the apostile

The apostille

What is the apostille?

Apostille definition

An apostille is a certification provided under the Hague Convention of 1961 for authenticating documents for use in foreign countries. The sole function is to certify the authenticity of the signature of the document.Put simply, an apostille is a certificate that is attached to another document so that it will be accepted when used overseas.

Required document

The certificate is approximately 15cm’s square in size and it is permanently glued to another document. Once attached, the certificate and the document that it is attached to are then embossed with an official government seal.

On the top is the text APOSTILLE, under which the text Convention de La Haye du 5 octobre 1961 (English translation: Hague Convention of 5 October 1961) is placed. In the numbered fields the following information is included:

  1. Country...[name of country issuing apostille] This public document
  2. has been signed by ... [name of the person who signed the document]
  3. acting in the capacity of ... [the capacity in which the person signed the document]
  4. bears the seal/stamp of ... [issuing authority] certified
  5. at ... [place of issue]
  6. the ... [date of issue]
  7. by ... [issuing authority]
  8. No ... [ registration number]
  9. Seal/stamp ... [stamp of issuing authority]
  10. Signature ... [signature of representative of issuing authority]


There are designated authorities in every country to issue apostille certificates. Apostilles are commonly issued for various documents related to adoption cases, for commercial documents, for official documents related to vital statistics and for court records, land records, school documents and patent applications. The apostille is widely accepted by many countries that have signed up to the Hague Convention.
Currently, there are 98 Hague Convention countries and the list continues to grow on a regular basis.

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