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Obtain an Apostille- All You Need to Know About Apostille Services

Obtain an Apostille- All You Need to Know About Apostille Services

If you are an individual or company planning to expand your business abroad, you might need to obtain an apostille. In layman terms, it is a requisite for laying your foot overseas. The apostille is an authentication, that your documents are valid and original. To best understand apostille services, compare them with notary services. Think of them as an act of legalizing your documents to facilitate trust and security. This is one of the important law firm services.

Why Do You Need to Obtain an Apostille?

  • An apostille is, simply, a form of validation and authentication for your documents. For instance, when a business plans to expand itself in a foreign country, it requires apostille services. 
  • Company bylaws, articles of incorporation, transcripts, etc. are documents that are apostilled for use overseas. Personal documents like marriage certificates, birth certificates, etc. also fall under this category.
  • The apostille authenticates your documents from a series of officials. This process starts from the home country and ends in the foreign country where they are to be used.
  • The apostille facilitates the recognition of your documents in all foreign countries that are a member of the 1961 Hague Convention.
  • You should verify the official’s signature on all your public documents to obtain an apostille.
  • Thereafter, authorities like the Department of State Office of Authentications (US), issue a certificate (apostille) to you.

Prerequisites When You Plan to Obtain an Apostille:

  1. You Will Need To Avail Notary Services

Before planning to undertake apostille services, you will have to notarize all your documents. There are two channels for this - first, originating from the county, and, second, from the state. 

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For a County commissioned notary, the clerk county must certify your documents. Thereafter, the State Secretary of the state of origin of the document notarizes the same. For State commissioned notaries, only the State Secretary needs to certify the documents. 

  1. Send The Apostille Request Form With The Following Information:

    • Name of the country which is requesting documents
    • Relevant mail id (to mail the documents after they are processed)
    • An active phone number 
    • $15 per document as a fee
  1. Ensure Originality Of Signatures:

All documents and signatures must be original if you wish to obtain an apostille. Copies are not accepted in apostille services unless you provide “true certified copies”. This has to be from a notary public. 

A Notary public cannot certify certain documents like birth and death certificates, divorce decrees, etc. Only the State Secretary can certify these as “true copies”.

  • Translation of all documents into English. A verified translator has to do this task. You will also have to notarize these documents.
  • Become aware of the requirements of the country in which you are planning to expand. Study in advance, the legal procedures, documents required to have an apostille, estimated time, etc. 
  • Proper planning is a must. Companies have to submit certain documents to the authorities for a due time. This submission can hamper the current functioning of the business. Prepare in advance as to how you can handle such issues obtain an apostille .

Apostille Services in USA:

Documents that are to be used in a member country of the 1961 Hague Convention fall in this category. Another criterion is that they are federally issued. The Department of State in US apostilles such documents.

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If a US federal officer/ US consular signed your documents, they will need an apostille by the Department of State (US). A judge advocate, a foreign consul diplomatic and military notary also falls in this category.

Apostille Services in the State :

For documents that are issued in the State, the apostille services are performed by a competent authority in the State itself. This also implies its use in member countries of the Hague convention.

A State-issued document to obtain an apostille, does not require over-the-counter verification from the US Apostille Services. The Department of State in US does not issue apostilles for documents that are issued by the State.

The documents which have to be used to obtain an apostille in counties that aren't a member of the Hague convention, require US services. The Department of State in US issues apostilles in such a case. 

Summing Up:

So, obtain an apostille by keeping in mind all the dimensions listed above. Remember these prerequisites and make you apostille journey simpler. Whether you are setting up a business in US or have an ongoing business, you might need apostille services. It is ideal to trust the experts for the same.

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