An apostille is a customer term from international law that describes the verification of the correctness of a signature on public documents , such as birth certificates, marriage certificates or any other official document issued by the various state authorities. As part of the verification, the apostille confirms that the certificate is indeed official and original and that it has been issued by the competent authority.
In addition, the apostille certifies the authority of a notary to certify notarial documents. The apostille trusts the verification of the notary’s signature on the documents and the confirmation of the fact that the notary who signed the document is indeed a notary in accordance with the laws of the state that issued the document.
The source of the apostille from the Hague Convention, signed on October 5, 1961, in order to save the complex verification process required of a person who wanted to present a public certificate from a certain country in an anonymous country. Prior to the signing of the Apostille Convention, that person had to verify the public certificate he sought to present to the competent authority that issued it. The same person is then required to verify the signature of the authority in the State Department of the state that issued the document. Finally, he had to verify the signature of the State Department at the consular or diplomatic mission of the country in which he sought to present the document.
Today, this complex procedure is required in cases where a person seeks to present a public certificate on behalf of one country in another country, when one of the countries is not a signatory to an apostille treaty. For example, a citizen wishing to present his Israeli birth certificate in Canada, which is not a signatory to the Apostille Convention, is required to issue the deed to the Interior Ministry, verify the signature of the Interior Ministry registration clerk, and finally verify the Foreign Ministry representative at the Canadian Embassy in Israel. .
About one hundred and twenty countries are currently signatories to the Apostille Convention, including Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Georgia, Finland, Germany, Greece, United States, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Russia, Romania, Portugal, South Korea, Spain, South Africa, Switzerland, Turkey, UK , Ukraine and many others.
Apostille approval on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be given only to public documents signed by the official of the authority that produced the document verified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, after payment of the fee.
Non-public documents will be approved by the courts after the court officials verify that the name of the notary does indeed appear on the list of qualified notaries. Once the documents have been reviewed and signed, and after the fee has been paid, court officials will issue the apostille certificate in accordance with the wording and form set out in the Hague Convention, and attach it to the notarial certificate.
As of 2022, apostille approval in Israel is given in two channels. Apostille approval of Israeli public documents such as birth certificates, death certificates, judgments, etc. is given at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem. It is not possible to obtain apostille approval for Israeli public documents in other cities or at Israeli embassies in other countries. In contrast, apostille approval for notarial documents, such as document translation approval, signature verification and so on, can be obtained at the secretariat of the courts all over the country.
Nevertheless, as noted above, receiving apostille services directly from the State Department involves the risk of losing documents in the mail. In addition, receiving apostille services, both from the State Department and the courts, involves a particularly long wait for a queue. Therefore, in case you need apostille stamp services urgently, it is advisable to contact a professional law firm, who will make sure that you get the required approvals in a short time.
A law firm will provide for its clients under one roof all the required services, from translating the documents by a team of certified translators, going through the issuance of a notarized certificate to sending the document to the relevant parties to receive an apostille stamp and sending the translated document back to the client.
Today the world is more global than ever. Nevertheless, and although communication between the ends of the earth has become easier than ever, there are still countless arrangements that we must make if we want to move to other countries for work or study, to obtain foreign citizenship or to acquire properties abroad.
In order for a document that we translate from the Hebrew language into the language of the country in which we are interested in performing a particular legal action to be legally valid, it must obtain a certificate from a certified notary as well as an apostille certificate.
Today, many Israelis encounter the need to obtain an apostille permit as part of the process of issuing a foreign passport. In order to obtain foreign citizenship, a variety of documents must be translated from Hebrew into the state language for which we are interested in obtaining citizenship. Thus, for example, to the extent that we are interested in obtaining British citizenship, we must translate our birth certificate, marriage certificate, university degree certificate and our identity card into English.
At the same time, it is worth emphasizing that independent translation of the documents into English is not enough for the translation to be legally valid. We must submit the documents to a certified notary who will guarantee that they have been properly translated. Without a notary’s certificate, our documents will not be valid and we will not be able to use them for the purpose of issuing a foreign passport.
Surprisingly, the notary’s certification is not the last step in the chain of required certifications. Once the appropriate certificate has been issued by the notary, an apostille certificate must be obtained for all the documents, attesting that the notary is indeed qualified and that he has performed his job properly.
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