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What is the apostille certificate

An Apostille Certificate is a necessary official certificate that is issued to documents so that they are recognized in member states without needing any more legalization. In this case, member states mean those nations that have ratified the Hague Convention agreed upon by members of the Hague Conference on Private and International Law. The conference is an international body with the objective of bringing together the different legal systems existing in various member countries so that legal activities involving the jurisdiction of two or more countries become simpler.

Whenever an Apostille Certificate is attached to a particular document, the former certifies the authenticity of the signatures and seals in the document which can then be presented to any nation that is a signatory to the Hague Convention. If necessary, an Apostille Certificate can also be provided for translations by authorized translators and papers signed by physicians.

An Apostille Certificate is more often than not issued by the state from which the document originates; it can, however, be issued by another state also in some cases. On presentation of an Apostille Certificate with a document, there is no need for submitting any further evidence or proof about its authenticity.

An Apostille Certificate does have a prescribed format and it must contain the following information: a) country of issue; b) who has signed the document; c) the capacity in which the person signed the document; d) details of any seal on the document; e) place of issue; f) date of issue; g) issuing authority; h) Apostille Certificate number; i) stamp of issuing authority; and j) signature of representative of issuing authority.

Further legalization might be required when documents are presented in a country which is not a signatory to the Hague Convention relating to Apostille Certificates. In such cases, one often needs to carry out further legalization through the embassy of that nation.
This might prove to be a complex procedure as different embassies follow different procedures and charge different costs.

There is no doubt that the Apostille process has improved to a great extent document legalization several non-member countries as they are now found willing to accept a foreign document once it has been issued with an Apostille Certificate and then legalized at the consular section of their own embassy in the foreign document’s country of origin.

Documents that can be issued an Apostille Certificate include among others criminal record checks, affidavits, adoption certificates, awards and degrees, deeds and wills, diplomas and transcripts, bills of sale and proof of ownership, birth certificate, marriage and death certificates, memorandum and articles of association, national identification certificates, passports, permits and identity documents, power of attorney and letters of authorization and many others.

Although the Apostille Certificate has made much simpler the process of legalizing a document, the actual procedure of obtaining an Apostille Certificate is different for different types of documents. However, all things considered, an Apostille Certificate reduces much of your hassles and saves you a lot of energy and time. There are several organizations that can help you obtain an Apostille Certificate in lieu of certain amounts as their service charges.

More Information