How to Get a Document Apostille to Obtain Certified Translation of Public Documents for Use Abroad
There is a growing need for Apostille translations and Apostille services. And there’s also an increased demand for certified translation services accompanied by a Certificate of Translation, as well as a demand for notary certified translations and for notary translation certification.
Need to know how to get a document apostilled? Or how to get an apostille stamp? Want to decide whether you should obtain Apostille certification and Apostille certificates yourself, or hire an Apostille service to do it for you?
We’ll try to answer some of your questions about the apostille process in this article.
What Is an Apostille?
“Apostille” is the French word for “certification.” It is a process that originated from the 1961 Hague Apostille Convention, a multilateral treaty to which the U.S. is a party, by which legal or other official documents are authenticated. It allows countries to understand and exchange certain public documents regardless of the official language of the issuing country.
What is the Meaning of an Apostille Certificate, or an Apostilled Copy?
Essentially, it is similar to obtaining certified copies of court orders.
Prior to the Hague Convention, there was no uniform procedure in place for authenticating official documents issued by one country for use in another. Thus, the possibility of fraud was ever present. With the Hague Legalization Convention, however, the process of authenticating foreign documents became much more streamlined and effective, thereby reducing the likelihood of obtaining and promulgating fraudulent documents.
What Does an Apostille Do?
In the U.S. Apostille is sometimes referred to as a certificate of notarial authenticity. A country that issues a document authenticates signatures on that document and verifies the document’s official seal. The “public documents” defined by the Hague Convention for purposes of Apostille are as follows:
• Those originating in a court, clerk of a court, public prosecutor or process server;
• Administrative documents
• Notarial acts
• Official certificates placed on documents
Legal Translation of Apostille Documents
Examples of the types of legal documents that often require Apostille translation services include, but are not limited to:
• articles of incorporation
• marriage licenses
• divorce decree
• powers of attorney
• birth certificates
• death certificates
• adoption papers
• school transcripts
• notarized documents
• background checks
All Language Alliance, Inc. can help you with official translation of marriage certificate from Mandarin English, Norwegian, Ukrainian, Thai, Korean, Czech and other languages to English, with certified translation of powers of attorney, articles of incorporation, diplomas and transcripts, and other foreign language documents to English.
Notarized Translation Services
When preparing to obtain notarized translation services and/ or certified translation of your documents it helps to remember that The Apostille Convention only applies if both the country that issued the public document (e.g., the U.S.) and the country where this public document will be used (e.g., Peru) are parties to the Hague Convention. In other words, for your document to go through the apostille process, it must have been issued in a country party to the Hague Convention for use in another country also party to the Hague Convention.
Notary Translation Services
When you need notary translation services for document translations from a foreign language to English, be sure to allow enough time to obtain any necessary notary public translation services, if the Apostille must be obtained by a certain date.
The following states require documents written in a foreign language to be translated into English: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and South Carolina. The remaining states do not require such translation if the document has been properly notarized.
Do My Documents Require an Apostille or an Authentication and Legalization?
If an Apostille is required in a particular situation (i.e., obtaining the school records of an adopted child), then next step is to determine whether the issuing country is a party to the Hague Conference. Currently, 113 countries are Members to the Hague Conference, including the United States.
Hague Apostille Member Countries
Here’s the list of countries that participate in the Apostille Convention (Hague Treaty Convention 12). It was updated in December 2017.
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Brunei Darussalam
- Cape Verde
- China, People’s Republic of
(Hong Kong & Macao Only)
- Cook Islands
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- Korea, Republic of
- Marshall Islands
- Moldova, Republic of
- New Zealand
- Russian Federation
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- San Marino
- Sao Tome and Principe
- South Africa
- The former Yugoslav
Republic of Macedonia
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United Kingdom of Great Britain
and Northern Ireland
As of this writing, of all the Spanish-speaking countries, Bolivia (scheduled to start accepting Apostilles on May 7, 2018), Cuba, and Equatorial Guinea are not members of the Hague Conference, while Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Spain, Uruguay, and Venezuela are members (signatories) of The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents, the Apostille Convention, or the Apostille Treaty.
If the foreign country is a member of the Hague convention, then you will be able to easily locate the contact information for the appropriate authorities in the pertinent foreign country on the Hague Convention’s website.
Document Authentication and Legalization for Non Apostille Countries, also known as Non Hague Convention Countries
If you require English to Chinese document translations to be used in China, or Chinese to English translation services, please note that if the country is not a signatory to the Hague Apostille convention, as is the case with China, then the document will need to go through authentication and legalization process (in British English, the U.S. term “legalization” is spelled “legalisation”). Below is the list of countries where the Apostille Convention is not in force.
- Burkina Faso
- Burma Myanmar
- Congo Republic, also called Congo-Brazzaville
- Congo, Democratic Republic of; (DRC)
- Equatorial Guinea
- Ivory Coast
- Myanmar Burma
- Saudi Arabia
- Sierra Leone
- South Sudan
- Sri Lanka
- UAE (United Arab Emirates)
Apostille Services for Certified Document Translations in Any Language
If the official documents need to be translated, be sure to send them to a professional translation company with experience in providing certified document translations written in the same language as your papers, be they in Romanian, Croatian, or Persian. One would not want to risk having the documents mistranslated when obtaining Apostille as the process is already sufficiently complicated.
Should you need assistance with apostille services and the translation of foreign documents, or with translation of Apostille documents and Apostille certificates contact the legal translation services company All Language Alliance, Inc. We make your company look great with certified document translation services trusted by lawyers and provide certified, notarized, Apostille document translation services in more than 100 foreign languages, including Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, French, Polish, Lithuanian, Portuguese, Korean, Japanese, German, Russian, Dutch, and many other uncommon and common foreign languages.
Our notary translation services, official translation and USCIS certified translations for immigration are accepted by the US government agencies, foreign embassies and consulates, and our certified translations of foreign language evidentiary documents are accepted by the court.
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