What Is an Apostille?
An apostille (french for certification) is a specific 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 recognized as The Hague Convention. This convention replaces the previously used time-consuming chain certification process, where you had to go to four diverse authorities to get a document certified. The Hague Convention supplies for the simplified certification of public (including notarized) documents to be used in countries and territories that have joined the convention.
Documents destined for use in participating countries and their territories need to be certified by one 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 nation of intended use, and no certification by the U.S. Department of State, Authentications Workplace or legalization by the embassy or consulate is necessary.
Note, whilst 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 is right.
Why Do You Need to have an Apostille?
An apostille can be utilized anytime a copy of an official document from an additional country is needed. For instance for opening a bank account in the foreign country in the name of your firm or for registering your U.S. organization with foreign government authorities or even when proof of existence of a U.S. firm 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 must be attached to the U.S. document to authenticate that document for use in Hague Convention nations.
Who Can Get an Apostille?
Considering that October 15, 1981, the United States has been part of the 1961 Hague Convention abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents. Any individual who wants to use a U.S. public document (such as Articles of Organization or Incorporation issued by a Secretary of State) in one particular of the Hague Convention nations may possibly request and get an apostille for that certain nation.
How to Get an Apostille?
Acquiring an apostille can be a complex method. In most American states, the approach entails acquiring 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 query with a request for apostille.
Countries That Accept Apostille
All members of the Hague Convention recognise apostille.
Nations 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 country which issued the document. In lieu of an apostille, documents in the U.S. normally will get a Certificate of Authentication.
Legalization is generally 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 country where the document is intended to be used.