Apostille: Certifying Your Significant Documents

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

Apostilles are out there in countries, 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 utilised time-consuming chain certification method, where you had to go to four distinct authorities to get a document certified. The Hague Convention delivers for the simplified certification of public (including notarized) documents to be utilised in countries and territories that have joined the convention.

Documents destined for use in participating nations and their territories should be certified by one particular 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 Office or legalization by the embassy or consulate is necessary.

Note, even though the apostille is an official certification that the document is a correct copy of the original, it does not certify that the original document’s content material is appropriate.

Why Do You Have to have an Apostille?

An apostille can be applied anytime a copy of an official document from a further country is necessary. For example for opening a bank account in the foreign country in the name of your company or for registering your U.S. business with foreign government authorities or even when proof of existence of a U.S. business is essential 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 will have to be attached to the U.S. document to authenticate that document for use in Hague Convention countries.

Who Can Get an Apostille?

Given that October 15, 1981, the United States has been component of the 1961 Hague Convention abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents. Anybody who desires to use a U.S. public document (such as Articles of Organization or Incorporation issued by a Secretary of State) in 1 of the Hague Convention nations may perhaps request and acquire an apostille for that distinct nation.

How to Get an Apostille?

Getting an apostille can be a complex procedure. In most American states, the method entails getting 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.

Nations That Accept Apostille

All members of the Hague Convention recognise apostille.

Countries Not Accepting Apostille

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

Legalization is usually 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 country where the document is intended to be utilised.

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