WHY AND WHEN DO YOU NEED AN APOSTILLE?
An apostille is a certificate used to verify the authenticity of the signatures and seals of officials on legal documents such as birth, death, marriage certificates, etc., for international use. In simple words, an apostille verifies the origin of the document.
An apostille comes in handy when a document from one country must be produced in another country in a legal process. However, it is not required in every country-to-country transaction but only if the country’s law requires an apostille certificate or is a party to the apostille convention.
When do you need an apostille certification?
It is important to know the circumstances under which you might be required to produce an apostille. You may need an apostille if:
- The country where you obtained the apostille is a party to the apostille convention.
- The country where you need to use the document is part of the apostille convention.
- The country where you obtained the document considers it for public use as part of the legal process.
- The country where you need to use the document requires an apostille for recognition as a foreign public.
Note that an apostille is strictly needed to use a public document abroad.
However, it may not be necessary if the laws in the country where you need to use the document have simplified or abolished the requirement of an apostille.
Another case is if the country where the document is to be used has exempted the public document from that specific legal requirement which may have resulted from an agreement between them and the country that issued it.
Documents that require an apostille certification
Some of the most common documents eligible for an apostille include:
- Birth certificates.
- Marriage certificates.
- Death certificates
- Court documents.
- Notarial acts.
- Administrative documents etc.
What is in the apostille certification?
As you click here to learn more about obtaining an apostille, it is crucial to know what an apostille contains. Although apostilles may vary from one state authority to another in the united states, most of them have the following:
- Country whereby the apostille is to be used.
- Information about the public document that the apostille is to be affixed.
- The stamp and seal on the public document.
- The capacity of the public official
- The specific place of issuance of the apostille.
- Date of issuance of the apostille.
- The official who issued the apostille.
- The certificate number of the apostille.
- Stamp, seal, and signature of competent authority.
A document is only eligible for an apostille if certified by an officer recognized by the authority issuing the apostille. Certification also includes public documents signed by a state registrar, county clerk, or notary public.
When the document is certified that it is authentic, an apostille can be issued by a specific authority in the country party to the apostille convention. For instance, in the United States, apostilles are signed by competent authorities like the US Department of State Office of Authentications, the secretary of state, the clerks, and deputy clerks of federal courts.
If you want to do a country-to-country transaction, you should inquire from your public document’s intended recipient if an apostille certification is required.
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