Foreign governments sometimes need proof the signatures of Australian officials on documents are genuine before they can be accepted. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) will certify that a signature, stamp or seal on an official Australian public document is genuine by checking it against a specimen held on file. The authentication or apostille is then signed by DFAT staff and sealed with a wet and a dry seal.
The Hague Convention
The Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents, otherwise referred to as ‘The Hague Convention’ or ‘The Apostille Convention’, is an international treaty drafted by The Hague Conference on Private International Law. It specifies the modalities through which a document issued in one of the signatory countries can be certified for legal purposes in all the other signatory states. Such a certification is called an ‘apostille’. An apostille is an international certification, comparable to a notarisation in domestic law, and normally supplements a local notarisation of the document.
Countries that are a signatory to The Hague Convention, and thus eligible for apostillation, include all countries in the European Union in addition to Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Hong Kong, India, Macau, and South Africa. A complete list of the eligible countries can be found here.
If a country is not a signatory to this convention, the documents cannot be apostilled. Instead they need to be authorised by the nearest overseas consulate of the relevant country.
Visa Executive provides apostillation and authorisation services. This is usually completed within one week but can in some cases take up to ten business days.
If you would like assistance with notary services, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org