Embassy or Consulate Legalization
There are many countries that are not part of the Hague Convention and they require your document to be passed through their embassy to be approved. The legalization process can take several paths, the path it take depends on the type of document that you have. Locally created documents such as a birth certificate must be verified by the issuing authority Personal documents just as a Power of Attorney requires, the process starts off by having the document notarized, followed by have the notary signature verified by the county clerk, then having the county clerk signature verified by the secretary of state. Federally issued document must be process by the issuing authority in Washington, DC The issuing authority for your state that is in the process of continuing the legalization process will issue a Certification of Authority Letter, this is sometime mistakenly called an Apostille but the Apostille is only issued for documents going to Hague Convention countries. Notary & Apostille Service will take your our document through the Legalization process. The legalization process requires that your document to also be process by a consulate or embassy.
How long is the legalization process
Because the Embassy Legalization process requires more procedural steps to process, it takes much longer to complete and tends be more expensive because of the number of additional agencies that must approve.
Because many of the Embassies in New York City do not process documents for legalization your document require special courier service in Washington, DC to complete the legalization if you want your document back within the shortest time frame. Other arrangements can be made if you do not require this expedited service. Each document is different. Each embassy has it's set time to process your document, and may require additional time for traveling between locations to get the document legalized.
If you are in a rush for your documents I strongly recommend you use our Expedited service to & from Washington DC. By using this method it will shorten your process time by at least 5 business day. Just remember embassy times vary and my be closed for holidays in that country. To see the time it take to process documents for that country take a look at that country tab on the Legalization menu for the total estimate time.