top of page

Apostilling Your British Columbia Canada Divorce Certificate

Divorce is a challenging process, but if you obtained your divorce in British Columbia, Canada, and now need to use the decree internationally, you might encounter a new set of challenges. Many countries require an apostille to recognize and accept foreign legal documents. In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through the step-by-step process of obtaining an apostille for your British Columbia divorce decree, ensuring that your document is internationally recognized and legally valid.

What is an Apostille?

An apostille is a special certification that verifies the authenticity of a public document issued in one country and intended for use in another. Essentially, it is an international form of notarization. The Hague Convention of 1961 established the apostille process to simplify the often complex and time-consuming process of legalizing documents for international use.

Step 1: Confirming Eligibility

Before you start the apostille process, it's crucial to confirm that your British Columbia divorce decree is eligible for apostille certification. Generally, documents issued by public authorities, such as divorce decrees, are eligible. However, it's essential to check with the appropriate authorities to ensure your specific document meets the criteria.

Step 2: Obtaining a Certified Copy

To obtain an apostille for your BC divorce decree, you'll need to start by obtaining a certified copy of the document. Contact the Vital Statistics Agency in British Columbia, or the court where the divorce was granted, to request an official copy. Ensure that this copy is recent, as apostilles are typically only valid for a certain period.

Step 3: Notarization

Once you have the certified copy of your divorce decree, the next step is to have it notarized. This involves taking the document to a notary public who will verify the authenticity of the document and your signature. Make sure to bring valid identification and any supporting documents the notary public may require.

Step 4: Authentication by the Government

After notarization, the document needs to be authenticated by the appropriate government authorities. In British Columbia, this is usually done by the Ministry of Attorney General or another relevant government office. Check with the local authorities to determine the specific office responsible for authentication.

Step 5: Obtaining the Apostille

With the document notarized and authenticated by the government, you can now proceed to obtain the apostille. The British Columbia government does not issue apostilles directly, so you'll need to contact the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the relevant federal authority. They will attach the apostille to your divorce decree, confirming its validity for international use.

Obtaining an apostille for your British Columbia divorce decree may seem like a daunting task, but by following these steps, you can ensure that your document is internationally recognized and legally valid. Remember to plan ahead, as the process may take some time, and different countries may have varying requirements. With the apostille in hand, you can confidently use your divorce decree across borders, providing the necessary documentation for a fresh start or new opportunities abroad.

20 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page