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If you’re planning on moving countries, apostilling is a word you’ve probably heard of time and
time again but have no idea what it entails. Do you need your original documents? Which
country needs to apostille your documents? What does an Apostille look like? We’ve heard all of
your questions and have put together this article to help explain to you everything you need to
know about the apostilling process.


What is apostilling?
An Apostille is a certificate issued which authenticates a document for use in another country
party to the Hague Convention of 1961. Apostilling allows for the document, such as a birth or
marriage certificate, to have the same legal force in these countries. While the Apostille has the
same function in every country, the process for acquiring the Apostille depends on the country.
It is important to note that the Apostille would need to come from the country in which the
document originates. For example, if you have an American birth certificate, you would need to
have it apostilled in the United States.


What does an apostilled document look like?
An Apostille stamp is attached to the original document which contains the standard text set out
in the Hague Convention. This includes the name of the country that issued the document, the
identity of the person and who signed the apostille, in addition to the title and place of
employment of the person, and the date the Apostille stamp was attached, its serial number,
signature and seal. If your document needed to be translated, the apostille is attached twice –
once to the original document and another to the notarized translation.


Why do you need to get documents apostilled?
Without the apostilling process, countries would need to certify every document as original and
authentic. Instead of having to double-certify every document, the apostille shows the country
you wish to use these documents in that they are authentic and there is no further need to verify
them. The country is then able to accept your document and grant it the same legal force that it
held in its country of origin.


How do you get documents apostilled?
In every country there is a slightly different process. In the United States, apostilles are issued
by the state department of each state separately and first need to be authenticated by the
country clerk or the US State Department in Washington DC if they are federal documents. In
Israel, you can get an Apostille attached at the Ministry of Justice offices. In every case, you will
need your original documents. You will need to mail or take in your documents to the relevant
office in order for them to authenticate and apostille the documents. Depending on whether you
use a service or you handle the process yourself, the fee may differ. If you need a notarized
translation of your documents, it is important to bring these with too as the notarized translation
needs to be apostilled alongside your original documents.

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