Legalisation of documents

On this page, you will find all the information on how to legalise a document.

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PLEASE NOTE: The Consulate General in Montreal can only legalize documents issued in Canada. If your document is issued in Belgium, we invite you to contact the Legalization Service of the FPS Foreign Affairs in Brussels.


A document that is official and legal in one country is not necessarily official and legal in another. Many documents must therefore be legalised if you wish to use them abroad. 

The legalisation process involves checking the origin of the relevant document. Legalisation is official confirmation that the signature of the civil servant that has signed a document, or the seal or stamp on the document, is legitimate.

It is not only the signature of the person that has issued the document that is legalised, the process can also legalise the signature of the legalising registrar. Every signature, every seal and every stamp will be legalised by the person authorised to do so and who is familiar with each signature, seal or stamp. This explains why various legalisations are sometimes required, in a specific order. 

A country may have signed up to a legalisation treaty that encompasses agreements about how countries accept one another's official documents. Many countries have signed up to the "Apostille Convention" of The Hague of 5 October 1961. With this, just 1 legalisation is required via an apostille stamp. 

Questions and answers about the legalisation of documents

For legalisation from abroad, you can also consult the website of our representative at the location concerned, i.e. Belgian embassies and consulates


To avoid delays in the processing of your application, please read and follow the instructions below carefully. 

1. Gather your documents to be legalized 

Documents to be legalized must have been issued less than six months ago. 

Only the following documents can be legalized by the Consulate General in Montreal without further formalities: 

  • Civil status documents issued by the provincial civil status services
    • Birth certificate; 
    • Death certificate; 
    • Marriage certificate; 
    • Birth registration; 
    • Marriage registration or license. 
  • Criminal record extract from the RCMP showing fingerprints, RCMP seal and the signature of the Director General of Canadian Criminal Real Time Identification Services (CCRTIS). 

Any other document must be authenticated by Global Affairs Canada or, in limited cases, by one of the provincial authorities responsible for authenticating documents. Consult the list here

Kindly note that to avoid delays, make sure you follow the instructions of these authorities before submitting your document. 

Examples of documents to be authenticated beforehand: 

  • Any document drawn up by a Canadian notary or lawyer (e.g. power of attorney) *for the province of Quebec, contact the Chambre des notaires ; 
  • Court judgments (e.g. divorce decree); 
  • Diploma or transcript issued by a Canadian educational institution; 
  • Certified copy of a Canadian Citizenship certificate or Canadian passport; 
  • Medical certificate; 
  • Death certificate issued by a funeral home; 
  • Translations done in Canada (CTTIC and OTTIAQ). 

2. Prepare your file 

Once your documents to be legalized are ready, prepare an envelope in which you will include: 

  • The documents to be legalized; 
  • The application form for legalization duly completed and signed (PDF, 278.99 KB)
  • The payment. The fee is CAD 30,00 per document to be legalized. If there are several documents to legalize, provide the corresponding amount. Payment must be made in Canadian dollars (CAD). Payments in Euro (EUR) will NOT be accepted

    Methods of payment: 
    - By bank draft or certified bank cheque (issued by a Canadian financial institution) or Postal Money Order (issued by Canada Post) made out to the Consulate General of Belgium
    - By international bank transfer (ONLY for persons outside of Canada - please contact the Consulate directly:; 
    - Debit or credit card - only at the counter of the Consulate General in Montreal. 

    Kindly note that personal cheques, transfers from a Canadian bank, e-Interac or credit card payment over the phone are NOT accepted. For more information on the applied consular rates, please consult the "Rates Table". 

  • To return your document:  
    • A self-addressed, stamped return envelope; 
    • An express courier slip (e.g. Fedex, DHL) with barcode, which must be prepaid. An account number will not be accepted. The transaction must be prepaid by you. 

3. Submit your file to the Consulate General 

You can send your files to the Consulate General: 

  • By express mail service (with tracking number, e.g. Xpresspost regional or national, UPS, FedEx, DHL, Purolator), to:
    Consulate General of Belgium  
    1000 Sherbrooke Street West - suite 1400 
    Montreal, QC, H3A 3G4 
  • In person at the Consulate General in Montreal during our opening hours. An appointment is not required. 


What is a legalization? 

Legalization is a type of authentication that guarantees the authenticity of a foreign document and its validity for use in Belgium. 

How will I receive my legalization? 

Canadian documents destined for Belgium are legalized electronically. No more stickers are affixed to the original document. The link to the legalized document is sent directly by email to the applicant, who also receives a receipt to keep. A file number and a date of issue are mentioned in the email and on the receipt. Based on these two pieces of information, the electronic legalization can also be viewed and downloaded at LegalWeb.

When is a translation required? 

A translation is not required to legalize a document. 

However, a foreign document drawn up in a language other than one of the official languages of Belgium (Dutch, French or German) will in principle have to be translated before it can be used in Belgium. Please ask your correspondent in Belgium whether a translation is necessary and, if so, in which language. 

The translation must be done by a certified translator. It can be done in Canada or in Belgium. 

  • If the document is translated in Canada, it must be translated by a certified translator (see e.g. CTTIC and OTTIAQ lists). The translation must also be authenticated beforehand – see point 1 of the instructions – and then legalized at the Consulate General of Belgium in Montreal. 
  • If the document is translated in Belgium, you should have it translated by a sworn translator. The sworn translator will also legalize the translated document. You can access the list of sworn translators via the yellow pages or the courts. This is the preferred option. 

Please note: Belgian embassies and consulates do not provide translation services nor references from translators. 

How to legalize a document issued in Belgium? 

For any legalization of a document issued in Belgium, please contact the Legalization Department of the FPS Foreign Affairs in Brussels.