How Do I Get Documents Apostilled In India?

Define Apostille

Apostille is a way to legalize a document so that it can be used in Hague Countries. A stamp(square-shaped) is placed on the certificates so that it is regarded as legal and valid in other countries. A unique identification number is there on the apostille stamp that another country can use to verify the document.

What Are The Different Types Of Documents That Are Apostilled?

There are mostly three categories of documents that are apostilled.

  • apostilleThe certificates that are covered in the personal documents are marriage certificates, divorce certificates, death certificates, birth certificates, experience certificates, Police Clearance certificates, and many others.
  • The documents that fall under the educational documents are diploma certificates, transfer certificates, nursing certificates, school leaving certificates, degree certificates, and all other certificates related to education.
  • The commercial documents are partnership deeds, property papers, authority letters, insurance certificates, invoices, patents, contract papers, power of Attorney, incorporation papers, and a lot more.

What Is The Whole Procedure That Is Followed To Get The Documents Apostilled?

To get the documents to apostille in India, a candidate has to follow 3-4 essential steps that should be done with utmost care. The process is easy but a bit lengthy, in case of any query register yourself to understand better.

  • Notary Attestation: The initial step of the apostille process is notary attestation. Here all the documents are presented to the notary. All the certificates are examined and then signed and stamped by the notary.
  • SDM/State Attestation: Further, the documents are sent to SDM or State. The documents are checked in either of the department where they are shown. When the authority finds the certificate genuine then the documents are attested.

The time period that is generally taken for the SDM attestation is 7-10 days. Whereas, the State Attestation takes 3-4 weeks. A person should choose SDM attestation in most cases unless the country has asked for the state attestation.

  • Ministry of External Affairs: Here are the certificates that are analyzed carefully before putting a stamp. Each detail is verified carefully by keeping all the major and minor points in mind. Till the time MEA does not feel the documents are real, they are not attested. When the certificates are found authentic then only the Ministry of External Affair (MEA) signs and stamp the certificates.
  • Embassy Attestation: This step is for all the certificates that need to be shown in all the countries that are not a member of the Hague Nation. While embassy attestation, a fee is to be deposited along with all the major and supporting documents. The documents are investigated cautiously. After documents are checked, the embassy signs them.

Why Is It Important To Get A Document Apostille?

There are so many reasons to get a document apostille. Let’s see them below:

  • Legalization: The apostille helps in making a document legalized. The stamp and sign on the documents make them legal and valid to use in other nations.
  • Authenticity: When MEA attests the document then it is regarded that all the details that are printed in the certificate are 100% correct and real. So, apostille adds authenticity to a document.
  • Saves Time: The documents that have stamps and signs of higher authorities, do not require any extra time for verification. A lot of time is wasted when the documents are verified by a message, call, or email. 
  • Hague Nations: Apostille is a solution that all the Hague Nations found when they want to simplify the process. So, this is a step that is important for all the countries that are a member of the Hague Nations.

What Documents Are Required For The Apostille?

There is not much documentation needed for the apostille. The documents that are generally submitted are:

  • Original Certificate (Birth/Marriage/Degree/PCC).
  • Aadhar card or a licensed photocopy
  • Photocopy of a passport last and front page.

What Is The Estimated Time To Get The Apostille Done?

The estimated time that is generally taken for the documents to get the apostille done is 15-20 days. However, there are times when higher authorities take much time to verify. The time may also extend the expected time due to an increase in applications, and also in case of any uncertainty.

Is India A Part Of The Hague Nation?

India is a member of the Hague nation since July 14th, 2005. A meeting was conducted where a lot of countries gather on October 5, 1961. The agenda of the meeting was to find a solution so that the applicant’s documents can be used in another country. This meeting is known as Hague Convention. After this meeting, an apostille document is regarded as valid in all the Hague countries.

What Are The Expenses That A Person Has To Pay For Apostille Documents In India?

There are many expenses that a person needs to pay for the documents to get an apostille in India. The charges are the embassy fees, which are not the same for every country. Further, all the money that is taken at each level of attestation. Moreover, the apostille service charges. So, it is not easy to find out the exact money that a person has to pay for the apostille documents in India.  

For How Much Time An Apostille Document Is Actually Valid?

An apostille document can be used in another country for a period of 6 months. However, the documents are even accepted if it is 6 months or 1 year old by some countries. So, the validity varies with the country and the apostille service providers can guide better about the actual validity of the apostilled document.

Can A Person Directly Visit The Ministry Of External Affairs (MEA) For The Attestation Of Documents?

The answer is no, a person is not allowed to go Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) for the purpose of document attestation. The individuals who have applied before 2012 were allowed to go but after that MEA restricted the attestation process to apostille service providers. Now only they can go for the attestation of documents.

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