When it comes to document processing related to a foreign affair, you may come across many technical terms. Apostille service is such term you would hear when you need to obtain visa from a foreign country. Regardless how frequent this terms is used; many people hardly know what it means and what it does. This article is written to explain the term apostille and describe its uses.
Basically, the apostille is an official document or a certification. This is accepted within all the countries that took part in The Hague Convention in 1961. In addition to that, some other countries latterly agreed to recognize apostille as their official format of international document validation. Now, these apostille certifications are offered either in the form of a stamp or an attached document depending on the type of the document to be authenticated.
When an apostille certificate is issued in the physical format (not just the stamp), it has the dimensions of 15cm X 17cm. Such certificate is then attached to the respective document that needs to be recognized internationally. This particular document is attached to verify that the validity of the official signatures on the original document is genuine. However, such apostille does not technically verify the genuineness of the information it carries. As per the international law, many different countries have come to an agreement to issue and accept apostille from each other so the document have the same reputation even when they have crossed the borders.
Do you need an embassy attestation with an apostille?
The simplest answer is “NO” if it is related to a Hague Convention Country. You need to possess an embassy attestation only when the official documents should be presented before an authority which is NOT a member of the Hague Convention. When your documents are requested by a country that accepts Hague convention, you don’t need to worry about embassy attestation anymore; just the apostille certificate will be enough. You should be happy if you don’t have to produce embassy attestation considering the process’s complicated methodology and the amount of documents to handle. However, most of the apostille service providers can assist you in obtaining embassy attestation service, so that you will have fewer worries.
As an individual, however, you will find it bit difficult to handle the process considering the methodology. This is when you require the assistance of a certified apostille agent. Usually, these agents are perfectly experienced in the field of documentation handling and they have highly experienced in-house notaries to attend the tasks. Simply, these agents are capable of making the process simplified. They also have coordinated with the relevant solicitors many times, so they are capable of accomplishing the undertaken tasks very promptly and swiftly.
How should the document be delivered?
You should always remember that you deal with your important documents and you will face with huge conflicts if any of those documents misplaced. So, you should work with adequate precautions in order to get the documents certified safely. Either you should hand deliver the documents to a reliable apostille agency or you need to pick a reputed deliver service. Royal Mail too offers a very reliable delivery service you can count on. However, if you prefer to deliver certificates via normal post, you should remember that you don’t get any insurance or tracking number for the documents.
If you have picked a professionally experienced, reliable apostille agent, you will be able to get the documents certified within 2 working days in most of the cases. However, upon exceptional cases at may take additional day or two to get the work completed.
How to distinguish a professional apostille agent
Since money is involved, like in any other industry, there can be fraudsters in the document processing field too. No matter how fast you need the service or how busy you are; you should be smart enough to avoid those fraudsters and get a genuine service provider. Here’s how to distinguish a professional apostille service.
- Check for the website
See if they have an official website. This website is their online existence. It should have a very official appearance with professionalism. Check if they have provided information of their physical addresses, contact numbers and the details of the staff. More importantly, their registration number should be mentioned there.
- See if they have enough experience
See for how many years they have been in the industry. Make sure you don’t spend money on an armature apostille agent who can risk your money and precious documents
- Read customer testimonials
Check for the customer testimonials and measure the quality of their services.
After selecting an apostille service, be sure to communicate with them and clarify all the information like delivery time, fees and whatever you are unaware of.