Apostille: Certifying Your Crucial Documents


What Is an Apostille?

An apostille (french for certification) is a particular seal applied by a government authority to certify that a document is a correct copy of an original.

Apostilles are offered in nations, which signed the 1961 Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization of Foreign Public Documents, popularly known as The Hague Convention. This convention replaces the previously used time-consuming chain certification approach, exactly where you had to go to four diverse authorities to get a document certified. The Hague Convention supplies for the simplified certification of public (such as notarized) documents to be utilized in countries and territories that have joined the convention.

Documents destined for use in participating countries and their territories need to be certified by a single of the officials in the jurisdiction in which the document has been executed. With this certification by the Hague Convention Apostille, the document is entitled to recognition in the country of intended use, and no certification by the U.S. Division of State, Authentications Office or legalization by the embassy or consulate is essential.

Note, although the apostille is an official certification that the document is a accurate copy of the original, it does not certify that the original document’s content material is right.

Why Do You Need an Apostille?

An apostille can be utilized whenever a copy of an official document from another nation is necessary. For example for opening a bank account in the foreign nation in the name of your business or for registering your U.S. firm with foreign government authorities or even when proof of existence of a U.S. business is required to enter in to a contract abroad. In all of these situations an American document, even a copy certified for use in the U.S., will not be acceptable. An apostille have to be attached to the U.S. document to authenticate that document for use in Hague Convention countries.

Who Can Get an Apostille?

Considering that October 15, 1981, the United States has been component of the 1961 Hague Convention abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents. Any person who demands to use a U.S. public document (such as Articles of Organization or Incorporation issued by a Secretary of State) in one of the Hague Convention nations could request and get an apostille for that specific nation.

How to Get an Apostille?

Obtaining an apostille can be a complex method. In most American states, the procedure entails obtaining an original, certified copy of the document you seek to confirm with an apostille from the issuing agency and then forwarding it to a Secretary of State (or equivalent) of the state in question with a request for apostille.

Nations That Accept Apostille

All members of the Hague Convention recognise apostille.

Countries Not Accepting Apostille

In nations which are not signatories to the 1961 convention and do not recognize the apostille, a foreign public document need to be legalized by a consular officer in the nation which issued the document. In lieu of an apostille, documents in the U.S. typically will obtain a Certificate of Authentication.

Legalization is typically achieved by sending a certified copy of the document to U.S. Division of State in Washington, D.C., for authentication, and then legalizing the authenticated copy with the consular authority for the nation exactly where the document is intended to be utilised.