Apostille: Certifying Your Critical Documents

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

Apostilles are accessible 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 made use of time-consuming chain certification procedure, exactly where you had to go to four distinctive authorities to get a document certified. The Hague Convention gives for the simplified certification of public (including notarized) documents to be applied in nations and territories that have joined the convention.

Documents destined for use in participating countries and their territories need to be certified by a single 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 Workplace or legalization by the embassy or consulate is expected.

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

Why Do You Need an Apostille?

An apostille can be used anytime a copy of an official document from a further nation is needed. For instance for opening a bank account in the foreign nation in the name of your corporation or for registering your U.S. organization with foreign government authorities or even when proof of existence of a U.S. firm is expected to enter in to a contract abroad. In all of these cases an American document, even a copy certified for use in the U.S., will not be acceptable. An apostille need to be attached to the U.S. document to authenticate that document for use in Hague Convention countries.

Who Can Get an Apostille?

Due to the fact October 15, 1981, the United States has been component of the 1961 Hague Convention abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents. Everyone who requires to use a U.S. public document (such as Articles of Organization or Incorporation issued by a Secretary of State) in one particular of the Hague Convention nations may well request and receive an apostille for that specific nation.

How to Get an Apostille?

Getting an apostille can be a complicated process. In most American states, the approach 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 query with a request for apostille.

Countries 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 should be legalized by a consular officer in the country which issued the document. In lieu of an apostille, documents in the U.S. ordinarily will receive a Certificate of Authentication.

Legalization is generally achieved by sending a certified copy of the document to U.S. apostille version of the fbi criminal report of State in Washington, D.C., for authentication, and then legalizing the authenticated copy with the consular authority for the country exactly where the document is intended to be applied.

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