Understanding Attestation and Apostille: Two Different Forms of Document Authentication

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Types of document authentication

If you are an expat or are planning on being one, then you must have been familiar with the terms “Attestation” and “Apostille” by now. Despite carrying out the same purpose and significance, the requirement for document attestation and Apostille vary from country to country. Henceforth, it raises confusion among travelers that why these two forms have been curated for the same objective.

In literal terms, attestation is an act of witnessing the signing of a document however, Apostille refers to certification embossed with a government seal meant to authenticate a document abroad. The objective of both these methods is to certify the originality of the document’s signature in a foreign land. Most of the Middle East countries have laid down certain specifications pertaining the attestation. The remaining countries decided to adopt the new legalization procedure called Apostille for easing this whole process and eliminating the requirement of repeated authentication. The attestation process starts with notary attestation, followed by HRD/ Home Department/ Chamber of Commerce authentication, MEA attestation and ending with Embassy / Consulate attestation. Meanwhile, the Apostille follows the same procedure but eliminates the necessity of Embassy attestation.

Many people will agree that going abroad has its own set of challenges and hurdles. To facilitate the travel experience, individuals must adhere to the set of rules and regulations imposed by the countries. Attestation and Apostille are both a part of these regulations, which the expats must go through in order to acquire their visa effortlessly and make their stay comfortable.