What is an Apostille?
India, since 2005, is a member of the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961, that abolished the requirement of the 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. Know More...
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What is Attestation/General Attestation/MEA Attestation?
This is done for all the countries which are not a member of the Hague Convention and where apostille is not accepted. Know More...
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Which are the documents authenticated/apostilled?
Any type of document viz personal, educational or commercial can be authenticated/apostilled.
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.
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 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.
The Permanent Bureau (Secretariat) of the Hague Conference does not provide assistance in such cases.
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 need to know before requesting an Apostille?
Before you approach a Competent Authority 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?
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 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.