What is Attestation and How it Works?

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Today, an increased number of people are flying abroad every year, be it for employment/immigration reasons or for pursuing higher educations. The most important things you need while travelling to foreign countries are your documents. These authenticated documents (Personal, Educational Or Commercial Documents) are required for every respective scenario. People face a lot of issues and rejection while applying for their Visa, as they do not have the proper and complete documents.

You might have seen people are usually confused with these two words called attestation & apostille. To authenticate your certificates there are several steps involved in the attestation process. Well, this article will help you to understand What Does Attestation Mean and How it Works?

Considering a general scenario, if you want to travel to another country you have to apply for a Visa. This visa will be issued after when the higher government authorities have verified all your documents. Also, Attestation or Apostille verification is needed sometimes from various departments like Embassy Attestation, MEA Attestation, SDM (Sub-divisional Magistrate) Attestation, HRD Attestation and Notary verification. Let’s have some idea about these departments -
Embassy attestation means when you travel from India to abroad for employment/ education/ immigration you have to get all required certificates authenticated by that country’s embassy or the consulate in India.

MEA attestation (Ministry Of External Affairs), authentication of document/certificate is done once it has been verified at the state level and then that, you will be needing in abroad.

The Ministry of External Affair does attestation is in two ways:

  • An apostille is required for Hague Convention countries from documents like birth/death/marriage certificates, Affidavits, Power of Attorney and educational documents.
  • Normal Attestation is meant for all those countries which do not fall in the Hague Convention and where Apostille is not valid. (This can be processed when the document has to be further attested by an embassy.)

Home Department holds the process of authentication of the personal documents. Before submitting the document for MEA attestation these personal documents/certificates should be first verified by the respective state home department where the document is created.

HRD attestation Here all the educational documents are verified by the HRD department. Each state has its own HRD department. Hence if the educational documents need to be attested from the ministry of external affairs (MEA), then it should be first authenticated by the respective state HRD department.

Have a look at the basic flow of the Attestation Process

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Note* The flow of application varies from country to country as per their rules and regulations.

What is attestation?  
Attestation is the process of checking the authenticity of true the documents/ certificates by attaching it to the sign of the verifying or the issuing personnel. The process involves the submission of the original document with any other supporting documents which differ from country to country.

Types of Attestation
There are three basic types of attestation

1) State Attestation - State (to which you belong) attestation is needed before MEA attestation, where all your educational and personal documents are verified. After getting authenticated at the state level the documents/certificates are further processed for MEA attestation of documents. Considering the case of personal documents, General Administration Department gets involved in verification earlier to attestation by the Ministry of External Affairs.

2) MEA Attestation or Apostille - MEA attestation is prepared simply after attestation by those appropriate state authorities.

3) Embassy/Consulate Attestation is prepared later, after the MEA attestation

What is Apostille?
An Apostille is simply the name for a specialized certificate, issued by the Secretary of State. The Apostille is attached to your original document to verify it is legitimate and authentic so it will be accepted in one of the other countries who are members of the Hague Apostille Convention and allow you to visit these foreign countries.

Wait don't get confused with Hauge Convention

As discussed we need verification of a different document as per user application. You require embassy verification every time for every country where you go which is a time taking process. Hence to make it hassle-free and easy, many different nations joint hands and formed one convention in 1961 called the Hague Convention. According to the Hague, countries that fall under this convention do not need a particular country’s Embassy attestation. There are 118 countries that come under the Hague Convention. Check out Hague countries

Apostille, is a computer-generated sticker stamp of a square shape, fixed on the opposite of the certificate by the MEA, Government of India. It has a unique ID number, by which any associate nation of the Hague Convention can verify its legitimacy online.

We hope, this article helped you to clear all your doubt regarding attestation and apostille. However, if you still find this process of certificate attestation and apostille confusing and time-consuming, contact our experts for apostille, attestation, visa & translation services.

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