Apostille legalization of documents - what is it and when is it needed?

Relocating to another country can be daunting as a great deal of elements come into play both before the relocation and after arrival in the new country.

An overlooked but important issue is the question of the validity of the expatriate’s official documents in the foreign country.

Government bodies, employers, schools, banks and other entities can require that the expatriate produce official documents proving identity, education or even marital status. Document requirements differ from country to country and their validity may be limited to certain regions, which can may the task more complicated. 

An apostille certificate solves this issue. This process results from the Hague Convention; a treaty signed by over 100 countries that allows documents issued in one country to be accepted in another.  The apostille certificate authenticates an official stamp or signature of a document and confirms that the entity that produced the document had the authority to do so. Thanks to this certification the document can be recognized as legal without further evidence in foreign countries.

Common examples of documents that require apostille certificates are public documents such as birth certificates, educational certificates, degrees and documents and marriage certificates.

The apostille certificate is a paper attachment, which is glued to the supplied documents and contains the country of origin, the name of the signatory on the document, the capacity in which they have acted, the place of certification, the date of certification and the issuing authority details among other things. Once the apostille certificate is attached to the document, it is recognized as legal in foreign countries.

Getting documents authenticates and legalized can be a complex procedure. Expat US takes care of the entire process quickly and efficiently for its clients and therefore facilitates the transition for employees moving abroad.

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