The process of validating the authenticity of documents
The process of validating the authenticity of documents for international use involves either Apostille or legalization, depending on the countries involved and their legal agreements. Malaysia is not a party to the Apostille Convention, so it relies on the traditional legalization process.
In the absence of Apostille, documents from Malaysia, and other non-Hague Convention countries, need to go through a multi-step process to be considered valid for use abroad. This process includes translation, notarization, certification by the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and legalization by the respective High Commission or Embassy. Here's a detailed summary of each step in the document legalization process:
1. Inquire About Translation: The first step is to check with the receiving authority or party whether the document needs to be translated. In Malaysia, there are certified translation services available, such as the Institut Terjemahan & Buku Malaysia (ITBM), Malaysian Translators Association (MTA), and the Institute of Language and Literature (Dewan Bahasa & Pustaka). You may also call us at +603.21165747 for enquiry.
2. Translation: If translation is required, the document is translated into the appropriate language. This is often a crucial step to ensure that the document is understood by the foreign authorities.
3. Notarization: The translated document is then brought to a notary public. Notarization involves confirming the authenticity of the signature and the authority of the person who signed the document. Some countries or embassies may have specific requirements, such as notarizing each page individually or attaching the document to a notarial certificate, especially for countries like China.
4. Certification by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: After notarization, the document is taken to the Consular Division of the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Putrajaya, for further certification. Note that some countries or embassies may not require this step. In some cases, certain countries may ask for the translation to be done after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' authentication to ensure that the authentication stamp is also translated.
5. Legalization by the High Commission/Embassy: The final step is to take the authenticated document to the respective High Commission or Embassy of the destination country. The High Commission or Embassy will legalize the document, confirming that it complies with the requirements of their legal system and is suitable for use in their country.
It's essential to note that the specific requirements and procedures for document legalization may vary based on the destination country and the type of document. Different countries and embassies may have distinct rules and requirements. Therefore, it is crucial to check with the relevant authorities, embassies, or consulates to ensure that you are following the correct steps for the country where you intend to use the document.
In summary, the document legalization process in Malaysia involves translation, notarization, certification by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and legalization by the respective High Commission or Embassy of the destination country. While this provides a general overview of the procedure, it is essential to be aware that each country and embassy may have its own unique rules and requirements, so thorough research and communication with the relevant authorities are crucial.