Apostille Documents from Ministry of external affairs

Everything that yo need to know about getting MEA apostille.

This 10 min article will clarify all your doubts regarding apostille document from ministry of external affairs.
Skip to the sections below if you already know some topics.
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At the end of the article you will be knowing following topics of document apostille. 

 

What is apostille document mean?

Apostille for documents is only given by MEA (Ministry of external affairs).
Apostille is a 10cm*10cm sticker pasted on the back of the documents.
If a document has this sticker it will be legal in all hague nation, meaning all the hague nation countries will treat the document as if it was given in their document.

For example a marriage certificate given by registrar in mumbai, without apostille will only be valid within India. All the states will accept this document. If the document has apostille It is valid outside India as well, specifically in hague nations example Netherland, you can use the apostilled document in Netherland offices as well, during Permanent residence application.

How to get Apostille document from Ministry of external affairs ?

There are two ways of getting apostille to documents.

  1. State Attestation + MEA apostille 
  2. SDM attestation + MEA apostille

State attestation

All the document will belong to one or the other states in India.
In order to increase the authenticity or to ensure less fraudulent documents before getting the apostille MEA will ask State attestation.
State attestation will be done by the secreteriarate of the region.
The secreteriarate will be there for every district.

The state attestation will take time since lot of government bodies are involved. Once you submit the document at secreteriarate of office it will be sent to the concerned government body. Example if it is a marriage certificate it will be sent to the registrar, they will sign the document, which implies that the document is issued from their department and it is legal. Then the document comes back to secreteriarate they will put a seal again.

Once the document has state attestation the document is ready for MEA apostille 

Since 2012 government has outsourced the document collection and distribution to us.
Because the number of documents that came to MEA increased so much so that MEA couldn’t handle this alone. We will collect and distribute documents from or to citizens on behalf of MEA. Only MEA  has the right to do apostille.

Once the state attestation is done, we will give the document to MEA for document apostille.

This whole process will take 3-4  working weeks 

 

SDM attestation

State attestation takes lot of time 30 working days. In order to eliminate that we have another process that is SDM attestation.
SDM full form is sub divisional magistrate. SDM will authenticate on behalf of state government, then this will be sent to MEA for document apostille.

This method works for only Hague nations, meaning if your travel destination is hague nation list  it will work. Except Italy and Austria for these two countries state attestation is a must condition.

If your document belongs to Punjab, Haryana and Goa then also state attestation needs to be done or SDM attestation price will be greater than normal SDM process.
The whole SDM process will take time depending on the package you choose.

 

Validity of apostille document

All the apostille SDM or State will have a validity of 6 months. Its different for different countries but for Indian Apostilled documents have 6 months validity.

 

Which kind of apostille document you need to get for your documents?

If your travel destination is hague nation, except Italy and Austria you should go for SDM attestation then MEA apostille for documents 

The country that you are travelling to is not in Hague nation or your documents are from Punjab,Haryana and Goa, then you should go for State attestation then MEA apostille for documents.

Required documents to get apostille document.

–>Original document that you want to apostille. 
–> Passport photocopies of the person whose name is mentioned in the document. 
       If an affidavit mentions 10 names we need all 10 people passport photocopies.

That’s it you are on your way to get apostille.

 

Following are the details an Apostille contains:

  • Name of country from which the document was issued.
  • Name of the Person to whom document is issued.
  • Name of person signing the document.
  • Designation of the singed person.
  • Place of certification date of certification.
  • Number of certificate.
  • Seal or stamp of authority issuing certificate.
  • Signature of authority issuing certificate.

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