If you have a document that needs to be used in Canada, you need to superlegalize that document. Superlegalization (legalization) is a legal clause that proves the verification of a stamp or signature in another contracting state, in the form of affixing superlegalization certificates (ie printed and stamped clauses) by superlealization authorities. However, unlike apostille, superlegalization requires at least two but sometimes four superlegalization clauses or certificates from several ministries, bodies and embassies for each document. In the following text, you will find out what situations you will encounter when processing a superlegalization application, what you need to know before submitting the application and where to turn for help. These include marriage, temporary residence or citizenship, study or work in Canada.
Marriage in Canada
For example, this is a situation where you want to get married in Canada, in which case you need to superlegalize your birth certificate and citizenship certificate.
Temporary residence or citizenship in Canada
You need even more documents if you want to resolve a temporary stay or citizenship in Canada. In this case, you will need to superlegalize your birth certificate, marriage certificate, and criminal record.
Study or work in Canada
If you want to study in Canada, you need to superlegalize your diploma or certificate. If you want to work in Canada, in addition to superlegalization, you may find yourself in a situation where you will also need to nostrify your diploma or certificate.
The settlement of superlegalization is a very demanding process and it is best to order the settlement of this process from a specialist.
When to apply for an apostille and when will you need superlegalization?
First of all, it is necessary to be able to distinguish when apostilization of a document is sufficient and when it is necessary to solve superlegalization. The apostille was established on the basis of the „Convention on the Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents“ or the so-called Hague Convention in 1961, and its competence includes almost all states, except for some exceptions where superlegalization is required. The list of states falling into superlegalization can be found here.
If superlegalization needs to be addressed, the whole process becomes complicated. The document needs to be verified by several different authorities, which is very time and money consuming.
What to prepare for when processing an application for superlegalization abroad?
If you need to superlegalize documents from abroad for use in the Czech Republic (birth certificate, diploma, marriage certificate), you will definitely not do it without the help of an expert.
The correct version of the forms and the validity of the superlegalized documents
The next step in processing the application for superlegalization is to download and fill in the forms. It may not seem complicated at first glance, but you can’t do without some knowledge.
First and foremost, verify that the content of the form you are downloading is up to date and out of date. The form and content of the application shall be updated by the competent authority abroad.
To complete it, you will need knowledge of a foreign language, and especially knowledge of legal and professional terminology.
It is also necessary to find out the age of the document for the issue of superlegalization.
If it was issued more than 3 years or 6 months ago – it depends on specific examples (eg birth certificate or extract from the criminal record), then it is necessary to apply for a new original document.
Be prepared for the fact that requesting new original documents is a very lengthy process and unfortunately, it does not end there.
Federal or state superlegalization?
Do you know whether or not the state in which you are requesting superlegalization of the document belongs to the federation? We are talking, for example, about the USA, Brazil, etc. If you are requesting the superlegalization of a document, for example in the United States, then the situation becomes more difficult. You need to know if you will be applying for federal or state superlegalization. You can find this, for example, with an extract from criminal records, but also documents such as a birth certificate and a university diploma. There are more variants and if you are not completely sure, you better consult a specialist.
When will you need nostrification in addition to superlegalization?
In order for some documents to be used abroad, in addition to the superlegalization, the so-called nostrification is sometimes required – official recognition of the validity of the authorization obtained abroad, which is used in deciding on the validity of a foreign certificate.
Nostrification is required, for example, for academic documents, certificates or diplomas and other documents. A list of information regarding nostrification can be found here.