Attestation and Apostille
What is the difference between Apostille & Attestation?
Apostille – Certificate issued by a designated authority in a country where the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement for Legalization of Foreign Public Documents, Apostille Convention, is in force. Apostille is a certificate which verifies and confirms the seal and signature of person who authenticates the document. There are designated authorities in every country to issue apostille certificates or legalization. Apostille are commonly issued for various documents related to adoption cases, for commercial documents, for educational documents and for court records, land records, school documents and patent applications.
Not all countries can issue apostille, but only the countries who had signed ‘Hague agreement for abolishing the need for public documents’. Once apostille is obtained, it is automatically considered ‘valid’ and ‘acceptable’ in all The Hague convention countries.
The following are considered as public deeds within the meaning of that Hague Convention:
- Any document issued by an authority or by an official covered by a jurisdiction of the State, including those coming from the public prosecutor, a clerk of the court or a bailiff.
- Administrative documents such as deeds from the public records office.
- Notarial deeds.
- Official declarations such as references of registration, visas for a set date and certifications of signature, applied to private agreements.
Apostille in India – An authentication of the document confirming the originality by the External Affairs Dept. of the Central Govt., after obtaining the authentication from the concerned State Govt. departments as required. Countries which are a part of Hague Convention falls under Apostille.
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Attestation – This is a declaration by a witness that an instrument has been executed in his or her presence according to the formalities required by law. It is not the same as an Acknowledgment, a statement by the maker of a document that verifies its authenticity.
The procedure for Attestation / Legalization / Authentication varies depending upon the state to which the institution / college / University belongs, type of document and the country in which you intend to use the document.
STATE WISE AUTHENTICATION PROCEDURE
Earlier people knew of the HRD in New Delhi for the initial step in the attestation procedure which no more exists. Sicne July 2007, the HRD ministry has delegated this work to the respective Home ministry functioning under the State Government. This holds true for all Indian states except Kerala.
Earlier people only knew about the HRD, ministry in new Delhi which is no more. Since July 2007, the DHRD ministry has delegated this work to the respective home Departments of each state.
Since the majority of NRI’s residing in the GCC countries is from Kerala, the Govt. of India has made an exception by assigning the task of placing the authentic seal to NORKA centers (Trivandrum, Ernakulam, Calicut)
After obtaining the attestation seal from the concerned Home Department/NORKA, the certificate is then sent to the MEA for placing their seal / stamp
The document will then have to be stamped by the host country’s embassy/consulate in India.
The procedure is finally completed where upon arriving in the host country, the document is finally sent to the MFA for the final seal of attestation.
Types of Documents
Unlike educational documents, non educational documents eg:Marriage Certificate, Birth Certificate, POA, TC. attestation procedure is slightly different.
The document is first attested by Notary (Home Department) in Mumbai, Maharashtra, Hence it is legalized by the host country’s embassy or consulate.
Attestation in India It is a three way process for Indian documents from the state department, then from the central ministry department and finally from the concerned countrys embassy to which migration is sought.