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Apostille

Certificate apostille and document apostille are terms that simply mean legalization of your documents and certificates. Apostille attestation could be for the causes that devise of expansion of business or obtaining a visa for the countries that are a part of the Hague Convention. Although, Apostille has a characteristic that there are several levels of verification and validation before finally obtaining the document apostille from the central government. In this guide, you will know everything about the process, cost and how much time does it take to get it done in India.

Apostille

What is Apostille?

Dictionary explanation for apostille meaning just implicates as a French word that means ‘certification’, and in a formal context, an apostille is basically a formality of proving the authenticity and credibility of the document.

When you apostille a document, an apostille sticker and/or an apostille stamp is obtained from the authority. It is a computer generated with a unique identification number and is applied on the back of the document. This maintains a record online and allows the concerned authorities to check the authenticity in a more convenient manner. After this application of the apostille sticker from the MEA, there usually is no need for any added certification from the embassy.

Personal Document Birth Certificate Apostille Educational Degree Certificate Apostille Commercial Document Power Of Attorney Apostille

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What is Apostille Attestation?

Apostille attestation is a way of attesting the required documents so that they can be made admissible in any country that belongs to the Apostille Hague Convention. Apostille is an attestation of the global level that is legally acceptable in more than 100 countries, most of the European & American countries accept the format. In India, a sticker from Ministry of External Affairs sticked on the back of the document, and again a stamp is rendered on the sticker in a way that it is partially on the sticker and partially on the document.

When is Apostille Required?

Apostille is required when there is need to eradicate the necessity of document legalization when going to the foreign countries for all sorts of reasons, for instance, obtaining employment visa or work visa, applying for temporary or permanent residency, or for pursuing education on student visa, carrying out deals for business expansion e.g. importing or exporting products. This requirement is mandatory for the countries which are part of the hague convention.

When is Apostille Required?

Which countries require apostille of documents?

The Apostille Hague Convention countries that comprise the convention are about 116 in number and apostille of documents is needed for these nations only. Following is the list of all the Hague Convention countries:

which countries require apostille of documents?

(source: Wikipedia)

Here is the list of Hague Convention Countries

Apostille Procedure

Apostille in India, the procedure has recently been decentralized by the central government. The central body that carries out apostille of documents is the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). The MEA has regionalized apostille process to Branch Secretariats and the RPOs in 15 cities effective from January 1st, 2019. The cities of operation include - Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Chennai, Chandigarh, Cochin, New Delhi, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Panaji, Raipur and Thiruvananthapuram. Generally, it begins at the local notary from where the document was issued and is followed by the state authentication and then lastly the MEA apostille sticker.

The apostille procedure differentiates when it comes to different types of documents. There primarily are three main types of legal documents - personal, educational and commercial. The procedures are elaborated below:

Personal Document Apostille

It is pretty clear from the term that personal document apostille is the legalization of documents that contain personal data. It comprises the birth certificate apostille and marriage certificate apostille.

The personal document apostille process consists of the following steps

  • 1. Notary Attestation
  • 2. Home Department Attestation or SDM Attestation
  • 3. Apostille from MEA
Personal Document Apostille

Educational Certificate Apostille

The documents that are proof of your educational history that deal with your academic performances and the courses accomplished over time are called as educational documents. Degree apostille, mark-sheet apostille and a few others categorised in this type.

The educational certificate apostille process consists of the following steps:

  • 1. Notary Attestation
  • 2. HRD Attestation or SDM Attestation
  • 3. Apostille from MEA
Educational Certificate Apostille

Commercial Document Apostille

The documents that approve of the business capital owned by any entrepreneur are referred to as commercial documents. These include documents like property papers, partnership deeds, Memorandum of Association, etc.

The commercial document apostille process includes the following steps:

  • 1. Chamber of Commerce Attestation
  • 2. Apostille from MEA
Commercial Document Apostille
  • Notary Attestation:

    The primary step in the authentication of the educational and personal documents is getting them certified from the Notary.

  • Home Department Attestation:

    Home Department is a state level organization that certifies the personal documents.

  • HRD Attestation:

    HRD or Human Resource Department is a department of the state that solely certifies the educational documents.

  • SDM Attestation:

    Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) is an alternative for the State attestation in some instances.

  • Chamber of Commerce Attestation:

    The Chamber of Commerce (CoC) is a local business association and the first step in the verification of your commercial documents before the legalization MEA.

  • MEA Attestation:

    The MEA is the arm of the central government that manages foreign affairs which will provide the apostille sticker and MEA stamp as per the requirement.

What are apostille services?

Apostille services are the agents that provide you the assistance for procuring apostille sticker or a MEA stamp from central government. Ideally, these services will collect your documents and get them verified and stamped from the concerned government departments and get them delivered back to you. It’s quite hard for an individual to do the apostille process on their own as it’s not a direct process and there are different steps involved for each document type. So, it is convenient to approach such services for legalization which can save your valuable time and energy.

Where can I get apostille services?

Apostille services available online can be accessed through the internet and other media. They higher accessibility compared to the offline ones and can be easy to inquire at. We at PEC are ranked among the best apostille services in India and provide quality services and excellent customer support. We also have 24*7 accessibility and are available online taking queries and supporting the customers in need. Our services are spread all across India including the following cities - Pune, Pimpri, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Delhi, Chandigarh, Gurugram, Kochi - Kerala, Lucknow, Bhopal, Panaji - Goa, Noida, Coimbatore, Vizag.

How to get your Documents Attested?
How to get your Documents Attested?

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a notary apostille a document?

No, a notary cannot perform the apostille of documents, only the central government, viz., MEA provides the apostille sticker on the document. However, the verification of the document from the notary is mandatory to obtain certification from the state and apostille from the MEA in the case of legalization of personal and educational documents. It is not necessary in case of commercial documents, though attestation from chambers of commerce is necessary for commercial documents

Who can issue an Apostille?

Apostille can be issued in the countries which are members of the Hague Apostille Convention of 1961. In many countries, It is generally issued by the secretariat of the state. In countries like India, MEA (Ministry of External Affairs) referred as MOFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs in some countries) is the syndicate of the central government that is authorized to issue an apostille for the document. Although, there are other levels of verifications and certifications that need to be taken care of before eventually acquiring apostille sticker from the MEA. These include the notary and state authentication.

How long does it take to apostille a document?

It depends on the type of document you need an apostille for how long apostille procedure may take. It depends on the document issued state as well, as this process involves attestation from state government. If you are going for the offline process, it will certainly take about 3-4 weeks, however, if you choose to involve the apostille services to get it done for you then it might actually take a lot lesser time like one or two weeks. Though, it can take much longer if attestation from HRD is involved.

Does Apostille need to be translated?

Apostille doesn’t always need to be translated, but it depends on the language of document one posses and language of foreign country. If the foreign country’s government legal language is different than the document’s language. e.g. Brazil is the country that necessitates translation of the documents. If your document is in any regional language, it needs to be translated in portugese. But it’s not translated directly to portugese, first it needs to be translated in English then to Portuguese. Alongside the apostille sticker on the document in English as well as the one in Portuguese.

Do I need an apostille?

You may need apostille if you are traveling to an Apostille Hague Country. It could be for any reason, for instance, if you have plans to pursue education from abroad or carry out a business deal or attain permanent or short-term residency or perhaps just visit the country for tourism. Apostille is obtained on your personal, educational or commercial documents depending on the purpose of travel.

What is the difference between Apostille and attestation?

Apostille and attestation aren’t very different aspects, yet, an apostille is required for a set of countries that are a part of the Hague Convention while attestation is done for the rest of the countries. As a proof of apostille, a sticker along with stamp is usually applied on the document; and after the attestation of documents, they are stamped by the central government and are applicable for embassy attestation as well.

What is the difference between apostille & Authentication?

There is not much difference in both of them. An apostille is a type of authentication for the countries which are members of the Hague convention. Generally sticker with stamp is attached on the document in case of apostille. Authentication is nothing but attestation, it’s required in the countries which are not part of such convention.

What is the difference between apostille and legalization?

Legalization is the process of approving the documents from the legal authorities proving their reliability, and apostille is the legalization of the documents for various causes by providing an apostille sticker and stamp. The apostille legalization is required which are part of the apostille convention. In other words, legalization is increasing the credibility of the documents and an apostille is a type of international level of legalization.

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