An apostille is an authentication form used by countries that were part of the Hague Convention in 1961. You may need an apostille from the Secretary of State if you plan on traveling outside the country. Also, there are a few common situations where you may need one of them. The Department of State Apostille handles document verification for most foreign documentation.
The authentication process differs in countries that weren’t part of the Hague Convention. For these, you have to work through the Department of State Authentication.
Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney document gives you legal authority to act on someone else’s behalf. If you’re bringing one from another country, you’ll need to verify it with an apostille.
Diplomas and Educational Documents
Moving abroad for work is relatively common, especially in highly-skilled fields. Most employers will request documentation to prove your expertise. To get the documents to them, you’ll need to verify with the apostille.
Anything the government gives you usually has to go through the apostille process. If you’re an FBI agent, you’ll have to verify your credentials, for example.
Other Legal Documents
When married, the marriage certificate must go through the apostille process as well. This also applies to divorce documents along with birth certificates.
Most Commercial Documents
Partnership agreements, incorporation documents, articles of association, and commercial documents all apply.
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