Apostille is a certification made on a person’s documents. Some the documents that require for apostille services are birth and marriage certificates, business agreements and diplomas. Issuance of an apostille is at the office of the secretary of state. In the United States of America, secretary of state issues apostille on personal and commercial documents. Some of these documents are birth and marriage certificates, diplomas and transcripts among others. It usually takes between two and three business days to get the apostille issued on this documents. There is always a fee charged including the notarization and secretary of state fee. Another form of apostille is the one issued by the US department of State. This issuances is for the documents from US federal agencies. Some of the examples include Naturalization Certificates, INS documents and certificates to foreign government. This apostille takes four to five business days to issue. There is always a fee charged including the department fee.
Not all countries recognize the apostille certificate. It is recognized by those countries who are members of The 1961 Hague conventional. For those that are not members of The Hague Conventional, documents are authenticated by the respective people in the government offices.
Benefits of an Apostille Certificate
An apostille certificate is vital when you need to use the documents in a foreign countries. When travelling to some countries, producing original documents is not enough. An apostille certificate is required to ascertain and prove your identity.
An apostille is used to abolish the simple deceptive legalization procedures. Before an apostille, people used to take short cuts to get legalization to do businesses in foreign countries. This was done through bribery and corruption. It is not a good moral and actually drags the economy of the country. Now that there is the need for an apostille, the wrong methods used to get legalization in various fields are fought.
An apostille helps in the economic development of a nation. This is because, there are no illegal businesses to be conducted. For instance, if you have a business agreement with a company from a foreign state, an apostille is needed. Business agreements are issued with an apostille. A business agreement written to conduct illegal businesses cannot get issued with an apostille.
There are some documents that are internationally accepted after an additional authentication is done on them. These documents include, adoption papers, birth and death certificates and degree papers just to name a few. Looking at this, you will realize that most of them are related to personal identification. Perhaps you are in a foreign country but you claim to be born there. Others will claim they were adopted. Word of mouth or a simple birth certificate or adoption paper is not enough proof. To get an apostille certificate, the person in charge will first verify the document that you have. In case of alterations, you will not be issued with an apostille certificate. And obviously every employer must ensure properly completion of I-9 employment verification form before hiring for employment in United States of America.
Information Needed in Order to Get an Apostille Certificate
You will not just go the office of the secretary of state and request for an apostille certificate, there are requirements. They include
Original notarized document. A secretary of state cannot process an apostille certificate without knowing what the certificate is all about. An original or a certified copy of the certificate is needed for checking. It has to be checked for originality and also to help the person in charge know the type of apostille certificate needed. You might not be conversant with the language used here.
Processing fee. It is not a charitable process, a fee has to be paid. This may defer in different nations. The fee is not constant and it is also charged per page for those documents with more than one page.
Apostille request form. You have to fill this form to get an apostille certificate. The form has the following details;
The name of the country where the document is needed. As I said, not all countries are part of The Hague Convention, therefore, different countries have different certification requirements. Knowing the country requesting the document will help the person in charge know the certification to give.
Phone number. For the phone number, give a number that you use during the day. This is because any contacts are during the day. Government offices have specific working hours and days. They make calls during office hours only. The number is important for questioning and any other clarification that is needed.
Mailing information. This like your address. Once the documents are processed, they will be mailed to the address you give. Be keen when giving this information to avoid any inconveniences.
Some documents that need an apostille certificate are for a minor. In this case, the name for the name given is for the person following up the request. The adult in charge should use his/her name.
Comparing an apostille certificate to an authentication certificate, the former is more convenient. It requires less time to get an apostille certificate processed than an authentication certificate. It is also cheaper and more affordable to get an apostille certificate. The only major disadvantage is that it is limited in some countries.
An apostille certification is vital for any legal activity to be conducted in a foreign country. The countries that are members of the Hague Convention have made this less cumbersome for citizens. It is important to know whether you country is a member or not so that you know the type of a certificate issued. The certificate applies only when you need to travel in foreign countries for some legal reason. Activities like tourism may not require an apostille certificate. When you get an apostille certificate for a certain document you are good to go. You won’t need to get a certificate for that document again. Unless you are using it in a country that does not recognize apostille certificates. Know the office responsible for issuing apostille certificates in your country.