Legalizing Documents For Legal Procedures in Mexico
Mexican authorities require foreign issued documents be verified before they are accepted as legal documents in Mexico. If you intend to do business, apply for an immigration visa or get married in Mexico you may need to have your personal documents apostilled in your home country. Typically, official documents are only valid within the country that issued them, except for the passport which is recognized in every country.
Since other countries have no way to verify if your foreign documents are legitimate, you will need to have them legalized.
What is an Apostille?
The Apostille Convention is an international treaty which numerous countries are signatory to. The convention provides a procedure through which documents issued in one of the signatory countries may be certified and used for legal purposes in all other signatory countries, including Mexico. An Apostille is a form of authentication for all notarized documents such as birth certificates, death certificates, marriage or divorce certificates. Also, apostille may be necessary for education certificates and diplomas. Documents must be certified in your home country, and the person certifying them must be confirmed as legitimate by The Department of the Secretary of State in the US. Each state has a designated officials who are authorized to provide this service.
Just to name a few of the countries included in the treaty; US, Europe, Australia, Argentina, New Zealand, Russia, India, Hong Kong, Israel, South Africa, Japan, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.
Canada is not a part of this treaty. Therefore, different procedures are required to certify Canadian documents. Canada uses a notarization procedure to legalize documents. Canada documents required in Mexico must be legalized by the Mexican Consulate in the region where they were issued. Contact the Mexican Consulate in your Canadian place of residence for more information.
Any official documents which were issued in French or English must be accompanied by an official Spanish translation in order to be valid in Mexico.
Good to Know
If you get married in Mexico all documents, except your passports, must be apostilled by the authorities of the country where they were issued if not in Mexico.
If you plan to live abroad with your spouse, you will need to get your Mexican marriage certificate apostilled in Mexico to ensure the documents are legal outside of Mexico. This process needs to be completed in the Mexican state in which you were married. The local Registro Civil, The registry office in Mexico, or your wedding planner will advise you how to achieve this.