The apostille stamp

The legalisation of documents is often referred to as an apostille stamp. This is because an embossing stamp is placed upon the actual apostille certificate.

When a document is legalised for use in another country an apostille is issued. This involves the following process-

  1. The document is checked to make sure that it is genuine and that it has been presented in the correct format.
  2. The apostille certificate is created stating which authority has processed the document
  3. The apostille certificate is then permanently glued to the document
  4. The document and the apostille are then placed into an embossing machine so that the document and the apostille certificate are stamped. The apostille stamp is not an ink stamp, it is an embossed stamp.

You may also hear the apostille certificate being called-

Apostille legalisation or legalization (the American spelling)
Apostille Seal
Hague convention apostille
Document legalisation

All of these refer to the same process of issuing an apostille certificate which is then embossed with a stamp or seal. It is simply a case of people using different terms.