The legalization of a document is the execution of a number of certain formal procedures for giving the document legal force on the territory of another state.
The ultimate goal of the procedure for legalization of a document issued on the territory of one state is the possibility of its submitting to official bodies and / or organizations of another state. In simple words: legalization is needed to ensure that your power of attorney issued, for example, in Spain, was valid on the territory of another country. The essence of legalization is to confirm the authority, authenticity of the signature, seal or stamp of the official who issued the document. Legalization applies to documents of education (diploma, certificate, etc.), civil status (documents from the REGISTRY OFFICE authorities: birth, marriage certificates, etc.), insurances, certificates, powers of attorney, court decisions, and materials on civil, family and criminal cases, documents of legal entities (certificate from a tax inspection, certificate of registration, certificate of ownership, certificate of registration of a trademark and etc.).
There exist two procedures for legalizing the documents:
• consular legalization (procedure for full legalization of the document);
• Apostille affixing (simplified procedure for legalization of the document);
Apostille is an international stamp that confirms the validity of a specific document. It is affixed on the document itself or is drawn up as an annex to it. It is affixed on the original document of state standard or on notarial copies.
It is easy to understand what an apostille is and for what it is needed. Almost all documents required abroad must be translated and legalized. In 1961 was adopted the Hague Convention abolishing the procedure of consular legalization, which greatly simplifies the procedure of giving legal force to a document by affixing an apostille on it. Since then, all the countries that have joined this treaty can legalize the paper in this way. In other words, an apostille is a confirmation of the authenticity of the document, as well as a confirmation that the person who signed the relevant document had all the necessary powers to do so.