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Apostille, Authentication, and Legalization

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Apostille, Authentication, and Legalization: Facilitating Document Validation

Apostille Document Validation-In today’s interconnected global landscape, the authentication and legalization of documents hold paramount importance, especially when transcending international borders. Processes such as Apostille, authentication, and legalization play pivotal roles in ensuring the credibility and recognition of documents outside their country of origin. Below, we elaborate on these processes, with a focus on India’s involvement in the Hague Convention and the procedures involved in document authentication.

Apostille: Simplifying International Document Validation

India, as a member of the Hague Convention since 2005, benefits from Apostille—a streamlined authentication process for documents used in the 105 member countries of the Convention. Apostille eliminates the need for legalization of foreign public documents, offering a standardized method for verifying the authenticity of various documents, including personal ones like birth, death, and marriage certificates, as well as educational documents such as degrees and diplomas. Notably, a document Apostilled in one member country is recognized in all other 104 member countries, significantly easing the attestation process.

Normal Attestation: Addressing Non-Hague Convention Countries – Apostille Document Validation

For countries not part of the Hague Convention, or where Apostille is not accepted, the process of normal attestation comes into play. This procedure involves a series of steps for document authentication:

  • Authentication of Documents: Applicants can authenticate their documents at Regional Authentication Centres (RACs), ensuring the genuineness of signatures and seals.
  • Deposition of Documents with Authorized Outsource Service Providers: After authentication, documents are deposited with authorized outsource agencies, streamlining the process for applicants.
  • Receipt of Apostilled/Attested Documents: Upon completion of the authentication process, applicants receive their apostilled or attested documents from the designated outsource agencies.

Important Considerations and FAQs – Apostille Document Validation

  • Legalization of Documents: The Ministry of External Affairs subsequently legalizes documents based on the signatures of designated authorities. However, the Ministry does not take responsibility for the contents of the documents.
  • Outsourcing of Receipt and Delivery: Since July 2012, the Ministry of External Affairs no longer accepts documents directly from individuals. Instead, applicants must submit documents through designated outsource service providers along with photocopies of relevant identification.
  • Decentralization of Services: As of January 1, 2019, attestation and Apostille services have been decentralized to Branch Secretariats and Regional Passport Offices (RPOs) across 15 cities. This decentralization aims to enhance accessibility and efficiency in obtaining these services.

Fees for Apostille and Normal Attestation

  • MEA: The Ministry of External Affairs charges a fee of Rs 50 for Apostille of documents. Normal attestation is conducted free of cost.
  • Outsourced Agencies: Designated outsourced agencies charge a service fee of Rs. 90/- along with a scanning fee of Rs 3 per page for collection and delivery of documents for Apostille/normal attestation by the Ministry of External Affairs.

Procedure for Attestation Apostille Document Validation

The procedure for attestation or Apostille of documents involves several steps to ensure the authenticity and legality of the paperwork. Below is a concise outline of the process:

Authentication of Apostille Document Validation:

  • Begin by authenticating the documents at Regional Authentication Centres (RACs). This step ensures that the signatures and seals on the documents are genuine.

Deposition of Documents with Authorized Outsource Service Provider:

  • Once the documents are authenticated, deposit them with authorized outsource service providers. These service providers streamline the process for applicants, facilitating the subsequent steps.

Receipt of Apostilled/Attested Documents from Outsource Agencies:

  • After the authentication process is complete, applicants will receive their apostilled or attested documents from the designated outsource agencies. This marks the final step in the attestation or Apostille process.

It’s crucial to follow these steps meticulously to ensure that the documents are properly validated and recognized for international use. Additionally, applicants should familiarize themselves with any specific requirements or regulations related to the type of documents being processed and the country of intended use.

E-sanad: Streamlining Document Verification and Attestation for Indian Citizens

E-sanad is an innovative e-service developed to streamline the verification and attestation process for documents belonging to Indian citizens. This digital platform offers a convenient and efficient way for individuals to authenticate their documents, eliminating the need for physical paperwork and reducing processing times.

Through E-sanad, Indian citizens can digitally verify and attest various types of documents, including educational certificates, birth certificates, marriage certificates, and other legal documents. This electronic service has been introduced to simplify and expedite the often cumbersome and time-consuming process of document authentication.

One of the key advantages of E-sanad is its accessibility and user-friendly interface. Individuals can access the platform from anywhere with an internet connection, making it convenient for those residing in remote areas or abroad. Moreover, the digital nature of E-sanad reduces the dependency on physical paperwork and eliminates the risk of document loss or damage during transit.

To avail of the services offered by E-sanad, individuals can visit the official website of the platform and follow the provided instructions. Detailed information about the process, including requirements, fees, and timelines, can be obtained by visiting the link provided on the website.

Overall, E-sanad represents a significant step towards modernizing and digitizing the document verification and attestation process for Indian citizens. By leveraging technology, this e-service aims to enhance efficiency, transparency, and accessibility, ultimately benefiting individuals and institutions alike.

Contact Information

For further information, suggestions, or grievances, applicants can reach out to the Attestation Section/Apostille Cell at the Ministry of External Affairs or the CPV Division directly.

In conclusion, Apostille, authentication, and legalization serve as indispensable processes for validating documents for international use. Understanding the nuances of these processes and adhering to the prescribed steps ensures the smooth and legitimate validation of documents across borders, facilitating global mobility and collaboration.

A. E-sanad: A. E-sanad: e-Service for verification & attestation of documents of Indian Citizens. Detatils of e-Sanad can be obtained by following thefollowing Link..pdf


Attestation/apostille of documents not covered under E-sanad:

Authentication of Documents

Applicant Regional Authentication Centres (RACs)
(Details of RACs is available at following link).pdf


Deposition of Documents with authorized Outsource Service Provider.

Details of Outsource Agency centers is available at following link Appendix G.pdf

Details of Jurisdiction of Branch Secretariat/RPos is available at following linkAppendix H.pdf


Receipt of apostilled/Attested documents from Outsource agencies.

Important Note:

Legalisation of documents: The Ministry of External Affairs thereafter, legalises the documents on the basis of the signature of the designated signing authorities of the State Government/Union Territory/Chambers of Commerce. Hence it does not take responsibility of the contents of the documents.

Outsourcing of receipt and Delivery of Documents. As a result to outsourcing of receipt and delivery of documents for attestation/Apostille with effect from July 2012, no document is directly accepted from individuals at the Ministry of External Affairs Counter at CPV Division, Patiala House Annexe, New Delhi. The original document/true copy is to be submitted directly to any of the five outsourced service providers along with a photocopy of the document and a photocopy of the Passport of the applicant. It would be pertinent to point out that the Ministry does not legalize photocopies. Applicants are advised not to rely on unauthorised persons/touts for Apostille or Attestation services.

Decentralization of Attestation/ Apostille Services. W.e.f. January 01 2019, Attestation/Apostille services have been decentralized to Branch Secretariats/RPOs in 15 cities Ahemdabad, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Chennai, Chandigarh, Cochin, New Delhi, Guwahati,, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Panaji, Raipur and Thiruvanantapuram. The contact details of these RPOs and the collection centres of the five service providers in these 15 cities are as given above.NORKA ROOTS, a public sector company under the Department of Non-Resident Keralite Affairs, Government of Kerala is authorized to submit documents for Attestation/Apostille by RPO, Thiruvanantapuram .

Applicants are requested to approach their respective Branch Secretariats/RPOs as enumerated above through the five outsourced service providers for obtaining the requisite services of apostille/attestation as required.

For more information, suggestions or any grievance please contact:

Attestation Section/Apostille Cell
Ministry of External Affairs
Jawahar Lal Nehru Bhawan, Janapath Marg,
New Delhi-110011.
Telephone : 011-49018403011-49018403 (Attestation)
49018404 (Apostille)
CPV Division
Ministry of External Affairs
Patiala House Annexe,
Tilak Marg
New Delhi -110001
Tel No. 011-23387104011-23387104
Fax: 011-23782821
Email: osdcpvrr@mea.gov.in

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