An Apostille is a certificate issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs verifying the genuineness of the signature and/or seal of a public officer e.g. a Notary Public, on a public document and the capacity in which he or she has acted. It is sometimes referred to as a ‘fast-track’ version of legalisation. Apostille it is an international certification comparable to a notarisation in domestic law.
The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement for Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents, the Apostille convention or the Apostille treaty is an international treaty drafted by the Hague Conference on Private International Law.
It specifies the modalities through which a document issued in one of the signatory countries can be certified for legal purposes in all the other signatory states. Such a certification is called an apostille (French: certification).
An apostille involves the addition of a certificate stamped on the document itself or attached to the document. It certifies:
The country of origin of the document
The name and identity of the signature
Capacity in which a document has been signed
The name of any authority which has affixed a seal or stamp to the document