Apostille attestation in India : An Apostille is a type of attestation in which documents are legalized in a specific format that is accepted in all countries of the Hague Convention. The Apostille Stamp is a computer-generated square stamp that will stamp on the back of the document by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of India.
In simple language, Apostille is an attestation done for personal documents such as birth/death/marriage certificates, For each country, there is a different Apostille.
State Apostille attestation is required before MEA, where, depending on the type of document, the relevant state certification is required. For example, in the case of school documents, a certificate from the Ministry of National Education is required.
In the case of personal documents, the Department of Home Affairs or the Department of General Administration of the State concerned must certify the document prior to authentication by MEA
Apstille Attestation in India
- An Apostille can either be placed directly on the original public document itself by means of seals, stickers or rubber stamps, or it can be on a separate page and attached to the public document by staples, ribbons, etc.
- It legalizes the use of your personal documents like birth certificate, death certificate and marriage certificate, and educational documents like degree, diploma and matriculation certificates, in any of the other 104 countries that are members of the Hague convention.
- Since India is also a member of the Hague Convention, Indian citizens who wish to study, work or move in with their husband or wife living abroad can get an Apostille attestation in India.
Benefits of apostille
Citizens who have been issued an apostille attestation in India for certain original documents have the advantage that they will not be required to get their documents attested separately while applying for one or more member countries of the Hague Convention.
Can all documents be apostilled?
The apostille certificate or stamp is applicable to public documents only. The law of the country in which the document was issued is the sole authority that can decide whether a particular document can be called a “public document” or not.
Apostilles are more commonly issued for documents like birth, death, and marriage certificates, documents issued by an authority or an official connected with a court, tribunal or commission, school, university, and other academic diplomas issued by public institutions, commercial registers, patents, notarial acts and notarial attestations of signatures. The Apostille certification is not applicable to documents executed by diplomatic or consular agents.
Documents required for apostille
The following documents are required for apostilling certificates:
- The original document that you want to get apostilled.
- Photocopy of the document mentioned above
- Photocopy of the first page of a valid passport
Can photocopies of original documents be apostilled?
No, only original documents or true copies can be apostilled.
Apostille attestation procedure
Authentication of documents
You should first get all of the original documents that you want to be apostilled authenticated by the designated authorities of the state or union territory from where your document was issued.
Personal documents will be authenticated Home/General Administration Department of the state government or Union Territory where the document was issued.
For educational documents, the Education Department of the state government or union territory is the designated authority to authenticate the document.
In the case of commercial documents, pre-authentication is done by the respective Chambers of Commerce.
Legalisation of documents
After the authentication phase is over, the Ministry of External Affairs will legalize the documents on the basis of the signature of the designated authorities depending on the type of document (Home/ General Administration Department of state government or union territory for personal documents, Chambers of Commerce for commercial documents, Education Department of state government or union territory for educational documents). Kindly note that the MEA does not take any responsibility for the contents of the documents.
With effect from July 2012, the Ministry of External Affairs has stopped accepting documents directly at their counters at Patiala House Annexe in New Delhi.
The original document or the true copy must now be submitted directly to any of one the agencies mentioned below:
- M/S Superb Enterprises Pvt. Ltd. Centres in Bangalore, New Delhi, Kochi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Chandigarh, and Pune
- M/s BLS International Services Ltd centers in New Delhi, Chandigarh, and Navi Mumbai
- M/s IVS Global Service Pvt. Ltd. centres in Srinagar, Chandigarh, and New Delhi
- IVS Collection centres in Jalandhar, Bangalore, Goa, and New Delhi
- M/s Superb Enterprises centres in Chandigarh and New Delhi
- VFS Global Attestation Centres in Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, New Delhi, and Chandigarh
- Ministry of External Affairs Branch Secretariat in Kolkata, Guwahati, Hyderabad and Chennai
Apostille attestation fees
The fee for apostille attestation in India is Rs 50 per document. Since theMEA does not accept documents directly from the applicant, the payment along with all the documents for the purpose of apostille by MEA is to be submitted and collected from the designated outsourced agencies mentioned above.
The outsourced agency also charges an additional fee for the collection and delivery of the documents for the purpose of apostille by the MEA. For personal documents, the extra charges are Rs22, for education documents it is Rs18, and for commercial documents, it is Rs 16.
Note: The documents and payment should be submitted at the designated centres in person. Do not send them by post or by courier.
Countries that accept Apostille
The following countries are members of the Hague Convention and accept the Apostille attestation in India certification:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Brunei Darussalam
- Cape Verde
- Cook Islands
- People’s Republic of China (Hong Kong & Macao Only)
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- Republic of Korea
- Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
- Marshall Islands
- Republic of Moldova
- New Zealand
- Russian Federation
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- San Marino
- Sao Tome and Principe
- South Africa
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In case of rejection of Apostille attestation?
Often candidates wonder if their applied documents for Apostille attestation in India can be rejected?
- In most cases, this procedure is correct and cannot be overruled. However, Apostilles can only be rejected if and when the origin of the Apostille cannot be verified.
- The official elements are completely different from the model certificate added to the agreement
Points to consider before Apostille Attestation
There are some points to consider before Apostille attestation. That are:a
- Notary authorized staff
- Authorization by the State or the State secretariat concerned or the SDM certification according to the procedure
- Apostille MEA
How much time it will take for apostille attestation
It normally takes the government 23 business days to do Apostille attestation in India. But for educational documents or where state verification is required, it can take 714 government business days.