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Documents issued in one country which need to be used in another country must be "authenticated" or "legalized" before they can be recognized as valid in the foreign country. This is a process in which various seals are placed on the document. Such documents range from degrees, transcripts. powers of attorney and other legal papers. The number and type of authentication certificates you will need to obtain depend on the nature of the document and whether or not the foreign country is a party to the multilateral treaty on "legalization" of documents.
(A) If your document is intended for use in a country which is a party to a treaty called the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents ("Hague Legalization Convention") obtaining a special "apostille" certificate is generally all that is required.
(B) If the country where the document will be used is not a party to the Convention, you will have to get your documents legalized from US State Department.
- About Apostille
- About Authentication Office, US State Department
- Processing Time
- Apostille: 1-2 Weeks
- US State Department: 1-2 Weeks
- Embassy Legalization: 2-3 Weeks
- Cost (Inclusive of all Government Fee & Courier Charges)
- Apostille: US$499 only.
- Legalization: US$699 only.
- Embassy Legalization: US$999 only.