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What is the Embassy/Consulate Legalization Process?

Whether you are getting married in Malaysia, establishing residency in Barbados, or seeking employment in Egypt; you must have the correct documentation to begin the proceedings.

When presenting your documents to another country, you need a form of authentication that verifies your papers are a true copy of the original. There are two ways to prove this validation:

The Hague Convention of 1961 established a uniform process of authenticity. Countries belonging to this convention accept papers that are Apostilled to show they are valid copies of the original document.

For the countries that are not members of the Hague Convention, legalized documents are required to be processed through the Embassy or Consulate. This process confirms the stamps, signatures, and seals have been evaluated and authenticated.

If you are unsure which verification the country you are visiting requires, visit our webpage here to determine if your documentation needs an Apostille or Embassy/Consulate Legalization.

No matter the country, we can successfully authenticate your papers. Submit your Order today and let us quickly and professionally process the proper paperwork for you.

How does a document become legalized through the Embassy/Consulate?

Papers issued by the state require a different certification process than federally issued documents.

State-issued papers must first seek State certification then U.S. Department of State certification, and finally Embassy/Consulate legalization.

Here are some examples of personal and business documents processed through the issuing State Secretary’s Office:

  • Birth certificates
  • Marriage certificates
  • Driver’s license
  • Death certificates
  • Wills
  • Divorce Decrees
  • Articles of Incorporation
  • Bank Statements
  • Power of Attorney
  • Other documents and certificates

*Please Note – this is not an all-inclusive list. Contact Us to inquire as to which department can authenticate your documents.

On the other hand, documents issued by the U.S. Federal Government must first be processed through the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., and then the papers are to be delivered to the Embassy or Consulate office for legalization.

Here are some examples of federally issued documents:

  • FBI reports
  • FBI background check
  • Social security Letter
  • Certificate of Birth Abroad
  • Certificate of Naturalization
  • Other documents and certificates

*Please Note – this is not an all-inclusive list. Contact Us to inquire as to which department can authenticate your documents.

In addition to this, some countries will also request a copy of your U.S. Passport, driver’s license, or any other documentation they deem necessary. Many countries also require your paperwork be translated into their language, adding yet another step in this procedure.

The strict process of legalizing your documents through the correct Embassy or Consulate can be complicated. If you have any pieces missing or incorrect, the entire process may be delayed or even rejected. Fill out our Order Form today, and we will handle your paperwork as well as your translation quickly and accurately.

Let One Source Process handle the details for you

Having your document verified as a true copy of the original is too important of a task to try to navigate on your own. At One Source Process, we know what documents are needed, what department to work with, and how to maneuver the red tape with ease.

Contact Us today if you have questions about the Embassy/Consulate legalization process, or fill out our Order Form now if you are ready to get started.

Do not allow a small infraction delay the entire process; we will correctly obtain a certified copy of your documents the first time.

Jan 25, 2019 / by Brandon Yoshimura


  1. George
    February 10, 2021 at 11:09 am

    Hello: I need to submit USA probate documents to a Spanish speaking country. Will the translation be a separate document with a copy of the source document attached or would it be a single document that includes the original document and the translation included?

    I hope I made myself clear. I was just wondering how translations are presented to a consulate for legalization.



    1. Danny
      February 10, 2021 at 3:37 pm

      Good afternoon,

      Yes, the translation will be a separate document. It will include your document as well as the apostille page which comes attached to your document. Please send us your request by going to Our specialists will review your document to make sure it’s valid for apostille and they will let you know the available processing times and costs.


  2. Bruce Knickerbocker
    August 2, 2021 at 7:31 am

    Hello, My wife needs to get a residence permit in China, where we now are living. Before we can have it certified by the Chinese counsulate, I understand it needs to be authenticated by NY City or State. It is a bit confusing.We have a certificate that was issued by the NY City Clerk in 1984 and signed and certified. Would you advise us on what the next steps are? Thank you!

    1. Danny
      August 5, 2021 at 12:01 pm

      Good afternoon,

      We can certainly assist. Please send us your request by going to Our specialists will review your documents to make sure they’re valid for apostille/legalization and they will let you know the process required, available processing times and costs.


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