Document Authentication

Documents that are required to be sent to foreign countries (whether they are US documents going outward or foreign documents coming into the US) will often need to be authenticated before they can be legitimately used for business in the receiving country. There are two types of authentication; the apostille and legalization. The word ‘apostille’ is used in both the French and English languages. In French, it means 'certification', while in English it pertains to the authentication of any document for international use. The Hague Convention of 1961 dictated that any documents having been notarized by a notary public and then confirmed with an apostille are acceptable for legal use in all signatory countries. The apostille’s specific task is to certify the signature on the document, the capacity in which the aforementioned person acted, and the identity of any seal of stamp on the document itself.

Documents that are to be used in Hague Convention member countries need only be notarized and certified by the Secretary of State of the state in which the document was notarized.

In the event that the document is to be presented to a Non-Hague Convention member country, we must proceed with the legalization process; i.e the notarized document must be legalized by the Secretary of State of the state in which the document was notarized, must then be legalized by the U.S. Secretary of State in Washington, D.C. and ultimately legalized by the Consulate of the Country that the document is intended for.

At NRAI Corporate Services International, we provide Authentications (an apostille or a legalization depending on the Hague status of the receiving country) for both Hague and non-Hague nations, and do so quickly and cost-effectively.