Under various circumstances, people may need to use their public documents abroad. Marriage certificates, death certificates, diplomas obtained from public universities and even notarized documents are among the most frequently used documents. No matter how confident the bearers about the genuineness of these documents, the originality of all these certificates should be methodically authenticated before using them abroad. Generally, to obtain the legal geniuses (to present in a foreign country) for a certificate, you need to involve in a chain of individual documentation processes and spend a considerable amount of money.
Practically, it can be exceptionally difficult to verify the legal status or the genuineness of a document when such is presented in a foreign country. However, in 1961, this complex and costly legalization process was abolished under the famous Hague Convention. The process was replaced with a simple alternative authenticity method called apostille (in French to certify or authenticate). Each and every apostille (dated and signed) comes with a unique reference number which is highly useful for future proceedings. At the end of the certification process, the apostille certificate, which carries necessary information to guarantee the authenticity of the original, will be possessed. This apostille comes with the signature of the authorized person that acts representing the respective organization that issued the original certificate or the document. Compared to the old method, apostille certificate is a very convenient, time saving and affordable process that is admired by everyone.
Presently, 69 countries recognize apostille concept as they agreed in the Hague Convention. When you plan ahead to involve in a foreign affair, the respective governing bodies or the organizations will let you know whether you need apostille certificate or not. Whenever the documents are presented with an apostille certificate, your documents immediately gain an international legal validity. All the advices pertaining to legality of the documents are available at the relevant government agencies. They are available at the embassy of the country or the respective consulate or High Commission too.
If, by any chance, the country you reside or the country the documents are to be presented doesn’t accept apostille convention, you should be able to contact the respective authorities and see what sort of options available for you. As per the general rule, almost all the public documents need apostille certificate for them to be recognized in relevant countries. Such documents can include but not limited to birth certificates, death certificates, marriage certificates, notarized attestations, patents, diplomas obtained from public universities, patent certificates and court documents. Depending on the law of the country, the documents that are considered as public may vary.
As per the terms in the UK, the apostille is a paper attachment. This particular attachment is fixed to the original document on permanent basis by the foreign and commonwealth Office. Such set of document is considered as an apostille and authenticated by the countries that took part in the Hague Convention. Selecting a proper agency that issues apostille can make your work a lot easier. They are capable of simplifying everything for you and save your precious time.
Who can issue apostilles
Institutes that are authorized to issue apostilles are called Competent Authorities. Some of the countries have only one authority while some countries have several. These entities handle different types of documents; if your country has several institutes to issue apostilles, you need to make sure that you use the right place that matches your request.
Generally, most of the apostille services are offered within the same day. Before you go for an apostille, you need to consider few things.
- The apostille you obtain should be accepted in both the country you are going to present it and in the country where it is issued.
- The documents you request apostilles must be considered as a public document by law.
- You can’t cover multiple certificates with a single apostille certificate. You need different apostille for each of the certificate.
- It is good if you know the charges and the accepted payment methods prior to initiating the process.
How to spot fake apostille services
Unfortunately, just like in any other field, there are various fake agents exist in the apostille services too. Therefore, it is important for you to know the ways of spotting a fake agent and save your time and money. These fake apostille services can disappoint you mainly in two ways;
- You may lose your important documents. Although they promise you to deliver them back with the relevant apostille, but your documents will never reach you.
- They will place fake apostille seals which may result you to lose your opportunity in the foreign country and cause adverse effects.
Therefore you should probably try to find a reputed apostille service that has years of experience in the industry. First and foremost, you should know how long they operate. It is always wise not to fall into an agency that has no experience. Then, refer to their website and see the testimonials of the customers. These customer testimonials are exceptionally valuable than fancy advertising lines.
Carefully observe if their website is a copy of a legitimate one that in the business for several years. Don’t fall into the sites that appear just like another popular legitimate one. Interestingly, some of these sites try to appear as another site and request customers to deposit payments into an entirely different address.
The payment method they accept is another strong clue to verify the legitimacy of the service. Never go for a company that accepts wire transfers only. It is a very suspicious act of a fake company.
At the bottom-line, if you end up with a reputed apostille certificate issuer, you will be able to save your valuable money, time and the documents in particular. A properly signed, authenticated apostille certificate can help you to accomplish your foreign mission with no burden whatsoever. Such certificate actually maximizes your international potential and opens a wide array of opportunities.