A special sign established in 1961 for certifying foreign documents is known as Apostille. In India apostille of documents is administered by The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) through designated centres.
India, since 2005, is a member of the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961, that abolished the requirement of legalization of foreign public documents. Apostille is acceptable in 105 member-countries of the Convention (For more info please visit the website: www.hcch.net).
Apostille is done for personal documents like birth/death/marriage certificates, Affidavits, Power of Attorney, etc. and educational documents like degree, diploma, matriculation and secondary level certificates etc. Any document Apostilled in one member country is acceptable in all other 104 member-countries, a signatory to the referred convention of 1961 thus greatly simplifying the process of attestation by making it needless to get the documents attested in each or for each of the countries separately.
Important Points to Remember:
1. Apostille is done for documents which are for public documents like Birth, Marriage certificates, etc.
2. Apostille only certifies the origin of the public document and not the content of the document.
3. Apostilles are only for international purposes and cannot be used for domestic purpose in any way.
4. Apostilles can only be rejected for two reasons i.e. if the origin can not be verified and the formal elements differ from the model certificate of the convention.
5. Electronic Apostilles are being issued by competent authorities in several countries.
Process for apostillation in India:
The MEA has provided the procedure for apostillation of a document and it has been summarised below:
STEP 1: Authentication of Document:
1. All the original documents should first be authenticated by the designated authorities i.e. the place where the documents are issued;
2. If it is a personal document, Home/General Administrative Department of the concerned place are the designated authorities;
3. If it is an educational document, they should be authenticated by the education department of the place;
4. If it a commercial document, they should be pre-authenticated by the chambers of commerce of the place;
5. Regional Authentication Centres (RACs) is the place where the documents are required to be authenticated. A total of 35 centres are provided on the MEA website.
Step 2: Deposition of Documents with authorized Outsource Service Provider.
Step 3: Receipt of apostilled/Attested documents from Outsource agencies.
What are the fees for Apostille or Normal Attestation?
A fee of Rs 50 is payable for Apostille of a document. (W.e.f 21 December 2016, payment through postal orders has been discontinued.) Normal Attestation is done free of cost.
What about outsourced agencies?
As the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) is not accepting documents directly from the applicant/individual, all documents for Attestation/Apostille by MEA are to be submitted and collected from the four designated outsourced agencies. The fee chargeable by the outsourced agencies per document for its collection and delivery for Apostille/normal attestation by MEA will be Rs. 90/- (Service Fee) and Rs 3 per page (Scanning Fee).
The legalisation of documents:
The Ministry of External Affairs thereafter legalises the documents on the basis of the signature of the designated signing authorities of the State Government/Union Territory/Chambers of Commerce. Hence it does not take responsibility for the contents of the documents.
Outsourcing of receipt and Delivery of Documents:
As a result to the outsourcing of receipt and delivery of documents for attestation/Apostille with effect from July 2012, no document is directly accepted from individuals at the Ministry of External Affairs Counter at CPV Division, Patiala House Annexe, New Delhi. The original document/true copy is to be submitted directly to any of the five outsourced service providers along with a photocopy of the document and a photocopy of the Passport of the applicant. It would be pertinent to point out that the Ministry does not legalize photocopies. Applicants are advised not to rely on unauthorised persons/touts for Apostille or Attestation services.
Decentralization of Attestation/ Apostille Services:
W.e.f. January 01 2019, Attestation/Apostille services have been decentralized to Branch Secretariats/RPOs in 15 cities Ahemdabad, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Chennai, Chandigarh, Cochin, New Delhi, Guwahati,, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Panaji, Raipur and Thiruvanantapuram.
For more information, suggestions or any grievance please contact:
|Attestation Section/Apostille Cell
Ministry of External Affairs
Jawahar Lal Nehru Bhawan, Janapath Marg,
Telephone : 011-49018403011-49018403 (Attestation)
49018404 (Apostille)Fax : 011- 49016638
Email : [email protected]
Ministry of External Affairs
Patiala House Annexe,
New Delhi -110001
Tel No. 011-23387104011-23387104
Email: [email protected]