Three important terms that one needs to go through while obtaining visa for going abroad are Notarization, Legalization and Apostille. However, all these terms are used synonymously to each other but there are subtle differences between these three. In order to make things clear and free from any sort of confusion, it is better to get a proper idea about these three concepts. However, in this regard, it should be mentioned that all these three processes are very important with regard to authentication and verification of documents while moving to any foreign country.
1. Notarization: When a document needs to be notarized, it means that it has to be signed by an authorized official who has been appointed for this purpose by the Secretary of the office of the State. If you are about to proof the authenticity of your document in the United States o America, then notarization is what you need. It is used to verify the identity of a person who is signing the document. This process also confirms whether the person signing the document has a clear idea about what is written in the documents.
2. Legalization: If you are seeking attestation of your documents from the countries other than those who are participants in the Hague Convention of 196q, then you need to go through the process of legalization. There are almost 80 countries in the world who are not members of the Hague convention. But you still need your documents to get verified in order to use in these countries. It is not much different from the Apostille attestation. However, you need an additional authentication and verification from the Embassy of the concerned country where you are going to present these documents. These requirements keep on changing from time to time. Thus, it is always better to check the requirements beforehand and submit it to the concerned department. Thus, legalization is all about the Embassy attestation .
3. Apostille: If one needs to move to a country that has participated in the Hague convention of 1961, the all the necessary documents need Apostille attestation. This Apostille is generally available in the forms of a stamp or signature on a document in addition to the other required documents. Known as allonge in French which means an attachment along with the original document, one needs to make sure that this allonge never gets detached from the original documents. Thus, it needs to be preserved very carefully. It shall either be glued or stapled or firmly attached to the original documents. Apostille is thus a mandatory requirement for moving to any country of the Hague convention.
Thus, the difference between the three terms is quite clear by now. All one needs to do is to first check whether he or she need attestation from Apostille or simply a legalization of the documents would do. After these processes are properly done, one can then only proceed with the other requirements and formalities for visa.