What is an Apostille and when do I need one?
An Apostille is a certificate that authenticates the origin of a public document, for example a birth, marriage or death certificate, a judgment or a notarized document.
Apostilles can only be issued for documents issued in one country party to the Apostille Hague Convention and that are to be used in another country, which is also a party to the Hague Convention.
You will need an Apostille if the following apply:
• The country where the document was issued is party to the Apostille Hague Convention
• The country in which the document is to be used is party to the Apostille Hague Convention
Which countries are members of the Apostille Hague Convention?
In case the country you intend to present your documents in is not listed below please consult with the authorities of that country if an apostille is acceptable. Very often Apostille certificates are recognized even if the country is not a member of the Convention.
If you have any doubts, you should ask the intended recipient of your document whether an Apostille is necessary in your particular case.
A Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan B Bahamas, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria C China (Hong Kong), China (Macao), Colombia, Cook Islands, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic D Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic E Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia F Fiji, Finland, France, FYR of Macedonia G Georgia, Germany, Greece, Grenada H Honduras, Hungary I Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy J Japan K Kazakhstan, Korea (Republic of)L Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg M Malawi, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro N Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niue, Norway P Panama, Poland, Portugal R Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation S Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Serbia, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland T Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey U Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA V Vanuatu, Venezuela
What happens if 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, apostille.net will provide you with an Embassy Legalization
of the country where you intend to use the document
To which documents does the Apostille Convention apply?
Apostilles can placed on any public document.
If you are not sure whether a particular document is a public document, you should contact the relevant Competent Authority of the country that issued the document
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.
Where do I get an Apostille?
You have 2 options:
Option 1.- Your can hire our services, and we will process the apostille on your behalf.
Option 2.- You can go through the complex government agencies and obtain an apostille by yourself.
It is important to note that we do not place the apostille to the documents ourselves. Apostilles are placed by government agencies. A public document can only get appostilled by the relevant Competent Authority of the country that issued the document. In the U.S. it is the Secretary of State.
What is the role of the Permanent Bureau?
While the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference provides a broad range of services to support Contracting States in the effective implementation and practical operation of the Apostille Convention, it does not issue any Apostilles, does not maintain any register of Apostilles and does not keep any copies of Apostilles.
Each country that is party to the Convention must designate one or several authorities that are entitled to issue Apostilles. These authorities are called Competent Authorities only they are permitted to issue Apostilles.
Some countries have designated only one Competent Authority. Other countries have designated several Competent Authorities either to ensure that there are Competent Authorities in different regions of the country or because different government entities are responsible for different kinds of public documents; in some federal systems, the national Government may be responsible for certain types of documents whereas a component state or local government may be responsible for others.
How much does an Apostille cost?
Our service fee is $200 dollars.
If you do it on your own The Apostille Convention is silent on the cost of Apostilles. As a result, the practice among Competent Authorities varies greatly. Many Competent Authorities do charge for Apostilles; when they do, the prices vary greatly. For practical information on the prices that individual countries charge, see the information available in the Apostille Section of the Hague Conference website.
Do all Apostilles have to look exactly the same?
No, an Annex to the Apostille Convention provides a Model Apostille Certificate 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.
How are Apostilles affixed to public documents?
An Apostille must be placed directly on the public document itself or on a separate attached page (called an allonge). Apostilles may be affixed by various means, including rubber stamps, self-adhesive stickers, impressed seals, etc. If an Apostille is placed on an allonge, the latter can be attached to the underlying public document by a variety of means, including glue, grommets, staples, ribbons, wax seals, etc. While all of these means are acceptable under the Convention, Competent Authorities are encouraged to use more secure methods of affixation so as to safeguard the integrity of the Apostille. Failure to affix an Apostille in a particular manner is not a basis for refusing the Apostille.
You should never detach an Apostille, regardless of whether it is placed directly on the public document or on an allonge!
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.
An Apostille only certifies the origin of the public document to which it relates, never the content of that document. What are the effects of an Apostille?
Once I have an Apostille, do I need anything else to show that the signature or seal on my public document is genuine?
No. An Apostille issued by the relevant Competent Authority is all that is required to establish that a signature or seal on a public document is genuine and to establish the capacity of the person or authority that signed or sealed the public document. If the Convention applies, an Apostille is the only formality that is required to establish the origin of the public document – no additional requirement may be imposed to authenticate the origin of the public document.
If the recipient of my Apostille wants to verify my Apostille, what should I suggest?
Each Competent Authority is required to keep a register in which it records the date and number of every Apostille it issues, as well as information relating to the person or authority that signed or sealed the underlying public document. Recipients may contact the Competent Authority identified on the Apostille and ask whether the information on the Apostille corresponds with the information in the register. In order to verify a particular Apostille, recipients may contact the Competent Authority. Contact information for the Competent Authorities, including phone numbers and website information, such as the URL of e-Registers where applicable, is available in the Apostille Section of the Hague Conference website.
Many Competent Authorities have started to operate online electronic Registers (e-Registers). These e-Registers allow for easy online queries to verify the origin of an Apostille without Competent Authorities having to answer these queries individually by phone, e-mail or otherwise. If a Competent Authority operates such an e-Register, the web address of the e-Register is mentioned on the Apostille.
While the Permanent Bureau (Secretariat) of the Hague Conference provides a broad range of services to support Contracting States in the effective implementation and practical operation of the Apostille Convention, it does not issue any Apostilles, does not maintain any register of Apostilles and does not keep any copies of Apostilles.
If the intended recipient of your apostilled public document has doubts about the origin of the Apostille, you should encourage him or her to immediately contact the Competent Authority mentioned on the Apostille and ask the latter to verify whether it really issued the Apostille. If available, an e-Register allows for a quick online query.
Can Apostilles be rejected in the country where they are to be used?
Apostilles issued in accordance with the requirements of the Convention must be recognized in the country where they are to be used. Apostilles may only be rejected if and when: • their origin cannot be verified (i.e., if and when the particulars on the Apostille do not correspond with those in the register kept by the Competent Authority that allegedly issued the Apostille); or • their formal elements differ radically from the Model Certificate annexed to the Convention. While an Apostille should conform as closely as possible to the Model Certificate annexed to the Convention, in practice Apostilles issued by different Competent Authorities vary in design, size and colour as well as in any additional elements that may be included on the Certificate. Such variations in appearance are not a basis for refusal of an Apostille. Failure to affix an Apostille to the public document Apostille. The mere fact that an Apostille has been affixed by a method that differs from the method(s) employed by the country where it is to be used is not a reason for the rejection of the Apostille. Additional text on an Apostille outside the box with the 10 numbered standard informational items is not a basis for rejection of an Apostille. ‘Apostille Certificates’ issued by countries that are not party to the Convention must be rejected in all other States as being contrary to the Convention.
What about electronic Apostilles and electronic
The Convention does allow Competent Authorities to issue Apostilles in electronic form (e-Apostilles) and to maintain electronic registers of Apostilles (e-Registers). Many Competent Authorities are developing and implementing e-Apostilles and e-Registers, as suggested by the Permanent Bureau (Secretariat) of the Hague Conference under the electronic Apostille Pilot Program (e-APP). For more information about the e-APP in general, and on whether a particular Competent Authority issues e-Apostilles and/or maintains an e-Register, see the e-APP website at www.e-APP.info (in particular the Status of the e-APP).
What is the Hague Conference on Private International Law
The Hague Conference on Private International Law was established in 1893 and became a permanent intergovernmental organisation in 1955. Today, the Hague Conference is the pre-eminent World Organisation dealing with cross-border legal issues in civil and commercial matters. Its mission is to work towards a world in which individuals and companies can enjoy a high degree of legal certainty in cross- border situations. Responding to the needs of a globalising international community, the Hague Conference develops multilateral Conventions (45 since 1893) and assists with their implementation and practical operation. These Hague Conventions deal with such diverse fields as Apostilles; service of process abroad; taking of evidence abroad; shares, bonds and other securities; child abduction, intercountry adoption, maintenance obligations, etc. These Conventions serve to build bridges between various legal systems while respecting their diversity. The Secretariat of the Hague Conference is called the Permanent Bureau. hague conference on private international law permanent bureau in The Hague, The Netherlands.