Embassy / Consulate Legalization
When presenting personal or business documents to another country, you will need a form of authentication that verifies your presented documents are true copies of the original. There are two ways to verify this validation abroad:
Acquire a certified copy through the Embassy / Consulate Legalization process
Have your personal or business document Apostilled
The Hague Apostille Convention of 1961 established a uniform process of document authentification for participating countries. Countries that are members of the Hage Apostille Convention will accept documents that are Apostilled to show they are valid copies of the original document. For the countries that are non-members of the Hague Apostille Convention of 1961, legalized documents must be processed through the Embassy or Consulate.
After a document has been authenticated, it must be certified by the foreign jurisdiction to be valid there. This process is referred to as “Legalization” which is just another form of the Apostille process used for countries that are not members of the Hague Apostille Convention. Embassy / Consulate Legalization occurs at the country's embassy or consulate and can be considered the final step in the authentication process.
The legalization of documents for use in the country you’re presently staying in can be done by your home country’s embassy or consulate. If you’re wanting to legalize documents abroad, you must contact your home country’s embassy or consulate in the country you’re staying in.
The legalizing of documents for countries that are non-members of the Hague Apostille Convention will require additional steps to be completed. These additional steps include State certification, U.S. Department of State certification (If required), and Embassy / Consulate Legalization. Your document legalization process will greatly depend on the type of documents you have, the State your documents originate from, and the country requesting your documents.
When legalizing documents in the U.S. what’s actually being legalized is the signature and stamp or seal of a public official on the document. For private documents, the first step is to notarize the signatures of the individuals on your documents. Being that a notary is a public official, their signature and seal can be authenticated and legalized.
Our office is experienced with Embassy / Consulate Legalization and can assist with the entire process. Contact us today for a free consultation.