Translations & Certifications

So this is where it gets a bit tricky. Everything has been fairly straightforward so far; this is the part where I get to deal with three (3!) consulates’ sets of requirements. This is what happens when you move and have life events in multiple places. Don’t do it. :p

Almost all of the documents I have “belong” to the Montreal consulate. Two of my own documents “belong” to Chicago. What I mean by this is that these are the consulates in charge of certifying these particular documents (based on where the documents originated). In the case of the Chicago documents, I have apostilles so I can just bring these to Toronto (although Chicago still determines the requirements for these documents). In Canada there is no such thing as apostille, so instead the consulate takes care of legalizing the documents. However, you can’t legalize Quebec documents in Ontario (which means I am taking a little trip to Montreal).

The language the documents are written in complicates things a bit too. The Toronto consulate only accepts translations by Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario (ATIO) members (here is their official list). I chose a translator from the list who could do English->Italian as well as French->Italian. However, the Montreal consulate requires translation from someone on their own list (here). This means I will need to hire two translators.

The next step is certification of the translations by the consulates. Translations of the English documents will be certified at my Toronto appointment. Translations of the French documents need to be certified by the Montreal consulate first before they can be accepted at my appointment.

In sum, that’s two different processes going on:

  • legalization of the documents
  • certification of the accuracy of translations

sigh. Complicated! (But not hard…just a lot of coordination.)




Today I got my marriage certificate & licence back from the Secretary of State — along with two very official-looking apostilles attached! This is one more step I can cross off completely.

The process of obtaining the apostilles was very simple (and quite fast). I searched “apostille + [my state]” and found all the information I needed. I sent a simple letter to my state’s Secretary of State requesting apostille for the two enclosed documents, plus a cheque. The apostilles were issued within a week of mailing the request (from within the state; probably would have been about two weeks if I’d mailed the request from Toronto). Not bad.

Those embossed seals…so shiny.

I also got one Quebec document in the mail (my own birth certificate). I am not really sure why the consulate needs the Copie d’acte — it’s the same information, just….spread out on a page.