An apostille is a certification or authentication of a document’s validity, often used for international legal purposes. It is a form of authentication recognized by countries that are parties to the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents, commonly known as the Apostille Convention.

When a document needs to be used in a foreign country, it may require an apostille to verify its authenticity and validity. The apostille is attached to the original document by a competent authority designated by the country where the document was issued. This authority verifies the signature, seal, or stamp on the document and confirms that it is genuine.

The apostille itself is a standardized certificate or attachment that includes:

  1. The name of the country where the apostille was issued.
  2. The name and signature of the authorized officer or notary public.
  3. The seal or stamp of the authority issuing the apostille.
  4. The date of issue.
  5. A unique identification number or reference.

Once an apostille is attached to a document, it certifies that the document is valid and can be accepted for use in another country without further legalization or authentication procedures. This simplifies the process of verifying documents across borders and facilitates international transactions, such as business agreements, adoptions, marriages, and academic credential recognition.