What is the difference between an apostille and legalization?

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I’m pleased to share some information on this subject as an apostille service professional who works for BostonApostilleservice.com. Both the apostille and the legalization procedures are typically used to authenticate papers for use abroad. The two procedures do vary in some significant ways, though. For use in another nation, a public document like a birth certificate or marriage certificate needs to have an apostille, which is a certification used to confirm its authenticity.

The Hague Convention of 1961, an international agreement that harmonizes the procedure for document authentication, governs the authentication procedure. Only documents released by nations that are signatories to the Hague Convention are eligible for service.

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On the other hand, the process of authenticating a document for use in another country is referred to as legalization, which is a more general word. Documents released by nations outside of the Hague Convention are frequently subject to legalization. Depending on the nation where the document was issued and the country where it will be used, the legalization procedure may change.

In general, there are several stages in the legalization process, including:

A notary public or other approved representative must notarize the document.

Authentication: The issuing nation’s appropriate body must certify the validity of the document. This could be your country’s foreign minister, that nation’s embassy or consulate abroad, or another designated body.

Legalization: After the paper has been authenticated, the embassy or consulate of the nation in which it will be used may need to legalize it.

The main distinction between an apostille and legalization is that an apostille is only applied to papers issued by nations that are signatories to the Hague Convention, making it a quicker and easier process overall. On the other hand, legalization is a more involved and drawn-out process that might be necessary for documents released by nations that are not signatories to the Hague Convention.

In conclusion, the type of document and the nation of origin are the primary distinctions between an apostille and legalization. Public documents issued by Hague Convention nations require an authentication, whereas legalization is a more general term for documents issued by nations not parties to the Hague Convention. It is best to verify with the appropriate authorities or work with an established apostille service provider who can walk you through the process if you are unsure of the procedure you need to follow.

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