1. What is Apostille?
An Apostille (pronounced “ah-po-steel”) is a French word meaning certification. It certifies the authenticity of a public document, signature or stamp. It is a form of authentication issued to documents for use in countries that participate in the Hague Convention of 1961. Here is a list of countries that accept Apostilles.
The apostille ensures that public documents issued in one member country will be recognized as valid in another member country. Since the introduction of the apostille as a form of notarial certification, the international transfer of documents has become far easier and faster. Apostilles require no further diplomatic or consular legalization.
2. What's the process of Apostille?
A. Have your documents notarized by a notary public (if any) or get an original document or a certified copy from the authorities.
B. Get the Apostille from the Secretary of State or the U.S. Department of State.
State-issued documents need to be apostilled by the Secretary of State where the documents were issued. A state-issued document with an apostille does not require additional certification by the U.S. Department of State or legalization by a U.S. embassy or consulate overseas to be recognized in a participating country.
Federally-issued documents need to be apostilled by the U.S. Department of State.
3. What countries are members of the Hague Apostille Convention?
Antigua and Barbuda
Bosnia and Herzegovina
China (Hong Kong)
Korea, Republic of
Republic of Moldova
Republic of North Macedonia
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Sao Tome and Principe
Trinidad and Tobago
United States of America
The above Hague Apostille Country List is from here.
Please note that if the document is issued by or will be used in a country that is not a member of the Hague Apostille Convention, the document should be authenticated (not apostilled) by the competent authorities and need additional legalization by a Consulate or Embassy office.
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