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    Apostille

    Apostille / Document Authentication

    Apostille

    • An "apostille" is an authentication form issued to documents for use in countries which participate in the Hague Convention of 1961.
    • US State Department provides a list of countries that accept apostilles
    • If the country of intended use does not participate in the Hague Convention , documents being sent to that country can be "authenticated" or "certified"
    • The Office of the Secretary of State provides apostille and authentication service to U.S. citizens and foreign nationals on documents that will be used overseas.

    • The U.S. State Department provides general information about document authentications and apostilles under the Hague Convention of 1961.

    The most common types of documents need an Apostille are

    • Birth certificate
    • Death Certificate
    • Marriage Certificate
    • License Certificate
    • Decrees of divorce

    Other common types of documents are

    • Company bylaws and articles of incorporation
    • Power of attorney (for validity outside the United States.)
    • Diplomas
    • School transcripts Letters relating to degrees
    • References and job certifications
    • Home studies
    • Deeds of assignments
    • Distributorship agreements
    • Papers for adoption purposes, etc.

    • If you are planning to live, work, travel, get married, sell a home, buy a home, conduct business etc., then you need to Apostille your documents for acceptance in the other country.
    • Countries who are members of the Hague Apostille Convention will require you to authenticate your legal documents prior to being sent to them.
    • Documents without an Apostille will be rejected by countries who are members of the Hague Apostille Convention.
    • If the country is not a member, a certificate will be attached by the Secretary of State.
    • In the United States, every States’ Secretary of State can issue an Apostille and a Certificate.
    • The Secretary of the District of Columbia issues Apostilles for documents originating in the DC area.
    • The U.S. Department of State also issued Apostilles. These documents are typically issued by the Federal Government

    (Example: FBI Apostille, Certification of Naturalization, and FDA Documents).

    • Countries who are not members of the Hague Apostille convention may also request that your documents to be authenticated by the US Department of State prior to Embassy / Consular Legalization.

    • Each country party to the Hague Convention designates an authority within its territory that can issue apostilles.
    • For example, in the USA, it is the office of the state’s secretary. In practice, you should contact a notary to get an apostille.
    • Please note that some notaries may not be familiar with this procedure they may propose you to be more familiar with.
    • If it does not bear the term APOSTILLE in big, that's not it.
    • Finally, please bear in mind that there are some countries that did not sign this treaty yet and thus no apostilles can be obtained.

    • An apostille can be used whenever a copy of an official document from another country is needed.
    • For example for international marriages, adoptions, inheritance, but also for plain contracts.
    • The apostille is an official certification that the document is a true copy of the original. It does not certify that the original documents content is correct, however. The following states/countries are all members of the Hague Convention and recognize apostilles.
    • The apostille certificate will be legally recognized and no further legalization or embassy certification should be required.
    • If the country you intend to present the documents in is not listed please check with the entity you intend to accept the apostille. They very often recognize an Apostille certificate.

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