Apostille

India, since 2005, is a member of the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961, that abolished the requirement of legalization of foreign public documents. Apostille is acceptable in 105 member-countries of the Convention.  Apostille is done for personal documents like birth/death/marriage certificates, Affidavits, Power of Attorney, etc. and educational documents like degree, diploma, matriculation and secondary level certificates, etc. Any document Apostilled in one member country is acceptable in all the other 104 member-countries, a signatory to the referred convention of 1961 thus greatly simplifying the process of attestation by making it needless to get the documents attested in each or for each of the countries separately.

An Apostille is a type of attestation in which documents are legalized in a particular format that is acceptable in all nations that belong to the Hague Convention. Essentially, Apostille is an international attestation that is acceptable in about 92 countries, and most of the western world recognizes Apostille.

Apostille stamp is a square-shaped computer generated sticker stamp, pasted on reverse of the document by the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. This is a unique computer-generated stamp having a unique identification number, through which any member country of The Hague convention can check its authenticity online. Under normal circumstances, once the document is apostilled, it does not require to be attested further from the concerned embassy.

If a document is apostilled, it does not require to be attested.

 

This is a special PC created stamp having a one of a kind distinguishing proof number, through which any part nation of The Hague show can check its credibility on the web. Under ordinary conditions, when the report is apostilled, it doesn't require to be authenticated further from the concerned government office. 

In the event that a record is apostilled, it doesn't require to be confirmed. 

Procedure for Apostille

Step 1: Authentication of documents

All original documents/certificates requiring MEA to issue Apostille should be 1st attested by the elected authorities of the State/Union Territory from wherever the document is issued. Indian Apostille will only be issued by MEA once the respective relevant state authority has authenticated a selected document.

Step 2: Attestation/Legalization of documents

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) attests /legalizes the documents solely when these are genuine with the signature and seal/stamp of the selected authorities of the State Government/Union Territory/Chambers of Commerce from wherever the documents are issued. The MEA legalizes the certificate/documents on the premise of the signature of the selected authorities; thence it doesn't take responsibility for the contents of the documents.

For Educational Documents

HRD/Authentication/Home Department + Apostille by MEA

For Personal Documents

GAD/Home Department/SDM/Norka  + Apostille by MEA

For Commercial Documents

Respective Chamber of Commerce + Apostille by MEA

Countries That Accept Apostille -Countries Party to the Hague Convention of 1961 (Apostille Process) as follows

 
  • Albania

  • Andorra

  • Antigua and Barbuda

  • Argentina

  • Armenia

  • Australia

  • Austria

  • Azerbaijan

  • Bahamas

  • Bahrain

  • Barbados

  • Belarus

  • Belgium

  • Belize

  • Bolivia

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • Botswana

  • Brazil

  • Brunei Darussalam

  • Bulgaria

  • Burundi

  • Cape Verde

  • Chile

  • China, People's Republic of (Hong Kong & Macao Only)

  • Colombia

  • Cook Islands

  • Costa Rica

  • Croatia

  • Cyprus

  • Czech Republic

  • Denmark

  • Dominica

  • Dominican Republic

  • Ecuador

  • El Salvador

  • Estonia

  • Fiji

  • Finland

  • France

  • Georgia

  • Germany

  • Greece

  • Grenada

  • Guatemala

  • Honduras

  • Hungary

  • Iceland

  • India

  • Ireland

  • Israel

  • Italy

  • Japan

  • Kazakhstan

  • Korea, Republic of

  • Kosovo

  • Kyrgyzstan

  • Latvia

  • Lesotho

  • Liberia

  • Liechtenstein

  • Lithuania

  • Luxembourg

  • Macedonia, former Yugoslav Republic of

  • Malawi

  • Malta

  • Marshall Islands

  • Mauritius

  • Mexico

  • Moldova, Republic of

  • Monaco

  • Mongolia

  • Montenegro

  • Morocco

  • Namibia

  • Netherlands

  • New Zealand

  • Nicaragua

  • Niue

  • Norway

  • Oman

  • Panama

  • Paraguay

  • Peru

  • Poland

  • Portugal

  • Romania

  • Russian Federation

  • Saint Kitts and Nevis

  • Saint Lucia

  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

  • Samoa

  • San Marino

  • Sao Tome and Principe

  • Serbia

  • Seychelles

  • Slovakia

  • Slovenia

  • South Africa

  • Spain

  • Suriname

  • Swaziland

  • Sweden

  • Switzerland

  • Tajikistan

  • Tonga

  • Trinidad and Tobago

  • Tunisia

  • Turkey

  • Ukraine

  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

  • Uruguay

  • Uzbekistan

  • Vanuatu

  • Venezuela

F.A.Qs

+Is Apostille the same as legalization?

No, Authentication and Legalization will make your document valid for legal purposes only in the country of which the consulate has legalized the document. The important thing to remember is that when you have your document authenticated and legalized it is the equivalent of an Apostille certification

+ What do I need to Apostille a birth certificate?

An Apostille is a Certification of public official signatures (seal) on documents to be used outside India. Some countries will only recognize your Birth Certificate or other types of an official document if it is authenticated by the GAD of State in the country which the document was issued.

+ Can you apostille a passport?

We can apostille a signed and notarized color copy of your Indian Passport in all 29 States If you are outside of India, please do not send in your original passport.

+ Do I need to apostille my marriage certificate?

If the requesting country is a member of the Hague Apostille Convention, you will be required to provide a Marriage Certificate with an Apostille. The Apostille helps authenticate the document for acceptance in the other country. Marriage Certificates issued by a State must be authenticated from the same State.

+Do birth certificates need Apostille stamps?

There is no exception to this rule. If the country requesting your Birth Certificate is not a member of the Hague Apostille Convention, then your documents may require further authentication through the Ministry of External Affairs Govt of India and legalization through the Embassy / Consulate office.

+ Do I need to translate apostille?

You'll need a notarized certified translation as part of the apostille process to authenticate your document for use in another country that is a member of the Hague Convention. ... Our Certified Translators have successfully translated thousands of apostilles.

+ How long does it take to get an apostille?

To obtain an apostille usually takes two days.

+Who can apostille a document?

Apostilles authenticate the seals and signatures of officials on public documentssuch as birth certificates, court orders, or any other document issued by a public authority so that they can be recognized in foreign countries that are members of the 1961 Hague Convention Treaty.

+ Can a notary do an apostille?

Notaries cannot issue apostilles themselves.

+What an apostille means?

The Hague Apostille (or simply called endorsement, also in french: apostille: means certify, authenticate or complete.)Aims to simplify the legalization of documents to verify their authenticity, in order to be valid internationally, making unnecessary diplomatic or consular legalization or other certifications.

+ Can Apostilles be rejected in the country where they are to be used?

Apostilles issued in accordance with the requirements of the Convention must be recognized in the country where they are to be used. Apostilles may only be rejected if and when:

  • their origin cannot be verified (i.e., if and when the particulars on the Apostille do not correspond with those in the register kept by the Competent Authority that allegedly issued the Apostille); or

  • their formal elements differ radically from the Model Certificate annexed to the Convention.

While an Apostille should conform as closely as possible to the Model Certificate annexed to the Convention, in practice Apostilles issued by different Competent Authorities vary in design, size, and color as well as in any additional elements that may be included on the Certificate. Such variations in appearance are not a basis for refusal of an Apostille. Failure to affix an Apostille to the public document in a particular manner is not a basis for refusing the Apostille. The mere fact that an Apostille has been affixed by a method that differs from the method(s) employed by the country where it is to be used is not a reason for the rejection of the Apostille. Additional text on an Apostille outside the box with the 10 numbered standard informational items is not a basis for rejection of an Apostille. Apostille Certificates issued by countries that are not a party to the Convention must be rejected in all other States as being contrary to the Convention.

+Once I have an Apostille, do I need anything else to show that the signature or seal on my public document is genuine?

No. An Apostille issued by the relevant Competent Authority is all that is required to establish that a signature or seal on a public document is genuine and to establish the capacity of the person or authority that signed or sealed the public document.

+What are the effects of an Apostille?

An Apostille only certifies the origin of the public document to which it relates: it certifies the authenticity of the signature or seal of the person or authority that signed or sealed the public document and the capacity in which this was done. An Apostille does not certify the content of the public document to which it relates. Apostilles are not grants of authority and do not give any additional weight to the content of underlying documents. An Apostille may never be used for the recognition of a document in the country where that document was issued  Apostilles are strictly for use of public documents abroad. It is up to the country where the Apostille is to be used to decide how much weight to give to the underlying public document.

+​ Do all Apostilles have to look exactly the same?

No. An Annex to the Apostille Convention provides a Model Apostille Certificate (which is reproduced at the beginning of this brochure). Apostilles should conform as closely as possible to this Model Certificate.

In particular, an Apostille must:

  • be identified as an Apostille; and

  • include the short version of the French title of the Convention (Convention de La Haye du 5 Octobre 1961); and

  • include a box with the 10 numbered standard informational items.

An Apostille may also provide additional information. For example, an Apostille may:

  • provide extra information about the public document to which it relates;

  • recall the limited effect of an Apostille (i.e., that it only certifies the origin of the public document to which it relates);

  • provide a web address (URL) of a register where the origin of the Apostille may be verified; or

  • specify that the Apostille is not to be used in the country that issued it.

However, such additional information must be outside the box that holds the 10 numbered standard informational items.

+What do I need to know before requesting an Apostille?

Before you approach MEA Govt of India about getting an Apostille, you should consider questions such as:

  • Does the Apostille Convention apply in both the country that issued the public document and the country where I intend to use it?

  • If the country that issued the public document has designated several Competent Authorities, which one is the relevant Competent Authority to issue an Apostille for my public document?

  • Can I get an Apostille for my public document, i.e., is my document considered a public document under the law of the country where it was issued?

  • Can I request an Apostille by mail or must I appear in person? This is particularly relevant if you are living in a country other than the country that issued your public document.

  • If I have multiple documents, will I need multiple Apostilles?

  • Are there other documents (in addition to the public document) or additional information that I need to provide to get an Apostille (e.g., a document establishing my identity or a stamped envelope in the case of requests by mail)?

  • How much does an Apostille cost and what forms of payment are available?

  • How long will it take to get the Apostille?

+To which documents does the Apostille Convention apply?

The Convention only applies to public documents. Whether or not a document is a public document is determined by the law of the country in which the document was issued. Countries typically apply the Convention to a wide variety of documents. Most Apostilles are issued for documents of an administrative nature, including birth, marriage and death certificates; documents emanating from an authority or an official connected with a court, tribunal or commission; extracts from commercial registers and other registers; patents; notarial acts and notarial attestations (acknowledgments) of signatures; school, university and other academic diplomas issued by public institutions. The Apostille Convention does not apply to documents executed by diplomatic or consular agents. The Convention also excludes from its scope certain administrative documents related to commercial or customs operations.

+What do I do if either the country where my public document was issued or the country where I need to use my public document is not a party to the Apostille Convention?

If your public document was issued or is to be used in a country where the Apostille Convention does not apply, you should contact the Embassy or a Consulate of the country where you intend to use the document in order to find out what your options are. 

+​ In which countries does the Apostille Convention apply?

The Apostille Convention only applies if both the country where the public document was issued and the country where the public document is to be used are parties to the Convention. A comprehensive and updated list of the countries where the Apostille Convention applies, or will soon apply, is available in the Apostille Section of the Hague Conference website look for the link entitled Status table of the Apostille Convention.

The Status table of the Apostille Convention has two parts: the first part lists countries that have joined the Apostille Convention and are also Members of the Hague Conference (i.e., the Organisation that developed the Convention); the second part lists countries that have joined the Apostille Convention but are not Members of the Hague Conference. In other words, a country does not need to be a Member of the Hague Conference to be a party to the Apostille Convention.

When checking the Status table of the Apostille Convention, always keep the following in mind:

  • Check if both the country where the public document was issued and the country where the document is to be used are listed in either part of the Status table.

  • It does not matter whether a country appears in the first or the second part of the Status table the Convention applies equally to Members and non-Members of the Organisation.

  • Check the date of entry into force of the Convention for both countries. Look for the column entitled only after that date can the relevant country issue and receive Apostilles.

  • There are different ways for a country to become a party to the Convention (ratification, accession, succession or continuation), but these differences have no impact on how the Convention operates in a country.

  • If one of the countries has acceded to the Convention, check that the other country has not objected to that accession; to find out, see the column entitled Type next to the acceding country  name and check if there is a link entitled A  if so, click on it and check whether the other country is listed.

  • Check whether the Convention applies to the entire territory of a country or only to parts of it; to find out, see if there is a link in the columns entitled and Residents if so, click on it and read the relevant information.

+What is an Apostille and when do I need one?

An Apostille is a certificate that authenticates the origin of a public document (e.g., a birth, marriage or death certificate, a judgment, an extract of a register or a notarial attestation). The Model Apostille Certificate is reproduced at the beginning of this brochure. Apostilles can only be issued for documents issued in one country party to the Apostille Convention and that is to be used in another country which is also a party to the Convention.

You will need an Apostille if all of the following apply:

  • The country where the document was issued is a party to the Apostille Convention; and

  • The country in which the document is to be used is a party to the Apostille Convention; and

  • The law of the country where the document was issued considers it to be a public document; and

  • The country in which the document is to be used requires an Apostille in order to recognize it as a foreign public document.

An Apostille may never be used for the recognition of a document in the country where that document was issued Apostilles are strictly for the use of public documents abroad!

An Apostille may not be required if the laws, regulations, or practice in force in the country where the public document is to be used have abolished or simplified the requirement of an Apostille, or have exempted the document from any legalization requirement. Such simplification or exemption may also result from a treaty or other agreement that is in force between the country where the public document is to be used and the country that issued it (e.g., some other Hague Conventions exempt documents from legalization or any analogous formality, including an Apostille).

If you have any doubts, you should ask the intended recipient of your document whether an Apostille is necessary in your particular case.

+Which are the documents authenticated/apostilled?

Any type of document viz personal, educational or commercial can be authenticated/apostilled.

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