Document Legalization Process

Document Legalization ProcessIf the destination country is not a member of the Hague Apostille Convention, your documents may require additional steps including certification by the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC and Embassy/Consulate Legalization.

The chart to your right helps clarify the steps involved. Please keep in mind that not all documents require notarization and not every country will ask you to complete all the steps displayed.  Please Contact Us if you are unsure of what steps the other country is requesting that you take.

We have an office in California and in Washington, DC to help expedite the process of your California Degree/Diploma.  For example, if the UAE (Dubai) is requesting a legalization of your diploma, we’ll need to first copy certify the diploma (notarize) prior to having the document authenticated through the California Secretary of State.  Please note that if your degree is issued from a US State other than California, you’ll need to follow the steps outlined here:

Once your documents have been certified by the State, the next step is to overnight the documents to my office in Washington, DC to be certified by the U.S. Department of State.  This process typically takes 5-8 days to complete.  Because we provide drop-off and pick-up services, your documents will be delivered to the Embassy the next business morning for processing.

This multi-step process can take up to three weeks to complete.  Because of the complexities and the chance of your documents getting lost or damaged, we only hand deliver and pick-up from all Federal and Embassy offices in Washington, DC.

Legalizing documents can be complicated. Don’t leave this process to untrained employees or non-professionals who do not fully understand the legalization process and the unique requirements of certain countries. Your paperwork could be rejected costing you time and money. Don’t let this happen to you!

The following countries are not members of the Hague Apostille Convention and may require additional U.S. Department of State certification and Embassy / Consulate legalization:

Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burma, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Congo Republic, Congo Democratic, Ivory Coast, Cuba, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenia, Kuwait, Laos, Labanon, Libya, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Paraguay, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzia, Togo, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, UAE, Uganda, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.