An apostille (french for certification) is a special seal applied by a government authority to certify that a document is a accurate copy of an original.

Apostilles are out there in countries, which signed the 1961 Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization of Foreign Public Documents, popularly identified as The Hague Convention. This convention replaces the previously employed time-consuming chain certification process, where you had to go to 4 different authorities to get a document certified. The Hague Convention offers for the simplified certification of public (including notarized) documents to be applied in countries and territories that have joined the convention.


Documents destined for use in participating countries and their territories should be certified by a single of the officials in the jurisdiction in which the document has been executed. With this certification by the Hague Convention Apostille, the document is entitled to recognition in the nation of intended use, and no certification by the U.S. Division of State, Authentications Office or legalization by the embassy or consulate is expected.

Note, when the apostille is an official certification that the document is a accurate copy of the original, it does not certify that the original document’s content material is right.

Why Do You Need an Apostille?

An apostille can be applied whenever a copy of an official document from a different nation is needed. For example for opening a bank account in the foreign country in the name of your company or for registering your U.S. company with foreign government authorities or even when proof of existence of a U.S. enterprise is essential to enter in to a contract abroad. In all of these cases an American document, even a copy certified for use in the U.S., will not be acceptable. An apostille should be attached to the U.S. document to authenticate that document for use in Hague Convention nations.

Who Can Get an Apostille?

Since October 15, 1981, the United States has been element of the 1961 Hague Convention abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents. Everyone who needs to use a U.S. public document (such as Articles of Organization or Incorporation issued by a Secretary of State) in one of the Hague Convention nations may possibly request and obtain an apostille for that certain country.

How to Get an Apostille?

Obtaining an apostille can be a complex approach. In most American states, the course of action entails getting an original, certified copy of the document you seek to confirm with an apostille from the issuing agency and then forwarding it to a Secretary of State (or equivalent) of the state in question with a request for apostille.

social security apostille That Accept Apostille

All members of the Hague Convention recognise apostille.

Nations Not Accepting Apostille

In countries which are not signatories to the 1961 convention and do not recognize the apostille, a foreign public document ought to be legalized by a consular officer in the nation which issued the document. In lieu of an apostille, documents in the U.S. commonly will get a Certificate of Authentication.

Legalization is generally achieved by sending a certified copy of the document to U.S. Division of State in Washington, D.C., for authentication, and then legalizing the authenticated copy with the consular authority for the nation where the document is intended to be made use of.

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