What is an apostille for on a birth, marriage, death or divorce certificate?

When you present a legal document in a foreign country, it is often difficult for them to determine whether the document is genuine and legal. An apostille stamp ensures that your birth, marriage, death or divorce certificate is recognised and accepted overseas by the member states of the Hague Convention. These countries validate the document, for example a birth certificate, by the authority of the apostille stamp rather than the document itself.


Another example is when a couple decide to marry abroad, the tour operators will require their birth certificates. The certificates may also need to be legalised or apostilled. 


Many countries will ask you to provide this documentation, such as Antigua, Australia, Bahamas, Bali, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, Fiji, Florida, Jamaica, Mauritius, Mexico, Seychelles, Spain, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Please note you should always confirm this information with your tour operator or relevant embassy, as requirements can change.


An apostille stamp is simply a certificate of authenticity. Obtaining an apostille stamp may sometimes be referred to as legalisation or legalising a document.


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