WHAT IS A LEGALIZATION?
Legalization is the process whereby a foreign official body has requested, or as part of a foreign visa application, a document is required to be authenticated before use. The number of steps in this process and which official US bodies complete the different stages varies depending on the type of document and the country where the document is to be used.
If a document is to be used in a country which is part of the Hague convention (https://www.hcch.net/en/states/hcch-members), then generally after apostille by the U.S. Department of State, no further steps are required in the process. Alternatively, it must also be presented to the country of use Embassy or Consulate in USA, for the final stage in the legalization process.
Additional certifications may be required before a document can be used in a country and it may also require translation and/or notarization services (which usually occur prior to the U.S. Department of State apostille and Embassy legalization steps). Global Visas will confirm all required certifications steps (and their order of submission), upon receipt of the order request form.
TRANSLATION: Some Embassies or Consulates may require that the document is presented to them in a particular language. Global Visas can assist with this process and will confirm such requirement and/or fees associated, when applicable.
APOSTILLE: As discussed above, apostille is the process of certification which takes place with the U.S. Department of State. Again, all documents to be used in a country part of the Hague convention, in general require no further steps after the U.S. Department of State apostille.
NOTARISATION: In may be a requirement of an Embassy or Consulate that the content and particulars of a document are verified before a notary public. Again, Global Visas can assist with this process and will confirm such requirement and/or fees associated, when applicable.
LEGALIZATION: As also discussed above, this is normally the final step in a certification process. If required, the document must be presented to the country Embassy or Consulate in USA where the document is to be used, for legalization.
WHEN IS IT REQUIRED?
In general, a document may require legalization when it is to be provided to an official body, or as part of a visa application, in a country other than the one that has issued the document. The process authenticates the document and it contents, so that when presented overseas it is recognized as a legitimate document.