Let me take the pleasure of briefing all the readers about the two terms Domicile and Apostille.


Domicile is the country in which a person is said to have his permanent residence. In terms of domicile, residence does not relate to the physical aspect of maintaining a house or residence.

It more so relates to the intention of a person to remain at a place forever unless circumstances should occur to change his/her intentions.

Hence, maintenance of a residence or home does not serve to establish domicile, though it could add credence.

For instance, if an Indian person moved to the USA temporarily on a H1B visa for employment purposes, his/her domicile would continue to be India, as the permanent residence of the person is still India.

Domicile by Birth

Domicile by birth or origin is the domicile of a person which he/she acquires at birth from parents. The domicile of birth or origin is involuntary and continues to be the domicile of the person until the person chooses to create a permanent residence elsewhere.

Most persons retain domicile by birth as their domicile, even long after moving abroad for job or education purposes.

Domicile by Choice

A person can take on a domicile by choice by taking up fixed residence in a country different from domicile of birth.

If an Indian national moves to the USA temporarily on a H1B visa, then obtains citizenship or Green Card to stay in the USA indefinitely with no intentions of returning to India, then it could be said that he/she has adopted a new domicile by choice.

For changing of domicile, the intentions of the person must be proved by acts or by declaration. Hence, a forced residence abroad as a political refugee, fugitive or for any other reason would not change the domicile of the person, unless it is followed by a voluntary adoption of the new domicile

Domicile in India

Any person can acquire domicile in India by making a declaration in writing of his/her desire to acquire a domicile in India, PROVIDED he/she has been a resident of India for at least one year prior to making of the declaration.

Domicile Certificate

Domicile certificate is issued by State Governments to prove that a person is a resident of a certain State.

Let us now proceed to know what is meant by Apostille.


Public documents like birth certificates, passport copies, judgements, patents or notarial attestations of signatures may need to be used in foreign countries.

However, before a foreign country can use or accept a document issued by a foreign country, it must be authenticated. Typically, authentication of documents is done by a process called LEGALISATION wherein the officials of the country where the document was issued as well as the foreign Embassy or Consulate of the country where the document is to be issued authenticate the document.

However, as this process is usually slow, cumbersome and costly, a number of countries have signed the Hague Convention thereby adopting Apostille Convention.

A large number of countries all over the world have joined a treaty that simplifies the authentication of public documents used abroad. This treaty is called the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents or the Apostille Convention.

In countries for which the Apostille Convention applies, the treaty reduces the authentication process to a single formality: the issuance of an authentication certificate by an authority designated by the country where the public document was issued. This certificate is called an Apostille.

Apostille makes the authentication of public documents used abroad very simple and easy. 

Apostille Certificate

An apostille certificate can be used to authenticate public documents like passport copy, drivers license copy, business documents, judgements, extract of a register or a notarial attestation.

Apostille certificate can be issued ONLY for documents issued in a country party to the Apostille Convention and that are to be used in another country which is also a party to the Apostille Convention.

Apostille Requirement for Company Registration

During registration of a company in india involving foreign nationals, the Companies Act 2013 requires the signatures of subscribers and identity / address proof to be notarized before a Notary public of that country and then apostilled as per the Hague Convention, if both foreign national provides documents issued by a country acceding to Hague Convention.

Countries Accepting Apostille Certificate

For an apostille to be acceptable, the country where the public document was issued and the country where the document is to be used must be a member of the Apostille Convention.

India is a member of the Hague Convention and has thus adopted the Apostille Convention. India can provide apostille documents or can require documents to be apostilled, if the documents is from a country that has also adopted the apostille convention.

As of 2018, there are a total of 98 nations that are part of the Convention.

With this I conclude this write-up. I hope the article was informative. Your feedbacks will be highly valued.

[Disclaimer: The information is collected from Newspaper and online platform including Wikipedia]

The author can be reached at [email protected]

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October 2021