Authentication (Legalization) of Documents

Foreign countries often require “official” documents to be “authenticated” before such documents can be accepted. An “authentication” is a governmental act by which a designated public official certifies to the genuineness of the signature and seal and the position of the official who has executed, issued, or certified a copy of a document. As long as this document is authenticated by an apostille it is internationally accepted and valid in countries which are Party to the Convention de La Haye du 5 October 1961.


The sole function of the apostille is to certify the authenticity of the signature on the document in question by identifying any stamp or seal affixed to the document. The apostille either must be attached as an annex to the official document or placed on the document itself by means of a stamp.