An Apostille Certificate is an official certificate issued to documents so they will be recognised in member states without further Legalisation.
Typically the Apostille Certificate is issued by the state from which the document originates although in some cases another state can issue the Apostille. Once a document has had an Apostille Certificate attached to it confirming the authenticity of signatures and seals it can be presented to any country which recognises the Apostille. The authority receiving the document should then accept the seals or signatures as true and valid without requesting further evidence or proof.
Apostille Certificates issued in the UK will be accepted in the following countries without further legalisation – Apostille Countries. Even countries not listed may still accept the Apostille but in some cases will require further legalisation as detailed on the following page – Embassy Legalisation
The Apostille Certificate follows a prescribed format and must include the following information –
1. Country of issue
2. Who has signed the document
3. The capacity in which the person signed the document
4. Details of any seal on the document
5. Place of issue
6. Date of issue
7. Issuing authority
8. Apostille Certificate number
9. Stamp of issuing authority
10. Signature of representative of issuing authority
What does the apostille certificate look like?
This is a sample picture of an apostille. The certificate is glued to the back of documents and also embossed with the FCO apostille stamp.