Frequently Asked Questions
1. To which documents does the Apostille convention apply?
The convention only applies to public documents whether or not a document is a public document is determined by the law of the country in which the document was issued. Countries typically apply the convention to a wide variety of documents. Most Apostilles are issued for documents of an administrative nature, including birth, marriage and death certificates; documents emanating from an authority or an official connected with a court, tribunal or commission; extracts from commercial registers; patents; notarial acts; notarial attestations (acknowledgements) of signatures; social, university and other academic diplomas issued by public institutions.
2. In which countries does the Apostille convention apply?
The Apostille convention only applies if both the country where the public document was issued and the country where the public document is to be used are parties to the convention.
3. What do I do if either the country where my public document was issued or the country where I need to use my public document is not a party to the Apostille convention?
If your document was issued or is to be used in a country where the Apostille convention does not apply, you should contact the Embassy or a Consulate of the country where you intend to use the document in order to find out what your options are.
4. What is an Apostille and when do I need one ?
An apostille is a certificate that authenticates the origin of a public document (e.g., educational, a birth, marriage or death certificate, a judgement, an extract of a register or a notarial attestation). Apostilles can only be issued for documents issued in one country party to the Apostille convention and that are to be used in another country which is also a party to the convention.
5. Where do I get an Apostille?
Each country that is party to the convention must designate one or several authorities that are entitled to issue Apostilles. These authorities are called competent Authorities only they are permitted to issue Apostilles.
6. What do I need to know before requesting an Apostille?
Before you approach a Competent Authority about getting an Apostille, you should consider the most important question is:
Does the Apostille Convention apply in both the country that issued the public document and the country where I intend to use it.
7. Do all the Apostilles have to look exactly the same?
No. An annex to the Apostille Convention provides a Model Apostille Certificate. Apostille should confirm as closely as possible to 5this Model Certificate.
8. How are Apostilles affixed to public documents?
An Apostillemust be placed directly on the public document itself or on a separate attached page (called an allonge).
9. What are the effects of an Apostille?
An Apostille only certifies the origin of the public document to which it relates; it certifies the authenticity of the signature or seal of the person or authority that signed or sealed the public document and the capacity in which this was done.An Apostille does not certify the content of the public document to which it relates.
10. Once I have an Apostille, do I need anything else to show that the Signature or Seal on my public document is genuine?
An Apostille issued by the relevant Competent Authority is all that is required to establish that a signature or seal on a public document is genuine and to establish the capacity of the person or authority that signed or sealed the public document.
11. If the recipient of my Apostille wants to verify my Apostille, what should I suggest?
Each Competent Authority is required to keep a register in which it records the date and number of every Apostille it issues, as well as information relating to the person or authority that signed or sealed the underlying public documents.
12. Can Apostille be rejected in the country where are to be used?
Apostille issued in accordance with the requirement of the convention must be recognized in the country where they are to be used.