Apostille: Certifying Your Vital Documents

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

Apostilles are obtainable in countries, which signed the 1961 Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization of Foreign Public Documents, popularly identified as The Hague Convention. This convention replaces the previously utilised time-consuming chain certification process, where you had to go to 4 unique authorities to get a document certified. The Hague Convention delivers for the simplified certification of public (like notarized) documents to be used in nations and territories that have joined the convention.

Documents destined for use in participating countries and their territories must be certified by 1 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. Department of State, Authentications Workplace 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 is correct.

Why Do You Require an Apostille?

An apostille can be utilised anytime a copy of an official document from yet another country is required. For instance for opening a bank account in the foreign country in the name of your business or for registering your U.S. company with foreign government authorities or even when proof of existence of a U.S. company 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?

Because October 15, 1981, the United States has been portion of the 1961 Hague Convention abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents. courier austin texas who requires to use a U.S. public document (such as Articles of Organization or Incorporation issued by a Secretary of State) in a single of the Hague Convention countries may request and obtain an apostille for that certain country.

How to Get an Apostille?

Getting an apostille can be a complex course of action. In most American states, the method 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 question with a request for apostille.


Nations That Accept Apostille

All members of the Hague Convention recognise apostille.

Nations Not Accepting Apostille

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

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

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