WHAT IS AN APOSTILLE CERTIFICATE?
An Apostille is a certification provided under The Hague Convention of 1961 for authenticating documents for use in foreign countries.
Its only function is to certify the authenticity of the signature of a document.
WHEN CAN THE HAGUE APOSTILLE BE USED?
An apostille may be used only between states which are members of the Multilateral Hague Convention.
The list of states participating in this convention can be found at the bottom of this blog.
A Hague Apostille in needed when:
- The country where the document was issued is party to the Apostille Convention;
- The country in which the document is to be used is party to the Apostille Convention;
- The law of the country where the document was issued considers it to be a public document;
- The country in which the document is to be used requires an Apostille in order to recognition it as a foreign public
NOTE: An Apostille may never be used for the recognition of a document in the country where that document was issued.
An Apostille is only for the use of public documents abroad.
WHAT DOES THE APOSTILLE CERTIFICATE LOOK LIKE?
An apostille is placed directly on the document to be authenticated in the form of a 9×9 centimetre stamp and must always be titled “Apostille” (Hague Convention of 1961).
Generally, the authorities in the designated country will require a translation of the original. In this case, the translation must be certified instead of the original document. Depending on the type of document, you may need a translation from a sworn translator.
This is an example picture of an Apostille:
WHICH INFORMATION DOES THE APOSTILLE NEED?
As a legal document, an Apostille Certificate must follow a prescribed format with the following information:
1. Country of issue
2. Who has signed the document
3. The capacity in which the person signed the document
4. Details of any seal on the document
5. Place of issue
6. Date of issue
7. Issuing authority
8. Apostille Certificate number
9. Stamp of issuing authority
10. Signature of representative of issuing authority
WHERE CAN I APPLY FOR AN APOSTILLE?
The application for an apostille must be made by the holder of the document in the document’s country of issue. Each member state of The Hague Convention determines which authorities are responsible for issuing the apostille.
The fees for issuing the apostille also depend on the respective country.
HAGUE APOSTILLE COUNTRY LIST
These are the countries who have signed The Hague Convention:
Antigua and Barbuda
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Macedonia (FYR of)
China (Hong Kong)
Republic of Moldova
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Sao Tome and Principe
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Trinidad and Tobago
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK)
United States of America (USA)
Republic of Kyrgyzstan