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What is an Apostille Seal?

An Apostille is simply the name for a specialised certificate, issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs that recognizes & authenticates documents such as birth, marriages, marital status, deaths certificates and other documents.

The word Apostille (pronounced “ah-po-steel”) derives from the Latin post illa and then French: a marginal note).

When obtained, the Apostille is attached to your original document to verify it is legitimate and authentic so it will be accepted in one of the other countries who are members of the Hague Apostille Convention.

It is an international certification under the international Apostille Convention, (Apostille) drafted by the Hague Conference on Private International Law. It is comparable to a notarisation or certification under domestic law. If the convention applies between two countries, an apostille is sufficient to certify a document’s validity, and removes the need for double-certification, by the originating country and then by the receiving country.

There are four types of documents mentioned in the convention:

  • court documents
  • administrative documents (e.g. civil status documents which will include Birth death & Marriage certificates)
  • notarial acts
  • official certificates which are placed on documents signed by persons in their private capacity, such as official certificates recording the registration of a document or the fact that it was in existence on a certain date and official and notarial authentications of signatures.

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