Legalization and authentication in Germany by a foreign consulate or embassy
Legalization is another form of authentication and is different from an apostille. Unlike an apostille, legalization is carried out by a foreign consulate or embassy in germany.
Before submission to the respective diplomatic mission, some formalities have to be considered.
Private documents, for example, contracts or signature certifications must be certified in advance by a notary in Germany, so that these documents become a public deed. Only public documents may then receive further certification at the competent court. The court then states in its credentials that the notary’s signature and seal are genuine and that he has the authority to authenticate the document. The content of the document is not examined by the court.
Only after the endorsement of the court, the document can be submitted to the diplomatic mission.
But there are other countries too, such as Saudi Arabia, the People’s Republic of China, Qatar, Iraq or the Kingdom of Jordan. For these, the documents still have to be certified by the Federal Office of Administration. Without this final certification, the document will not be accepted in the respective embassy. The Federal Office of Administration in turn confirms that the signature and seal of the court are genuine and that the employee has the authority to authenticate the document.
Commercial documents such as a certificate of origin and a commercial invoice must be legalized together. However, it is important that the competent Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) first pre-authenticates the document. Only after the two attestation steps can the documents be submitted to the respective embassy or consulate for legalization.
Some Arab countries, such as Iraq or the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, also require further certification from the Arab-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry e.V. (Ghorfa). Ghorfa is the representative of all Arab Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Germany.
But there is much more to consider. If, for example, a diploma is to be legalized at the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates, the diploma must first be attested by the respective university or university of applied sciences.
That is, the university confirms in its credentials that the diploma or certificate matches the original diploma. Thereafter, the certified copy must be submitted to the competent German authority, which in turn certifies that the employee of the university or school is entitled to affix the signature and the seal on the photocopy. Only when these certifications are available, the legalized document may be submitted to the embassy or consulate.
Of course, a German diploma or legalization certificate can be submitted to the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
But many companies in the United Arab Emirates would like to be presented with an English-language document, here it should be noted that even in such a case, the university or college diploma, certificate or doctoral certificate must be pre-authenticated. The certified copy must then be stitched together with the correct prior authorization and with the translation by a court appointed translator. Here, too, further credentials before submission to the embassy or consulate are to be considered.
There are also other rules that need to be considered before a document can be submitted to the embassy or consulate. We are happy to handle the procedure of filing your documents so that they can be properly legalized.
We will inform you of the costs and the approximate duration of the legalization procedure.