Documents are a part of every organization, be it government or non-government. A document can be defined as a written statement and can be of different types. There are three main kinds of public documents - personal, educational and commercial. Every type of document has a different purpose and is issued under a variety of circumstances. The documents can also be required to be legalized for a variety of reasons.
What is legalization?
Definition of legalization can be seen as the authentication of the legal documents. This is generally done by providing a stamp and signature from the concerned departments. Legalization is of different forms and is interpreted differently in different areas. Legalization of documents is also called as attestation. Another common form is apostille which is required for international matters.
Attestation is the legalization of documents done at regional and state levels and also at national and international levels. In the day to day routine, attestation is needed for procedures like issuing a citizenship proof, enrolling into a college, or any other law-related affairs. Attestation is also done for visa documentation processes or at the time of doing business abroad. In India, it is done by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and the embassy of the respective country as well. Attestation is done for the countries that are not recognized as apostille countries.
The authentication or legalization of documents is done for their submission in the processes that involve the apostille countries, viz., the countries that are a part of the Hague Convention. There are 117 Hague Convention apostille countries in total. Documents need to be legalized with an apostille sticker only once and they will be accepted in any apostille country. Apostille in India is completed by the Ministry of External Affairs in which the MEA renders the sticker and apostille stamp on the back side of the document.
Why is document legalization required?
Legalization may be required for several reasons. Mainly, it is done for proving the authenticity of the documents. There are times when one would want to go abroad for pursuing higher education or work in a company overseas or just live in another country. These reasons will require the issuance of respective visas. In the process of visa documentation, attestation or apostille is done for documents that are required for the issuance of long-term visas like the resident visa, employment visa, student visa. It is also done when performing business in a foreign country or bringing in business from abroad.
The aim of any international document attestation process is to solve a practical problem; So civil and judicial officials can reliably verify the authenticity of a document that is issued abroad. It solves the dilemma by creating the chain of attestations for each document by a moderately higher government authority. However, by authenticating the signature and seal of this final official, a foreign jurisdiction can validate the whole chain of attestations.
How is it done?
International document legalization has different procedures for apostille and attestation and yet different procedures for different types of documents. It is done at several levels of government by the authorized government organizations. The processes were solely done by the Ministry of External Affairs previously, however, it was decentralized to the Branch Secretariats and the local RPOs from January 1st, 2019. From now on, the MEA only authenticates the documents once they are verified by the lower levels of government departments. The generalized procedure for the same is as follows:
- Regional Level
- Notary: The notary is the initial level of document authentication. A stamp and signature from the notary are obtained. It certifies personal and educational documents.
- Board/University: In case of educational documents, Board or University verification is needed at times. This is mandatory when before acquiring legalization from the HRD department.
- Chamber of Commerce: An association that functions to advance the benefits of local businesses is the Chamber of Commerce. All kinds of commercial documents are authenticated by the Chamber of Commerce.
- State Level
- Home Department: The Home Department is based at the respective state capital. Personal and educational documents are authenticated by this department.
- HRD Department: HRD or Human Resource Development Department is also generally based alongside the Home Department in the capital city of the state. HRD attestation is done for educational documents only.
- SDM: Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) is a department that is an alternative for the Home Department attestation and HRD attestation in some cases. Personal and educational documents are legalized by the SDM.
- Central Level
- MEA Attestation: The Ministry of External Affairs attestation is done centrally by the concerned officials. It is done for all three kinds of documents - personal, educational and commercial. An attestation stamp is provided and the documents are then sent to the embassy of the respective country.
- MEA Apostille: For apostille of documents, MEA is the final step. An apostille sticker along with the MEA stamp is given on the document. All three types of documents have the same process here.
- Embassy: Embassy attestation is done by stamping the documents. Personal, educational and commercial documents are attested by the embassy. Embassy attestation is done for non-apostille countries only.
Where to Legalize Your Documents Quickly?
The document legalization procedure is complex and time-consuming. It is difficult to get it done individually with the constant changes in the guidelines. In such a case, apostille and attestation agents can come to your aid. With the chain of vendors, procuring attestation from the concerned government departments becomes much more convenient.
When approached individually, it becomes troublesome to find the addresses of the authorities by yourself and getting the stamps and signatures. There are long queues at the offices and a lot of rush. One might not even get it done in a day and will need to stand in the lines for several days.
Certificate attestation services will collect your documents, get the certification and return them back to you. This way the documents are handled professionally and even the time and energy is saved.
We can help
PEC Attestation, Apostille and Translation Services has been operating in the area of document legalization for more than 6 years now. Our utilities are spread all across the country in all the major cities. We assist in getting attestation and apostille for the students who are willing to study abroad, individuals who are seeking work in another country and even the entrepreneurs who are looking forward to the expansion of their business.
We at PEC have services available for personal, educational and commercial documents. Our staff is customer-driven and the client support staff is available round the clock online to take in the queries. We understand that the documents are sensitive and our associates know how to handle them with care. Our vendor chain has reach to all the important departments that are a part of the document legalization process, be it attestation or apostille.
There are times when the documents need to be translated as per the requirement of the concerned country. Our firm also renders translation services for the documents as well. We have certified translators who are proficient in their work and can ensure accuracy in the translation of the documents.
Reach out to us and know the best deals and prices for attestation, apostille and translation services.