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What is Apostille Service and When do you need it?

Apostille service is a type of document attestation service in which documents are attested and legalized in a particular format that is acceptable only in the member countries of the Hague Convention. Public documents of important matters such as birth certificate, educational certificate, marriage certificate, and others require MEA or apostille attestation for official or legal use in a foreign country. It is done in the country where the document was issued for the official stamp and signature for authentication.

Apostille process requires verification and attestation of certificates/documents from different authorities to legalize them. Once apostille is issued by the competent authority in the country of origin, it needs not to be presented at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the destination country (a member of the Hague Convention) for legalization.  As of 2020, there are a total of 118 nations including the USA, UK, France, Japan,  New Zealand, Canada, Hong Kong, Switzerland, India, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Norway, and Thailand that are part of the Hague Convention.

When do you need Apostille?

Document apostille is required when you are planning to travel abroad for reasons like education, employment, business, medical treatment, or to stay with your spouse/family. You will need it while applying for any class of visa as per your travel needs for temporary or permanent residency. For example, if you are traveling to any of a country that is a member of the Hague Convention, you will need apostille when:

  • You are migrating to another country
  • You are starting a new business or company
  • You are looking for an employment opportunity abroad
  • You are going abroad for higher studies
  • You are applying for a family or residential visa

Depending on the purpose of your stay in a country, you may require apostille for the following documents:

  • Marriage certification
  • Birth certificate
  • Divorce certificate
  • Academic or Educational Certificates
  • Commercial documents & business contracts

When you are looking for document apostille for any of the above reasons, you should have all the necessary information related to the attestation process to complete everything appropriately. An Apostille is simply a special sticker or stamp that is issued by the Ministry of External Affairs. One should also know the fact that MEA attests original copies of documents in order to provide an apostille sticker. This sticker is attached to the back of the original document as a sign of its legitimacy and authenticity. 

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