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Legalization of documents

Legalisation makes documents suitable for use in another country.  The process often involves several different steps.  Documents that may need to be legalised include education documents, civil status documents, birth certificates, court orders etc.

Legalisation shows that:

  • The document was issued by an official authority
  • The signature, seal and / or stamp on the document are genuine
  • The document’s format is correct

The steps you must take to have a document legalised vary by the country.  It depends on the agreements made between the country where you want to use the document and the country that issued it.

  • Legalisation with apostille

In many countries, you can have your document legalised with an apostille. This is a simplified form of legalisation. An authority in Country A legalises the document with a type of stamp or sticker, known as an ‘apostille’. After this, no more steps are necessary. You can use the document in all the countries that are party to the Apostille Convention.

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  • Legalisation without an apostille

If one or both of the countries involved in your process is not a party to the Apostille Convention, then legalisation often involves two steps:

  1. An authority in Country A checks that the document has been signed by the relevant official authority in Country A. It is usually the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Country A that does this. After approval, a stamp or sticker is placed on the document. This shows Country B that the document has been issued by a competent authority in Country A.
  2. Country B checks and legalises the document with a stamp or sticker. Usually, this is done by an embassy, consulate-general or honorary consul of Country B in Country A. After legalisation you can use the document in Country B.

You are not required to personally have the document legalized. Someone else may do it for you. It is not necessary to authorize that person to do so, so we can do that for you.

Book a free consultation with us today to discover the options available for you to accomplish your dream to live abroad.