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How to Get an Apostille

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Your W-7 Form and supporting documents must include an Apostille Certificate.  Apostille Certificates may only be issued by a Competent Authority designated by the country on whose territory the public document has been executed.  You must contact a Competent Authority in your country and follow your country’s procedures to get the Apostille Certificate.  Click on the following link to find the Competent Authorities for:

Apostilles may be obtained only for public documents. These are documents emanating from an authority or official connected with a court or tribunal of the State (including documents issued by an administrative, constitutional or ecclesiastical court or tribunal, a public prosecutor, a clerk or a process-server); administrative documents; notarial acts; and official certificates which are placed on documents signed by persons in their private capacity, such as official certificates recording the registration of a document or the fact that it was in existence on a certain date and official and notarial authentications of signatures. The main examples of public documents for which Apostilles are issued in practice include birth, marriage and death certificates; extracts from commercial registers and other registers; patents; court rulings; notarial acts and notarial attestations of signatures; academic diplomas issued by public institutions;2 etc. Apostilles may also be issued for a certified copy of a public document.

Who may issue an Apostille and how to assess the origin of an Apostille?

Apostilles may only be issued by a Competent Authority designated by the State from which the public document emanates (for more information, including the list of Competent Authorities designated by the Contracting States, contact details of Competent Authorities and other practical information such as the price for an Apostille, see the “Apostille Section” on the HCCH website). The Permanent Bureau (Secretariat) of the Hague Conference on Private International Law does not issue Apostilles. The Apostille is placed by the Competent Authority on the public document itself or on an allonge. The Apostille should conform as closely as possible to the Model annexed to the Convention.

The effects of an Apostille

The only effect of an Apostille is to certify the authenticity of the signature, the capacity in which the person signing the document has acted, and where appropriate, the identity of the seal or stamp which the document bears. The Apostille does not relate to the content of the underlying document itself (i.e., the apostillised document).

For more about Apostille read a summary.

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