, and create a community of their own.

Regardless of your reason to visit, you should know that the country has strict paperwork requirements. To make the process of your visit or move easier, it is best to start preparing your paperwork early. Read on to find out how to legalize your birth certificate for use in Nicaragua!

Prepare Ahead of Time

Nothing beats good preparation. This is especially true when dealing with a foreign country where many review and documentation processes are still manual. Don’t forget that Nicaragua is a struggling country with scarce resources. This makes preparation all the more important to allow time for delays.

When preparing your documents such as a birth certificate for Nicaragua, if you don’t already have the originals, keep in mind that sourcing these documents will also require time. Allow for at least two months in Canada to gather and process all documents. Create a file and review the process for document attestation, known in Canada as authentication and legalization. Notarize all true copies of the original.

Authentication of your Birth Certificate for Nicaragua

In Canada, document attestation is a two-step process. During the first step, your original or true copy of your birth certificate for Nicaragua will be reviewed by Global Affairs Canada to ensure that the seals and signatures on your document are valid. This step reviews for the legitimacy of your document, ensuring that it was produced and signed by the institutions and authorities that are entitled to do so. Once GAC has matched the signatures with records in their registry, they will place a large red stamp to indicate that the document has been effectively authenticated.

Legalization of your Birth Certificate for Nicaragua

Following legalization, your birth certificate will need to go to the Nicaraguan Embassy. Here, the embassy will complete the second and last stage of attestation known as legalization. The embassy is reviewing your document and GAC’s seal to ensure that they are valid and acceptable. Once they are sure that GAC has truly certified your document and that it meets their own standards for use, they two will place a stamp or certificate to indicate the completion of legalization. This confers attestation of your birth certificate for Nicaragua, making them good for use for any official purpose in Nicaragua.

The Time Involved

You should be aware that the process of attestation is lengthy and can take several weeks to months. This has been especially true since earlier this year, when GAC made changes to their review process. Whereas same-day services were common practice prior, now, each submission must take the required two to three weeks for review.  Beware that you will still have to wait for one week of processing time, even if GAC does allow the expedition.

Feel Free to Ask for Help!

Changing government and embassy regulations can make it very difficult to keep up with attestation processes. Especially if this is not something you have done previously, the paperwork can be tedious and cumbersome. At Legalization Service Centre, we understand that when you need these documents prepared, you also have a lot else on your plate. That’s why our team is prepared to make your document journey less stressful. We specialize in everything related to document attestation and work across the country. Regardless of whether you are mid-process or just beginning, give us a call. We have a friendly staff to give you great tips and services to help you gain momentum and speed!


Image Credit: Tropicaldryforestsofnicaragua

Authentication of Documents in Canada

LSC Canada: One-Stop Solution for your Attestation Needs

Paperwork can be daunting and we get that. Unfortunately, when you need documents from one country to use in another, there is even more administration involved. Not only do these documents often need to be notarized, they also need to be attested to ensure that they are legally admissible in the intended country of use. For anyone who hasn’t gone through the process before, attestation or authentication and legalization (what does that even mean?) can seem like a headache. From ordering the right document to having them reach their final destination, there is just so much involved! Not to mention the trip to Ottawa for legalization that you probably didn’t have in your travel plans.

So what do you do? We recommend getting in touch with Legalization Service Centre Canada (LSC Canada). Not just because we’re the best in the industry, but because we take all of your attestation stress away. And when we say all, we mean from A to Z. Here’s how.

1. Getting your documents together

You know what document you need, but do you know where to order it from? What about which version is right? For example, if you need a birth certificate attested, you may not be aware that the long form can save you a lot of headache down the road. In fact, most times the short version won’t even be accepted. Moreover, often there are documents you need along with the basic ones that you may not even be aware of. For example, if you need a divorce certificate attested to clear you for a marriage abroad, it may be a good idea to include your marriage certificate to that person as well. There are many examples like these where people often have to repeat the process simply because they forgot to include a document the first time around.

When you go through us, we know what the end goal is because we’ve done the job plenty of times. We’ll know not just how to efficiently complete attestation of the document of your interest, but will also advise on everything else you may need.

2. We take care of all of the applications and travel

Did you know that the Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and most embassy offices are located in Ottawa? That’s why our head office is also situated in the heart of Ottawa, just minutes away from all of these key points that you’ll need to touch. If you aren’t in Ottawa, that doesn’t sound like much fun, does it? Traveling to Ottawa for the purpose of attestation of your documents isn’t a great use of your time. But it is a very good use of ours! Once you transfer all of your required documents to us, we’ll fill out the necessary applications and submit everything on your behalf. They will first go to Global Affairs Canada for authentication and then to the appropriate embassy for legalization. No matter how many times these offices need to be visited for your paperwork, we’ll make the necessary trips.

3. Document transfers and mailing

Once all of your documents are fully authenticated and legalized, we package them up and courier them to your requested address. In many instances, this means that you don’t even have to worry about mailing in the documents to their final destination. Our mails are sent through secured channels so that you can track them until they reach their destination.

Moreover, there are perks to using LSC as your service provider that you wouldn’t enjoy otherwise. For example, did you also know that now it takes 10 business day or more for GAC  to complete your authentication? We can help expedite this process as long as you have proof of your deadline!

Still not sure what to do? Don’t fret, we know that the process can appear complicated. We are always here to help you with your attestation needs. If you have any questions, give us a call and we’ll go over more details. At LSC Canada, we are happy to help you with your attestation needs at every step of the way. Even if that means just having a reassuring and informative conversation!

Attestation of Birth Certificate for UAE

Thinking of settling in the UAE? You aren’t alone! Whether you are a native returning to the land or pursuing a career or employment there, many individuals and families decide to call the UAE their home every year. There is a process to obtain a residency status, and you will need certain documentation to apply for it. You will need to add each member of your family to the residency status, as well. For your children born in Canada, birth certificates along with copies of their passport will need to be provided. Read on to learn about the process of preparing a Canadian birth certificate for use in UAE!

How do you obtain a Canadian birth certificate?

Whether you are in the country at the time or not, Canadian birth certificates are easy to obtain. Make sure you fill in the online application requests for either the short or long form. For the purpose of your UAE residency visa, it is best to order the long form. This one will contain more detail than the short certificate. Information such as place of birth and the names of both parents, along with details of the child are included in this form. Contrarily, the short form certificate only includes the child’s full name and place of birth.

Preparing a birth certificate for use in UAE

The Canadian government itself issues birth certificates. However, you can’t include it in your UAE residency application as is. In order to make the document valid, it must undergo attestation, known as authentication and legalization in Canada. While the two terms are different, the process of attestation and authentication/legalization are identical. Other parts of the world also call it ‘apostille’. After you complete the 2 steps listed below, your birth certificate for UAE will be ready.

How do you have your Canadian birth certificate attested?

The first step is authentication. You need to submit your document to Global Affairs Canada (GAC) along with an application form. GAC is the only government body in Canada that is responsible for authentication of all Canadian documents. Their head office is located in Ottawa and their task is to review the signatures and stamps on the document to ensure that they are valid. Along with this, they also ensure that any document provided to them contains the information and structure necessary to qualify for authentication.

Once the forms are submitted to GAC, it can take 10 days or more for your documents to be authenticated. But an attestation professional can significantly reduce this wait time. For example, Legalization Service Centre can have your documents authenticated within a few business days at GAC. All you need to do is provide a letter or a document proving the urgency of your business. This is because we have a strong network and years of experience with authentication. This can also lead you to save money on the process, as any corrections to the process after you submit your form will require additional fees.

The Final Step: Legalization

After authenticated, you must submit the document(s) to the UAE embassy for legalization. Legalization involves the embassy conducting their own review to ensure that the document meets their country’s standard and that it contains a valid GAC stamp.  Most embassies are located in Ottawa, in close proximity to the GAC office as well as the physical location of Legalization Service Centre. While legalization is not difficult to obtain, it can be a challenge if you are trying to complete it from somewhere outside of Ottawa. Since our office is intentionally close to both, it makes it easy for us to complete the submissions and conduct follow-ups until the entire attestation process is complete.

At Legalization Service Centre, we understand how tedious paperwork can be. Moving from one country to another is not an easy task. Obtaining residency and settling in the UAE may be exciting, but there is a lot of work to be done. Having your documents authenticated is just a hurdle in the process which can be even more difficult due to distance. Give us a call if you need more information or would like to have us take care of this important part of your paperwork. We are always happy to chat, even if it is only to share more information!


Image Credit: Zawaya

Birth certificate authentication

Birth Certificate Authentication and Legalization

If you need to use a birth certificate for yourself or a family member internationally, you may have been asked to Apostille the document. However, it is important to note that document Apostilles are not possible in Canada. This is because Canada has not signed the Hague Convention which would allow us to be able to perform Apostilles. Instead, you must complete 2 separate steps: birth certificate authentication and birth certificate legalization. This process will count as the same as Apostille and/or attestation. What exactly do these steps entail? Simply read on to find out!

Birth Certificate Authentication

Step 1. Obtain the long form Canadian birth certificate

When a child is born in a Canadian hospital, typically the hospital assists the new parent(s) with registering the birth with the Office of the Registrar. Once this is complete, you are able to request a birth certificate from your province. Most provinces have an online application that enables you to order the birth certificate online. There are many third party websites that facilitate these transactions such as

In some scenarios, such as in the case of at-home deliveries, the birth of a child may not have been registered right away. If this is the case and your child is more than 1 year old, a Delayed Statement of Live Birth form must be filled out and submitted to the Registrar. Until this is complete, you will not be able to request a birth certificate.

There are two forms of birth certification – the long form and the short form. The short form contains information about the individual named on the certificate. In addition to this, the long form contains the names of the parents and birth location. While the short form certificate may be usable in many scenarios, ensure that you have the long form for legalization purposes.

Step 2. Prepare all documents and application

Depending on the purpose of your use or need, you may require documents in addition to the birth certificate to be collected and legalized. Find out from the embassy if additional documents are required and prepare them at this time as well. Document authentication and legalization can be a long and tedious process. You don’t want to have to repeat the steps for each document type.  If you are receiving the help of a legalization professional, they will be able to guide you in acquiring and preparing all the necessary documents.

Step 3. Submit to Global Affairs Canada for birth certificate authentication

Document attestation, or authentication and legalization, is a two-step process. The first of these is authentication, which happens when you submit your document(s) to Global Affairs Canada (GAC) for revision. GAC will review your document to ensure that the stamps and signatures on it are valid and authentic. They will place a large red stamp on the document indicating the end of authentication. Typically, the process of authentication can take between 15 to 20 days and has a processing fee associated with it. Any errors or omissions in the application can cause further delays and result in additional charges.

Birth Certificate Legalization

Step 1. Submit to the correct embassy in Ottawa for legalization

Once your document has been authenticated, it must be submitted to the embassy of the country where you will use the certificate. Typically, all foreign embassies and consulates are located in Ottawa, Canada. In this step, the embassy will review the GAC stamp to ensure that it is true and valid. They must also review the document to ensure that it meets the standards of their country. They will place a stamp or  attach a certificate to indicate the completion of the legalization step.

How Can We Help?

Regardless of what you call the process, attestation of your documents can be a daunting and exhausting task. That’s why the experts at Legalization Service Centre are readily available to answer any questions you have. We have a strong network from years of experience at GAC that makes it possible for us to complete your authentication process within 24 hours as opposed to the 15 to 20 days typical wait period. Moreover, our experience and expertise can save you time and money by avoiding common errors, omissions or pitfalls in the process. Our service and experience have earned us an A+ status with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and a 5 star rating on Google. Call us today to have your documents handled from start to finish, efficiently and without breaking a sweat!


Image Credit: IncoDocs

The Hague Convention: Authentication, Legalization and Apostille

The Hague Apostille Convention a.k.a. the Hague Convention is a multilateral treaty drafted by the Hague Conference. It’s an attempt to standardize the way documents are certified. Drafted in 1961, the Hague Convention now sees 115 countries as is signatories. These countries recognize a standard document apostille process, which validates them after the process. Thereafter, they can legally recognize documents as equivalent to their own. Canada, however, is not part of the Hague Convention. Instead, documents need to undergo authentication and legalization.

Canada and the Hague Convention

So why isn’t Canada a signatory? It’s not quite clear, but more importantly, it means that it can’t produce document apostilles. Canada even takes things a step further! You can NOT authenticate a copy of a document that has already undergone apostille. To authenticate that document, you must submit another notarized true copy.

It may be confusing for anyone going through this process to understand the difference. If a country asks you for a document apostille and your documents originated in Canada, what do you do? The answer is quite simple. While the terminology is different, document apostille and authentication and legalization mean the same thing. So to “do apostille” really means to authenticate and legalize your documents.

Apostille in Canada: Step 1

In Canada, authentication of documents can only be conducted by Global Affairs Canada (GAC), located in Ottawa. GAC will accept notarized copies of your documents and they will conduct a review of them. They will check the signatures and stamps to ensure they are true and valid. With that done, GAC will place a red stamp on your document to prove it has been authenticated.

Apostille in Canada: Step 2

After authentication, your documents must undergo legalization. Note which country you’re going to use them in! The corresponding embassy or consulate of the country will be legalizing them for you. The embassy will conduct a second review of your documents to ensure that the GAC stamp is true and valid. They will affix either a stamp or a certificate to indicate that the documents have been verified and legalized.

Confused? Exhausted? We can help

The process of document authentication and legalization may seem daunting to anyone who has not gone through it before, however, if done correctly, it can be rather simple administration. Where complications arise is if the documents to be authenticated and legalized have not been prepared properly or the associated forms not filled out correctly. Errors or omissions can cost you a great deal of added time to completion and additional fees. For these reasons, it is always a good idea to have an authentication and legalization professional review your documents and submit them for you. An added benefit of going through a professional service provider such as Legalization Service Centre (LAC) is that our networks at GAC allow for your documents to be prepared in as quickly as one business day whereas the normal wait time is up to 22 business days.

Over years of commitment to authentication and legalization, LAC has garnered a five star rating on Google reviews from many clients and an A+ standing with the BBB. We take customer service very seriously, but more importantly, we know the process of document authentication and legalization inside out for any of your document needs. If you have any questions regarding the processing of your documents, give us a call at 1-800-857-1215 to speak to one of our professionals, or send us a WhatsApp message at +1-613-501-0555 any time.


Image from: Mad Movie Man

Export Related Documents: Authentication and Legalization

Authentication and Legalization in Exports and Imports

The business of trading goods or exports and imports is a promising form of commerce that requires authentication and legalization. Both parties require a certain level of trust when starting such a business. They may not have previous experience in exchanging goods with one another, after all. Checks and balances allow you to make an informed decision and choice in partners to commit the trade with. However, a certain level of risk related to the quality of the product you receive will remain.

When you engage in trading goods made in Canada, authentication and legalization of documents can help the importing country minimize risks related to the quality of the product. It will also provide financial reliability, as well as allow importing countries to assess authenticity of the product. They may request the Commercial Invoice and Certificate of Origin.

What is a Commercial Invoice?

A Commercial Invoice is a legal document that is included when goods are shipped to another country. The purpose of all invoices is to provide a record of the transaction. The importing country uses a commercial invoice to allow products in. This includes the billed amount and payment options for the buyer. In addition, it includes information about both the buyer, seller. and sold goods. Due to the risks of damage related to the order and  exporter accountability for the goods, this invoice can allow funds to remain in escrow accounts.

What is a Certificate of Origin?

A Certificate of Origin is another document that can provide assurance of quality and verification of details regarding the product. It contains details about the exporter and importer, along with information regarding the producer. It also contains the tariff classification number, weight of products, and most importantly, a statement certifying that the information on the certificate is true and accurate. A detailed description of the information contained within the Certificate of Origin can be found on the Canadian government website here.

The Authentication Process

In addition to providing these documents, some countries require that they undergo the process of authentication and legalization. In order to authenticate the documents, they must first meet the requirements of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. Once met, they will affix a stamp to signify this. Moving forward, Global Affairs Canada (GAC) will screen the document for authenticity and following a satisfactory review, your document will be stamped. The final step of legalization takes place at the embassy of your importing country, who will validate your document.

While this process may sound simple, it can take approximately two months to complete, with a minimum period of twenty days at GAC for authentication. Errors and omissions along the way can extend this time by another three months. However, Legalization Service Centre can complete the same process in a much shorter amount of time, knowing the process and having a strong network within GAC and embassies in Ottawa. With our office situated in Ottawa, we can fast-track authentication to provide next day service! We will also make sure that your documents stay at the relevant embassy for days or weeks instead of months.

Our experience and stellar customer service has earned us an A+ status with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). We understand that your business requires you to act quickly and that simplicity in conducting your due diligence can translate to your success. For these reasons, we are readily available to answer any questions you may have and can have your documents authenticated and legalized quickly, efficiently, and accurately. Give us a call at 1-800-857-1215 or send us a message on WhatsApp: +1-613-501-0555.


Image credit: Herzing College