The Apostille seal is required for documents used officially in the countries that signed the Hague Convention (there are around 100) in order for the documents to be recognized as an international, valid document. If you are wondering whether you need an Apostille seal for a document you are translating, there are two ways to get an answer: contact our agency Alfa translation and we will give you all the needed information and help, or ask this question at the institution where you have to submit this document.
The Apostille seal is usually required for documentation issued by state institutions, such as citizenship certificates, court rulings, marriage status certificates, diplomas…
Things to note regarding Apostille seal certification
What you need to know is that the Apostille seal doesn’t verify the content of the document itself (this is done via a court interpreter’s seal), but rather that it is used to verify the seal and signature on the document. In other words, the Apostille seal is proof that the seal and signature of the authorized person on the document are valid.
When it comes to the Apostille seal, there are three important things to note:
1. The Apostille seal is issued only and exclusively by the competent primary court, that is to say the international certifications office that operates by the primary court. The document itself is subject to its local jurisdiction, meaning that the Apostille seal can only be obtained in the area where it was issued. Therefore, if the document was issued in Belgrade, it can only be verified with the competent Belgrade primary court.
2. The Apostille seal is issued ONLY AND EXCLUSIVELY to the original document and only then is the translation done. If you bring a verified copy of a document to be verified, it may be issued the Apostille seal, but this will then confirm that the copy is actually verified and you won’t be able to use this document for what you need.
The exception to this rule are documents required for Italy and Belgium. In this case, the ORIGINAL document is translated first, then verified by a court interpreter and then brought to court to be issued the Apostille seal, and then not translated beyond that point.
3. In rare cases the Apostille seal might be required on translated documents as well. This depends on the institution where you are turning in the document. In this case, the Apostille seal must also list the court with which the court interpreter is registered.
What countries don’t require an Apostille seal?
Below, you will find an alphabetical list of all the countries that may require your document to possess an Apostille seal:
Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Barbados, Bahamas, Bahrain, Belgium, Belize, Belarus, Botswana, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Venezuela, Vanuatu, Grenada, Greece, Georgia , Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Cape Verde, Israel, India, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Armenia, South Africa, Kazakhstan, China – only in the Hong Kong region, China – only in the Macau region, Cyprus, Kyrgyzstan, Colombia, Korea, Costa Rica, Cook Islands, Lesotho, Latvia, Liberia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Hungary, Macedonia, Malawi, Malta, Morocco, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Namibia , Germany, Niue, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Samoa, San Marino, Santa Lucia, Sao Tome and Principe, Swaziland, Seychelles, Saint Vincent – The Grenadines , Saint Kitts and Nevis, United States, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia, Suriname, Tongo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uzbekistan, United Kingdom – Northern Ireland, Ukraine, Uruguay, Fiji, Finland, France, Netherlands, Honduras, Croatia, Montenegro , Czech Republic, Chile, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain.