Apostille: Certifying Your Critical Documents

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yoursite.com (french for certification) is a special seal applied by a government authority to certify that a document is a accurate copy of an original.

Apostilles are readily available in countries, which signed the 1961 Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization of Foreign Public Documents, popularly known as The Hague Convention. This convention replaces the previously utilized time-consuming chain certification method, exactly where you had to go to four distinctive authorities to get a document certified. The Hague Convention offers for the simplified certification of public (like notarized) documents to be utilized in countries and territories that have joined the convention.

Documents destined for use in participating countries and their territories need to be certified by one particular of the officials in the jurisdiction in which the document has been executed. With this certification by the Hague Convention Apostille, the document is entitled to recognition in the country of intended use, and no certification by the U.S. Department of State, Authentications Workplace or legalization by the embassy or consulate is expected.

Note, whilst the apostille is an official certification that the document is a true copy of the original, it does not certify that the original document’s content material is appropriate.

Why Do You Have to have an Apostille?

An apostille can be employed whenever a copy of an official document from a further country is required. For example for opening a bank account in the foreign country in the name of your business or for registering your U.S. business with foreign government authorities or even when proof of existence of a U.S. company is expected to enter in to a contract abroad. In all of these cases an American document, even a copy certified for use in the U.S., will not be acceptable. An apostille will have to be attached to the U.S. document to authenticate that document for use in Hague Convention nations.

Who Can Get an Apostille?

Since October 15, 1981, the United States has been aspect of the 1961 Hague Convention abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents. Any individual who requirements to use a U.S. public document (such as Articles of Organization or Incorporation issued by a Secretary of State) in one of the Hague Convention countries may request and receive an apostille for that certain country.

How to Get an Apostille?

Getting an apostille can be a complex procedure. In most American states, the procedure entails obtaining an original, certified copy of the document you seek to confirm with an apostille from the issuing agency and then forwarding it to a Secretary of State (or equivalent) of the state in question with a request for apostille.

Nations That Accept Apostille

All members of the Hague Convention recognise apostille.

Countries Not Accepting Apostille

In nations which are not signatories to the 1961 convention and do not recognize the apostille, a foreign public document will have to be legalized by a consular officer in the nation which issued the document. In lieu of an apostille, documents in the U.S. normally will acquire a Certificate of Authentication.

Legalization is generally accomplished by sending a certified copy of the document to U.S. Division of State in Washington, D.C., for authentication, and then legalizing the authenticated copy with the consular authority for the country exactly where the document is intended to be utilized.

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