Apostille is a certificate of authentication issued by the competent authority of a state. It is an international certification recognized by the Hague Conference on Private International Law.
The apostille process is not mandatory for all countries, but many have acceded to the convention and are now implementing it in their legislation. In these countries, documents issued by public authorities may be certified with an apostille when they need to be used abroad.
However, documents that are intended only for use within the issuing country (for instance, certificates of birth or death) do not require an apostille.
In order to obtain an apostille, a document must be authenticated by the competent authority in the country where it was issued. This authority certifies that the signature on the original document is genuine and that there are no alterations in its content.
The procedure for obtaining an apostille varies from one country to another because each country decides for itself which documents qualify for certification and what procedures must be followed before this can happen. However, generally speaking:
Documents must have been issued in the country whose authorities will issue the apostille;
Documents should not have been altered after they were issued;
The person who signs them must be authorized by law to do so;
The documents should include a seal and/or an impression of the official stamp.
The following are some examples of documents that may be certified with an apostille:
Birth, marriage and death certificates;
Diplomas and academic degrees;
Military discharge papers;
Certificates issued by government agencies (such as visas);
and Notarized documents (certified by a notary public).
What If I need a Document Apostilled in Houston?
There are apostille Houston TX services that can help you with this process. These companies will be able to provide you with the documents that you need and also assist with the certification process itself.