Why do some documents need an apostille and others need legalization?globalcustomerservice
A document may require an apostille or legalization depending on the country in which it needs to be submitted. Most countries in the world are divided into two categories. Countries that are signatories to the Hague Apostille Convention require an apostille. Countries that are not part of the Hague Apostille Convention require documents to follow the (consular) legalization process.
If I have more than one document issued by the same authority, do I need an apostille for each one?globalcustomerservice
The authorities in the country you are sending the apostilled documents to will need to specify this for you.
Where can I find out more information about Apostilles?globalcustomerservice
"The ABCs of Apostilles" (PDF) brochure provides basic information about the Apostille Convention and the Convention's operation that has been prepared by the Permanent Bureau (Secretariat) of the Hague Conference on Private International Law and is provided with the Permanent Bureau's permission.
Which countries are members of the Hague Apostille Convention?globalcustomerservice
Antigua and Barbuda
Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Cape Verde
China, People's Republic of
(Hong Kong & Macao Only)
Korea, Republic of
Moldova, Republic of
North Macedonia, Republic of
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Sao Tome and Principe
Trinidad and Tobago
United Kingdom of Great Britain
and Northern Ireland
When do I need an Apostille?globalcustomerservice
Apostille is needed if you intend to use an official document issued in one country in another country. Moreover, both countries must be members of The Apostille Hague Convention.
What is an apostille?globalcustomerservice
An apostille is a certificate attached to an official document (for example, a birth or marriage certificate) that certifies:
- the authenticity of the signature of the public official who signed the document,
- the capacity in which that public official acted, and
- the authenticity of the seal (or stamp) affixed to the document
The Apostille does not validate the contents of the document.
In order that a document issued in one country can be recognized in another country, that document must be legalized or authenticated. For countries that are members of The 1961 Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents, this legalization process has been simplified. Under The Apostille Hague Convention, signatory countries have agreed to recognize each other's official documents if they have an Apostille.
For non-signatories, the legalization of documents is more complicated and requires that the document be authenticated by a consular official.
The word “Apostille” comes from the French verb “apostiller”, which derives from the old French word "postille" meaning “annotation,” and before it the Latin word "postilla".