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What is an Apostille?

An Apostille is quite simply a certificate attached to another document so that it will be accepted when used overseas. Apostilles can only be attached to documents issued in one country party to the Hague Convention of 1961 and that are to be used in another country which is also a party to the Convention.

Apostilles are strictly for use of public documents abroad. They cannot be used within the United States. Furthermore, an Apostille does not certify the content of the public document to which it relates.

What countries are party to the Apostille Convention?

A comprehensive and updated list of the countries that are party, or will soon be party to the to the Apostille Convention can be found here.

Which documents require Apostilles?

This is determined by you and the entity receiving the document, but examples include:

  • Adoption paperwork
  • Certificate of naturalization
  • Certified copies
  • Recordable documents such as Certificates of Incorporation & Certificates of Good standing, powers of attorney, corporate by-laws.
  • Background checks
  • Powers of attorney
  • School records such as diplomas and transcripts
  • Vital Record such as birth certificates, marriage licenses and divorce decrees

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