As part of the 1961 Hague Convention Treaty, birth certificates, marriage certificates, court orders, and other documents issued by public authorities are recognized outside one’s native country if authenticated by an apostille.


The treaty is otherwise known as the Apostille Convention or the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents. Recognized by 118 member states, it simplifies certification requirements when verifying the validity of a document from another member country.

The signing and sealing of a document is similar to notarization.

In non-Hague countries, it is still possible to certify and legalize documents. The process just requires additional steps, depending on where the documents originate, the type of document, and the country requesting it. These additional steps may include:

  • U.S. State Certification (by a Secretary of State Office)

  • U.S. Department of State Certification

  • Embassy or Consulate Legalization

When state-issue documents are used in member countries, they are certified by an apostille and additional certification by a U.S. Department of State or legalization by a U.S. embassy or consulate is not required.

If a state-issued document is to be used in a non-member country, an authentication certificate from the U.S. Department of State is required. All documents must be original, dates must be in chronological order and, if the document is written in a foreign language, an English translation must be certified or notarized.

Requirements for documents vary depending on whether they are issued by state, local, or federal agencies. There are also many types of documents that may need to be certified. At Apostille International, we are familiar with all the requirements for certification of any document in the non-Hague convention countries listed below. The most requested documents include birth certificates, naturalization certificates, death certificates, divorces, powers of attorney, diplomas, corporate documents, and others. 

Please review the list of non-Hague countries below if you need to meet additional document certification requirements

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