Documents are one of the most important things during immigration and foreign travels. Be it your passport, VISA, the purpose of visit document, or any other personal documents, all these documents are checked at the source as well as the destination. And thus it becomes necessary that all such documents are genuine and verified. Certificate attestation or Apostille is such a process that eliminates the need for document verification at all places. An Apostille document is proof that the document is checked, verified and certified.
India is a member of the Hague Convention of 1961 since 2005. An Apostille document from any country that is a member of the Hague Convention is considered legal and authentic in other member countries. Therefore, once you get your Apostille in India, your documents will be accepted and considered legal in all member countries.
Which documents can be Apostille in India?
There are several reasons why someone has to go abroad. Either people go abroad to study, work, and do business or just to travel as a tourist. Whatever the purpose, you need to submit the required documents. If you are going to work, you have to submit an ECA certificate, educational documents, marriage certificate, etc. If you are going for business, you may need to provide supporting documents like a business incorporation certificate. Foreign travel may require various kinds of documents and therefore an Apostille can be done for your personal documents, educational documents or work/business documents.
How to apply for Apostille Document in India?
There are various ways in which the Apostille of documents can be applied. An applicant can apply for Apostille via the online portal e-Sanad, visit the Regional Authentication Centers or seek help from Apostille services.
E-Sanad is a new project that aims to provide attestation or Apostille services online. It will be gradually expanded in a phased manner. Currently, only documents issued by the DIA (Document Issuing Authority) which have a digital depository of documents are included in this project. Therefore, CBSE documents issued after 2014 can be attested via E-Sanad.
Another way to get Apostille document is by visiting the nearest Regional Attestation Centers (RAC). Since not all the documents can be verified from the online portal, the applicant has the option to visit RACs to get their Apostille documents. Applicant can process their Apostille India application by simply visiting these RACs. They need to submit the required document, pay the fees and certified document or Apostille will be posted at their mentioned address.
The third option is via outsourced agencies. The Government has authorized several agencies to provide Apostille services. As the Apostille of documents can be time consuming and complicated process, the authorized Apostille services are the best way to get the Apostille documents. You simply need to submit the required documents to these agencies and they will deposit the same to the Branch Secretariat/RPOs. The verifying department/MEA will verify the document and send the Apostille document with the Apostille sticker back to these agencies from where the applicant can collect the same.
Who does Apostille in India?
Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) is the final authority that verifies the document and does Apostille in India. There are various stages to getting the Apostille document. The Apostille India application requires that the set of documents to be certified are first attested by the issuing authority. Then these documents are sent to the respective state/home department for verification which is finally sent to MEA.
For example, if you want to Apostille your transcript certificate, it first needs to be sealed and signed by the issuing authority of the university. Then it will be sent to HRD of the state and then to MEA.
Unlike earlier times, when the Apostille of documents was complicated, time-consuming and required the help of intermediate agents like peon and clerks, the Apostille India application has become much easier now. There are many government authorized Apostille service providers that can deliver your Apostille documents on time and with minimum effort from your end. They are cost-effective and you can easily track your application status via them. The cost of Apostille varies and the duration of certificate attestation or Apostille depends upon types of documents, public holidays in between and other factors. Therefore check for the same with your service providers.
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