The Hague Convention of October 1961 Abolished the Requirement of Legalization of foreign public documents. The Apostille Treaty is an international treaty drafted by the Hague Conference on Private International Law. Any document Apostilled in one member country is acceptable in all other member countries who are signatories to the Hague Convention. Apostille is affixed by competent authorities designated by the government of a country which is party to the convention. Apostille is done for personal documents like Birth, Marriage, Death Certificates, Affidavits, Educational documents like Degrees, Diplomas, Secondary level Certificates etc.
Apostille stamp is a square shaped computer generated sticker, pasted on reverse of the Original Documents by the MEA, India. MEA Apostille Stamp is a unique sticker having a unique identification number, through which any member country of The Hague convention can check its authenticity online. Under normal circumstances, once the document has been Apostilled by MEA, it does not need to be attested any more from the concerned foreign embassy.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Government of India has outsourced its Attestation and certificate Apostille work with effect from March 1, 2012. MEA is the sole authorized body having the authority to issue Apostille and authenticate the documents originated in India for use in foreign country. Superb Enterprises Pvt. Ltd. is one of the authorized outsourced companies for collection and delivery of documents on behalf of MEA to carry out further procedure of Apostille Attestation. As a result of Outsourcing, collection and delivery of documents are not accepted from individual applicants by CPV Division of the Ministry of External Affairs at Patiala House, New Delhi. All applicants are required to submit and collect their documents through the outsourced companies.
Apart from the above service centres we also have Branches in different states to facilitate the collection and delivery services of documents from all over the India. We are present in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Bangalore, Pune, Maharashtra, Hyderabad, Kochi, Trivandrum and Dubai- UAE.
India became member of the Hague Convention in 2005 which abolished the requirement of legalization of public documents. In India, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) undertakes both, Apostille attestation and general attestation of documents. The procedure is as follows-
All original documents/certificates requiring MEA to issue Apostille must be first authenticated by the designated authorities of the State/Union Territory from where the document is issued. Indian Apostille can only be issued by MEA when the respective relevant state authority has attested a particular document. A list of the Regional Authentication Centers and the designated authorities can be seen on the MEA website http://www.mea.gov.in/
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) attests /legalizes the documents only after these have been authenticated with the signature and seal/stamp of the designated authorities of the State Government/Union Territory/Chambers of Commerce from where the documents have been issued. The MEA legalizes the certificate/documents on the basis of the signature of the designated authorities; hence it does not take responsibility of the contents of the documents.
Education Department of the concerned State Government/Union Territory (HRD/GAD)/NORKA + Apostille from MEA
State Home Department/GAD/SDM of the concerned State Government/Union Territory + Apostille from MEA
Respective Chamber of Commerce + Apostille from MEA
While no fee is levied by the Ministry of External Affairs for General Attestation, there is a fee of Rs.50/- (Rupees Fifty only) per document Apostille. The fee is to be paid by means of Indian Postal Orders payable in favor of Pay & Accounts Officer, Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi. Service charge payable to SEPL is the same for both general attestation and apostille attestation.
Only Original documents duly authenticated by the designated authorities of the concerned State Governments are Apostilled by the Ministry of External Affairs. Apostille sticker is issued on the reverse side of the original document. The applicants need to submit the following documents:
(a) Original document to be Apostilled;
(b) One clear photocopy of the document;
(c) One clear photocopy of the passport;
(d) Postal Order of Rs.50/- payable to Pay & Accounts Officer, MEA, New Delhi.
(e) Our service charges as given below:
|Type of Documents||Charges for each documents|
|Apostille ( Govt. Fee)||Rs.50/- for each Apostille Sticker|
|Service Fee (SEPL)||Rs.90/- per document (same fee for all types of documents educational, personal or commercial)|
|Scanning Fee(SEPL)||Rs.3/- per page|
Documents can be deposited in our âCollection & Deliveryâ counters between 0900 hrs and 1800 hrs from Monday to Saturday excluding holidays.
However, in case the document is found fake or the authentication forged, the same will be seized by the Ministry of External Affairs. The Ministry may also initiate appropriate legal action against the applicant. The service charge paid to us or Apostille fee paid to the Ministry of External Affairs cannot be returned in any circumstances.
It is relevant to mention that the MEA does not issue Apostille on the photocopies of documents. Applicants are advised not to rely on unauthorized persons for Apostille attestation services.
Documents can be deposited and collected back either in person or through an authorized representative. Documents will be returned only on production of receipt for payment of service charge.
Following are the countries that have signed The Hague Convention 1961 and are members of it. As they are signatory to the Convention, documents to be used in these countries do not require general attestation and MEA can issue Apostille to the documents which are acceptable by member countries:-
A Marriage certificate is an inevitable document requiring authentication overseas if you are sponsoring your spouseâs visa. No expat can apply for a spouse or fiance visa without a marriage certificate. The concerned government official needs evidence to prove the authenticity of your relationship and an Apostille marriage certificate confirms the legitimacy of your marriage overseas. Do make sure to Apostille your document from all concerned authorities to avoid any hassles or rejections later.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) is the sole proprietary organization in India authenticating Indian-originated certificates with Apostille stamp. However, one canât directly apply for the Apostille attestation. The Ministry has outsourced a few agencies who can submit documents on the applicantâs behalf. Applicants canât visit the MEA branch directly for Apostille.
A birth certificate and all other Indian personal documents are Apostille by the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. The MEA has opened its Branch Secretariats/RPOs in numerous cities of India for easing this whole procedure for Indian citizens, including Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, Lucknow, Raipur, Bhopal, Kochi, Mumbai, Trivandrum, Panaji, Chennai, Ahmedabad, and Bengaluru. Also, search for MEA outsourced agencies in your region for submission and collection of the documents for Apostille.
The Ministry of External Affairs Apostilles a document within 1 business day. The time taken for the completion of document Apostille depends upon the type of document and state government departments. Since a document is authenticated by several government departments, it can take from 5 to 10 or more business days to get Apostille. Educational documents usually take more time as compared to other documents.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) charges Rs. 50 per document for Apostille. Previously the payment was made through postal orders, but now it has been discontinued, and now the fees can only be paid online. The Ministry has outsourced a few agencies who can submit and collect documents on the applicantâs behalf. The fee chargeable by the outsourced agencies per document as per the MEA for Apostille is Rs. 90 (Service Fee) and Rs. 3 per page (Scanning Fee).
The Ministry only attests to the original copy of a document, and all photocopies will be rejected. Any fraudulent document will be confiscated by the MEA, and strict actions will be taken against the particular individual. Submit the original copy of the document along with a copy of Passport to any of the Branch Secretariats or RPOs of the MEA for Apostille.
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