Schmidt & Schmidt covers the full spectrum of legalization services for documents issued in Lebanon.
Lebanon has not joined the Hague Convention on the Simplified Authentication of Documents. This means that documents from Lebanon cannot be legalized by apostille, they will only be recognized abroad after they undergo consular legalization.
Similar to the apostille, authentication methods validate documents by confirming the authenticity of their stamps, seals, and signatures. This includes embassy legalization procedures, which provide an additional layer of document verification. Such processes ensure credibility and are used to make documents acceptable in nations that haven't signed the Hague Convention. However, there's a difference: while apostilles are universally accepted among Hague Convention signatory countries, documents that have undergone authentication and legalization are only valid in the specific countries where they have been legalized.
Therefore, in Lebanon, one cannot obtain an apostille. Instead, documents must undergo the authentication and consular legalization process.
Designated Competent Authorities in Lebanon
In Lebanon, documents requiring legalization will typically need to go through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In addition, there are a number of representations and embassies of Lebanon all over the world, depending on a specific country.
In order to complete the legalization process seamlessly, your documents will usually need to pass through a few steps. First, the document gets an official stamp in Lebanon. Then, it gets another stamp from the embassy or consulate of the country where you want to use the document, which can be located in Lebanon. This makes sure the document is recognized and accepted in the other country.
The responsible authorities will carefully examine the document to verify if the signatures, stamps, or seals align with their own records. If they are confirmed to be authentic, the document will be legalized.
In Lebanon, legalization means a document will be confirmed by an official in Lebanese, Arabic or French, with a handwritten signature of an official, an official seal.
Specific aspects and document requirements in Lebanon
Lebanon is not among the 120 countries that recognize and issue apostilles in accordance with the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961. This means that in order to confirm the official status of a document, it will need to go through the process of legalization or notarization.
This process can be time-consuming, especially if it includes multiple documents and different countries. To ensure a smooth and accurate legalization process, it is recommended to seek guidance from specialists familiar with the requirements and procedures. Their expertise can help avoid delays and errors in legalization of documents.
Document requirements that might apply:
- The document must be an original or a certified copy issued by the competent authority.
- The document should contain all relevant and accurate information.
- The document must be in the official language of the issuing country or translated into the official language of the destination country.
The process of legalization will vary depending on the type of document and the countries involved, as unlike the apostille, there is no uniform format.
Legalization of Lebanon educational documents for use abroad
For educational documents issued in Lebanon, such as school reports, university degree certificates, transcripts of records, enrollment certificates, and other school or university certificates, to be recognized and valid abroad, they must undergo an authentication process through legalization.
Educational certificates from Lebanon must bear the attestation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Notary Public. This is sometimes referred to as attestation, a process that ensures document's genuineness to the receiving institution or nation. For Lebanon documents, this typically means undergoing multiple attestations from various governmental departments, both within Lebanon and in the foreign nation where the document will be used.
Such an approach ensures that educational documents possess the necessary legal authority, allowing them to be recognized and used across various countries. While these are general procedures, the exact requirements may vary, so it is advisable to confirm the specific steps with the relevant authorities.
Consular legalization of Lebanon documents for use abroad
Consular legalization is the process of authenticating or certifying a legal document so a foreign country's legal system will recognize it as with full legal effect that is carried out by the diplomatic or consular mission of the country in which the document is to be used.
This procedure is required when the destination country does not recognize or accept the apostille certification. One needs to submit the original document, along with any required copies or supporting materials, to the respective consular office. The consular officials will review the document, verify its authenticity, and affix their seal or stamp to certify its validity.
The consular legalization process may require additional steps like obtaining translations of the document into the language of the destination country or providing additional supporting documentation as requested by the consular office.
If the document originates from outside Lebanon, the document's owner must follow a two-step process: ratifying it at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the document's country of origin and then at an embassy or consulate of Lebanon within that country. It's essential to avoid making any modifications or additions to the document's information, as this could nullify the ratification.
It is up to the diplomatic mission to decide about the authentication procedure. The specific requirements and procedures for consular legalization may vary depending on the regulations of the destination country.
Consular legalization in all cities of Lebanon
Schmidt & Schmidt provides consular legalization services for public documents originating from all regions across Lebanon. We handle the entire process, from document review to obtaining the necessary certifications, ensuring that your documents are valid and recognized internationally. With our reliable services, you can confidently use your Lebanon public documents abroad.
If the important documents are lost or damaged, or current copies of the documents are needed, the re-issue of the documents is required. It is not unusual for people outside Lebanon to encounter difficulties with obtaining new documents when abroad. Our consultants will help you procure new documents from Lebanon remotely, and we can arrange for your documents to be sent by courier anywhere in the world.
Copies and transcripts of civil status documents can be translated into any language by a sworn translator in Lebanon or the translation can be done in the country of destination. We offer certified translations of civil status documents with further certification. The cost of the work is calculated according to the volume of the document in question.