For certain procedures in France, governing authorities may ask you to provide a birth certificate. Notably, this is required to gain access to social security benefits (which becomes possible for Canadians in year 2 of their France working holiday). Some CPAM (Caisse primaire d’assurance maladie) offices require the document to be apostilled. Other nationalities on a working holiday in France should not need to get any documents apostilled or translated, since they are not eligible for social security benefits anyway.
If your document is not in French, it must be translated by an approved professional prior to submission to French authorities. Translations must be done by one of the following:
- A sworn translator who appears on the list of legal experts established by the Tribunaux de grande instance, the Cours d’appel, and the Cour de cassation.
- Consular services of the country that issued the document.
- Translating a document: how to find a certified translator?
- Legalization of documents of foreign origin (authentication)
Obtaining your birth certificate
If you don’t already have your original birth certificate, contact Vital Statistics for your province or territory of birth. Make sure to ask for the long version containing the names of your parents.
For links to the Vital Statistics website of your province or territory, consult Vital Statistics Council for Canada.
Getting the apostille for a birth certificate (or other document)
Requests for the apostille must be done through the Embassy of Canada to France in Paris. The following instructions are taken directly from the website of the Government of Canada:
- Original document(s) needed for the apostille
- A copy of your Canadian passport or a copy of a valid official ID
- A payment of 50$CAD per document. Complete and include the Credit Card Authorization form (PDF) in your application. Adjust the amount if you have more than 1 document
- A short explanation letter confirming the name and postal address where the documents should be returned
The turnaround is approximately 15 working days.
Note: If you are a Canadian citizen born outside of Canada, you must obtain your birth certificate from the vital statistics services of your country of birth. The apostille will need to be provided by the consular authorities of that country (unless otherwise exempt).
Obtaining certified copies of an original Canadian document
Should you need certified copies of an original document, the Consular services of the Embassy of Canada in Paris can produce certified true copies of certain Canadian documents. The following instructions are taken directly from the website of the Government of Canada:
- Original documents for which you need certified true copies
- A copy of a valid official ID of the applicant
- A payment of 20$CAD per copy. Complete and include the Credit Card Authorization form (PDF) in your application.
- A short letter to explain your request and including your instructions for the return of the document. Provide the name and address of the person who will receive the documents in France.