Attestation and Apostille are both important to make you entry into any foreign country legal. You need to get your documents either attested or apostille to make it genuine for visa application or other uses in the country. The process of authentication depends on which country you plan to go. If you are going to the country that is a member of the Hague convention then you need Apostille and not attestation, if not, then all your documents need to be attested. We will have a detailed study on both the methods in the later part. Ok, so I have told that it is important to do while you go abroad, but do you know why it has become this important? I’ll tell you..Before only your original certificate was required for all purposes like employment, education, business set up and so on. And then people started using fake certificates to get into a job or get admission for higher studies. The problem started when these people failed to put out forward what they have faked out, they lacked the skills. This is why almost all countries have made attestation or apostille compulsory to get into their workforce or business group. Now let us first see what actually attestation is.
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Attestation is the process of validating your documents by a designated officer, an authority or a department that has been enforced by the government using their official seal and signature. This attestation procedure ensures the genuinity of the document and verifies that it was issued from a legitimate institution or authority. This is exactly what the government of the country you wish to go needs. They have to make sure that your credentials are all original and real. Document attestation has different procedures depending on the type of certificate and the country you are going. Lets see the different categories of document attestation:
1) Education Certificate Attestation
- Mark Sheets
- School certificate
- Degree/Diploma certificate
2) Non-Educational Document Attestation
- Birth Certificate
- Marriage Certificate
- Death Certificate
- Divorce Certificate
- Employment Certificate
- Single Status Certificate/ CENOMAR/ Bachelorhood Certificate
- Non-availability of birth certificate
- Commercial Certificate
3) Immigration Certificate Attestation
- Medical Certificate
- Police Clearance Certificate
- Visa, Visa Extension
- PIO (Person of Indian origin) card
- OCI (Overseas Citizen of india) card
Attestation involves different levels of attestation that starts from Notary attestation and ends with Ministry of Foreign Affairs(MoFA) Attestation. First the document must be authenticated by a Notary with seal and signature. Then it is verified by the Home Department of the state the document was issued from. After this, the certificate should undergo MEA attestation. Next, the document should be brought before the Embassy of the country you are going. And then lastly, by MoFA. Only then the document becomes authentic to be used in the country you are planning to go. There are different attestation companies who can help you in getting your documents attested effectively. We have covered all the major aspects of attestation and its procedures. Now we will look into Apostille procedures.
The Apostille process is a valid and legalized type of attestation that is accepted in countries that have signed the Hague treaty. Every document that are issued from your home country are mandatory that it should undergo apostille procedures if you are going to some Hague Convention countries. Countries like Oman, Austria, New Zealand, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland, USA, UK, etc have signed the Hague treaty. So, if you are planning to go to any of these countries, you need apostille and not attestation for your documents. This treaty make a country bound to accept document that has been validated by the apostille office of the home country of the other country. This makes the document valid even if it is not authenticated by the Embassy of the country. Also this process takes less time when compared to attestation.
Apostille is a simple process that can involve a single PC generated stamp with a unique number, which the other country verifies to check the credibility of the document online. This does not involve the traditional procedures of attestation, instead it is straightforward. There are so many attestation agencies out there who can guide you in getting your document apostille. Sp, before before you go to any foreign country, make sure you need apostille or attestation and keep all your documents legalized.