How a notary can help with an apostille request to move abroad
Apostilles are issued by the government and allow you to obtain an international document such as a birth certificate, death certificate, or marriage certificate to use in another country. If you’re planning on moving abroad soon, you may need to obtain an apostille as part of the process of obtaining your foreign documents accepted in another country. A notary can help with the apostille request so that everything goes smoothly and you don’t run into any problems along the way. Here’s how they can help and what you need to know about the entire process.
An introduction to using a Notary
If you’re planning on moving abroad, you may need to get an apostille or certification of your documents before you go. Countries that are members of The Hague Convention will accept official documents—like diplomas and birth certificates—from other countries without requiring another authentication process. If your country is not a member of The Hague Convention, then it requires its own specific Apostille certification—even if both countries are in North America. That’s where your local notary comes in; they can guide you through getting certified for foreign countries. Before you begin using a notary, here are some things you should know: Notaries cannot give legal advice. You should always check with an attorney when making legal decisions or choosing how to proceed in any given situation. Notaries must keep all information confidential.
An introduction to Apostilles
An Apostille is a certification that’s placed on documents issued in one country that are then sent to another country. This stamp verifies that your document was issued by a government official in your home country. A Hague apostille stamp is used for countries who are part of The Hague Convention, while non-Hague countries have their own methods for authenticating documents.
Notaries around the world
Notaries are licensed by their respective governments, so they don’t work across borders. However, there are some notable exceptions: The Hague Convention helps streamline how documents are certified in non-Hague countries—specifically, it allows you to have your document certified in one country and then take that certified copy into another Hague country. This way, you only need to go through one process (instead of getting two separate certifications). Essentially, if a country has signed on to The Hague Convention (also known as Apostille convention), then any certificate obtained from that state or jurisdiction is valid in any other Hague signatory. You can search for current and active signatories here . If your government hasn’t signed on (or if it wasn’t ratified) then chances are good you will need two distinct certifications.
Moving from one Hague country to another
Some countries are Hague countries, meaning they recognize documents issued by another Hague country. If you’re moving from one Hague country to another, your document will likely be recognized without any further certification. For example, if you’re moving from Italy to France, your Italian diploma is good in France without having it certified by a French authority. There are 35 Hague countries around the world, but some non-Hague countries also recognize diplomas (including school certificates) issued in other non-Hague countries (see What Is A Non-Hague Country?). The process for getting a diploma approved when moving from one Hague country to another: When going from a Hague country to another, check with local authorities about what information needs to be included on your certificate—there’s no standardization for these types of documents. In many cases, when transferring between two Hague countries there is no need for additional certification—just contact both educational institutions and have them sign off on your original academic record.
Moving from a non-Hague country into a Hague country
The Apostille system applies only to countries that have signed and ratified The Hague Convention Abolishing The Requirement Of Legalisation For Foreign Public Documents. This includes most EU Member States and many other European nations such as Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. It also includes South America, Africa, Australia, New Zealand and several Pacific Island nations. However there are still some countries where it is vital you obtain documents legalized by a notary before sending them abroad for their official recognition. These are known as non-Hague countries. If you are moving from one of these into another non-Hague country then it is likely you will need your documents legalized by both your home country’s consulate in your new country of residence, plus any individual state’s authorities within that country too.
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