What is Legalization?

The legalization is an alternate authentication procedure applicable mostly when the Hague Apostille Convention is not applicable. The procedure may vary from one country to another. Usually it implies that the document will be legalized by an authority of the originating country, such as the Foreign Ministry in some countries, which own authentication will then be legalized by the Embassy or Consulate of the receiving country. The representation’s certification may in turn be certified by Foreign Ministry. In practice, this means that the document must be certified several times – international legalization process may possibly consists in a sequence of 4 or more consecutive legalizations – by different authorities before the legalization may have a full legal effect in the country where the document ought to be used. This is the case, for instance, in the United Arab Emirates (“UAE”) or Canada as these countries are not part of the Hague Apostille Convention.

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