As a result of the Hague Convention held in the Netherlands (1961), there is an internationally accepted method to legitimize documents between countries by the use of "Apostilles" also referred to as "Authentications" or "Legalizations." This method involves the attaching of an apostille to a notarized or certified document, thus giving the document authentication and legitimacy that is recognized by over 100 countries and related-territories that participated in the convention. Some countries may require authentication with a gold seal or recognized stamp in addition to or in place of the apostille attachment.
Corporate documents such as Certificates of Good Standings and Articles of Incorporation must be certified by the Secretary of State prior to getting an apostille. Non-certified documents often require the use of a notary prior to receiving an apostille. Not all documents can be apostilled; the most common types include corporate charter documents, birth certificates, marriage certificates, and educational institutionally-based documents.
For documents to be used in countries that are not a party to the Hague Convention treaty, RASi can assist with legalizations. The process of having a document legalized includes proper authentication from various departments such as the state agency, the U.S. Department of State and the Consulate of the country in which the document will be used. We can assist with having a document legalized at any or all stages of the process.
Contact RASi to find out if you need to have your document apostilled or legalized for use in a foreign country. Our Client Services Department is very familiar with both processes and handles these types of services daily.
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