A Guide to Notarization in the Immigration Process

Immigration Law, Notary Services
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Canada Awaits: A Guide to Notarization in the Immigration Process

The Immigration process might appear like a vast maze with various turns and decisions to be made for many people dreaming of a new life in Canada. Notarization holds a special place within this journey ensuring that documents you present are genuine and trustworthy. While it might not be the only step in your immigration journey, its significance cannot be understated.

Navigating the Canadian immigration system requires a thorough understanding of its procedures, notarization being one of them. It’s not just about getting a stamp on a paper; it is about adding an extra layer of authenticity to your vital documents. This authentication is crucial, as it tells the Canadian authorities that the documents you are presenting are genuine.

When is notarization required and who holds the authority to certify these documents? These are essential questions that any aspiring immigrant to Canada must know. Moreover, the more pressing questions is if there is a way to make the notarization process more affordable.

In this article, we will examine these questions. We aim to clarify the scenarios where you will need your documents notarized, identify the individuals qualified to certify your papers, and offer insights on optimizing your notarization costs.

Grasping the Essence of Notarization And Its Crucial Role in Immigration

Notarization is the method of confirming a document’s authenticity. This is done by an individual possessing specialized legal authority, commonly referred to as a ‘notary public’. Simply put, when a document gets notarized, it receives a seal of trust. This process affirms two vital components:

The information within the document is genuine and unaltered.
Confirms the identity of a person who signed the document.

Scenarios Where Notarization is Required

  • Certifying Authenticity of a Document Copy: Often, you might need to submit copies of essential documents such as a birth certificates or educational credentials. Instead of sending an original, a notarized copy guarantees that the document is a true and unaltered reproduction of the original.
  • An affidavit for translation: Not all translations are done by certified professionals. If you had a document translated by someone who is not officially recognized a translator, a notary can validate its accuracy, ensuring the translated content genuinely reflects the original’s intent. This can only be done if the notary speaks both the language of the original document and the language of translation.
  • Certifying Declarations: Certain declarations, such as a common-law partnership affirmation, or father’s permission for child’s immigration require a seal of authenticity. A notary can attest to the truthfulness of such statements, making them legally acceptable.

Authorized Notary Public in Canada

In Canada, the task of notarizing documents is given to specific individuals who are trained and legally recognized. These include:

  • Notary Public is a lawyer who is licensed by the province and approved as a notary under the Notary Act. The notary can witness or certify, and attest, the execution of a document, and certify and attest documents to be true copies of the original..
  • Commissioner of Oaths is a person who is authorized by the Province of Ontario to take an oath when you sign an affidavit or statutory declaration. They are given this authority by the Commissioners for Taking Affidavits Act. The Commissioner is not responsible for the content of the affidavit.
  • Commissioner for Taking Affidavits: Similar to a Commissioner of Oaths, they have the authority to ensure that a person makes a genuine declaration when they sign a document.

The Notarization Process and Tips for Applicants

Here’s a straightforward guide to help you understand the notarization process better:

  1. Selecting the Right Notary: Ensure you are working with a notary who is both licensed and familiar with the Canadian immigration system. Their licence ensures they have the legal authority to certify your documents. Additionally, a notary experienced in immigration law will have a better understanding of the process, streamlining notarization.
  2. Booking an Appointment: Once you selected your notary public, the next step is scheduling a meeting. While some documents, like legal declarations, can sometimes be certified online, others require an in-person verification. For documents like your passport or birth certificate, physical validation is mandatory. You will need to present the original document so that it can be authenticated by the notary. An appointment allows the notary to allocate dedicated time for your documents, ensuring no details are overlooked.
  3. Preparing for your appointment: You might feel tempted to provide your notary with copies you made yourself. However, please refrain from doing so. Given the advances in image editing software, ensuring a document’s authenticity can be challenging. To avoid any ambiguities, let your notary handle the copying process ensuring these copies meet the required standards.

Certification of Personal Correspondence for IRCC Authenticity Verification

For many immigration applicants, particularly those applying under family or spouse sponsorship categories, personal correspondence can be used as a proof of genuine relationships. Such documents offer a candid glimpse into everyday interactions between individuals, painting a clearer picture for immigration case officer. While not always mandatory, having your personal correspondence certified enhances its credibility. It assures the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that the provided communications are genuine, unaltered, and not fabricated for immigration purposes.

The process of certifying online correspondence, be it from social media or email, is meticulous but straightforward. When you visit the notary’s office, you will be asked to access your online accounts. In your presence, the notary will then download the entirety of the relevant conversations in a specific text format, ensuring it mirrors the online content accurately. Once downloaded and printed, the notary certifies this content, adding a layer of trust to the captured dialogue.

However, if the correspondence in languages other than English or French, an additional step is required.  Post notarization, these documents must be accurately translated by a recognized translator to meet IRCC’s language requirements. This ensures that the reviewing officer can understand the content of the correspondence, further facilitating the authenticity verification process.

In essence, while personal correspondence certification might seem like an extra task, it plays a crucial role in strengthening the validity of your relationship claims, helping you make a compelling case to the IRCC.

Special offer from MBLAW

Immigration is both an exciting and an expensive journey. MBLAW recognize this and aim to help with your financial burden. Rather than charging per page, we offer a fixed rate for notarizing documents.

  • A multi-page document (like a passport or contract) is priced at $100 + HST
  • Documents up to 6 pages stand at $40 + HST

This special rate is exclusively available for 2023. To benefit from special pricing, you must:

  1. Book an appointment at our Toronto office.
  2. Specify the notarization purpose as immigration.
  3. Have a minimum of 15 documents for notarization.

MBLAW stands ready to assist you in this process. We offer streamlined, affordable notary services tailored to your immigration needs. Choose clarity, choose authenticity, choose MBLAW. Call us today.

Immigrate to Canada, Immigration, Immigration Process, Notarization Process, Notary Public, Personal Correspondence

The Content is current as of its original date of publication, but should not be relied upon as accurate, timely or fit for any particular purpose. Content is provided solely for informational purposes. It is not intended to be legal or other professional advice or an opinion of any kind. You are advised to seek specific legal advice by contacting members of MBLAW (or your own legal counsel) in relation to your specific legal issues.

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