What is Apostille? What is the process?
Apostille can be understood as a process of certification or authentication of legal documents. It is similar to the attestation of documents done in India for local purposes. For international facilitation, in place of attesting documents, Apostille documents are required to obtain visa. The process authenticates the genuineness of the documents and certificates like marriage, birth, death, degrees, mark sheets, diploma etc. Apostille authentication is must for study, employment and AU Pair visas. Apostille authentication is one time process which is respected by 105 member countries of Hague Convention. The Convention was signed in 1961 abolished the requirement of legalization of foreign public documents when one travels from one country to another. Under the Convention, it was agreed that any document apsotilled in one country would be acceptable to all other member countries of Hague Convention.
Apostille is affixed by a competent authority in a country on the back of a document in the shape of a square or round sticker. In India, Apostille authentication is done by Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). Once MEA stamps on any document, it does not need to be attested or authenticated anymore from any other embassy of any member country of Hague Convention. MEA is a sole body which is responsible for Apostille documents originated in India. Once the process is done, an individual reaches the first step to apply visa. He or she can apply for visa for the other 104 countries without repeating the same exercise.
Process of Apostille authentication:
The authentication can be completed in two simple steps. First, the authorities from state or union territory attest the documents which are originated from their respective boundaries. The documents include educational certificates or degrees and other kind of professional certifications. If documents are personal in nature, the home department of the state or union territory has the capacity to attest the same. Second, the attested documents need to be sent to MEA for authentication. It is important to note that an individual should choose only essential documents for Apostille authentication and not all which might consume more time and more cost.
MEA has number of collection centers across India where applicants can deposit their documents for authentication. However, it is always suggested that one should take help from a professional visa consultant before starting the process. We, at Golden Future, are highly experienced study visa consultants for Europe and deeply familiar with the authentication required for various countries and types of visas. Get in touch with us to ease your burden and we will take care of the rest.