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A document if intended for use in a foreign country it has to be legalized from the country of its origin. The legalization procedure basically depends on one factor: whether the target country has joined the Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents ("The Hague convention"). In this case the only legalization required is an Apostille certificate.

The international agreement envisages replacement of cumbersome and costly formalities of a full legalization process with the issuance of an Apostille (also called Apostille Certificate). Apostille can be issued by a competent authority designated by the state on whose territory the public document has been executed.

Apostille stickers are issued on both educational certificates like like degrees, diplomas , matriculation and secondary level certificates.and on Non educational certificates like birth and death, affidavits, powers of attorney, marriage certificates. However, commercial documents are excluded from the purview of the Apostille Convention.

As per the procedure, all documents should be first authenticated by the designated agencies in the state from where the document has been issued. In case of personal documents, the home or GAD (general administration department) of the state concerned is the designated authority.

In case of educational documents , state governments have opened Regional Authentication Centers for initial attestation. Documents attested by these authorities then need to be presented to ministry for issue of Apostille.

MEA (Ministry of External Affairs) of India in Delhi is the designated authority to issue Apostille for Indian Certificates. Apostille on Education and Non - Education certificates are done by MEA. Commercial documents are excluded from the purview of the Convention.

Procedure for apostille of Indian documents is as follows:

Educational Documents :
  1. 1. Human Resource Development Authentication (HRD)
  2. 2. Apostille Sticker from Ministry of External Affairs(MEA)
Non-Educational Documents :
  1. 1. Sub divisional magistrate (SDM)
  2. 2. Apostille sticker from Ministry of External Affairs (MEA)
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