The Hague Convention of October 1961 Abolished the Requirement of Legalization of foreign public documents. The Apostille Treaty is an international treaty drafted by the Hague Conference on Private International Law. Any document Apostilled in one member country is acceptable in all other member countries who are signatories to the Hague Convention. Apostille is affixed by competent authorities designated by the government of a country which is party to the convention. Apostille is done for personal documents like Birth, Marriage, Death Certificates, Affidavits, Educational documents like Degrees, Diplomas, Secondary level Certificates etc.
Apostille stamp is a square shaped computer generated sticker, pasted on reverse of the Original Documents by the MEA, India. MEA Apostille Stamp is a unique sticker having a unique identification number, through which any member country of The Hague convention can check its authenticity online. Under normal circumstances, once the document has been Apostilled by MEA, it does not need to be attested any more from the concerned foreign embassy.
Step 1: Authentication of documents
All original documents/certificates requiring MEA to issue Apostille must be first authenticated by the designated authorities of the State/Union Territory from where the document is issued. Apostille can only be issued by MEA when the respective relevant state authority has attested a particular document. A list of the Regional Authentication Centers and the designated authorities can be seen on the MEA website
Step 2: Legalization of documents
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) thereafter, issues the Apostille on the document on the basis of the signature and seal of the designated authorities of the State Government concerned. Hence, MEA does not take responsibility of the contents of the documents. Broadly, there are three types of documents for Apostille procedures –
Countries That Accept Apostille
Following are the countries that have signed The Hague Convention and are member of it. As they are signatory members of the Apostille treaty they do not require a compulsory MEA general attestation and demand MEA to issue Apostille to the documents intended to be used in their country. But the requirement of attestation and Apostille can vary depending upon the type of document:
Bosnia and Herzegovina
China, People’s Republic of
Korea, Republic of
The former Yugoslav Macedonia
United Kingdom of Great
United States of America
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