Apostille is a French word that means a "certification." It is commonly used in English to refer to the legalization of a document for international use under the terms of the 1961 Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement for Legalization for Foreign Public Documents. Documents which have been notarized by a notary public, and certain other documents, and then certified with a conformant apostille are accepted for legal use in all the nations that have signed the Hague Convention.
Mexico Signed the Hague Convention in 1995
Mexico is one of the countries that signed the Convention (in 1995) so there is a need to have certain documents certified by apostille. Quite often you are required to provide support documents when making application for Mexican documents e.g. Visas. These could include Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Divorce Decree, etc. Unfortunately, the originals or copies are not acceptable. They must be certified in your home country and the person certifying them must be confirmed as legitimate by, (In the U.S.) the Department of the Secretary of State and (In Canada) at a Mexican Embassy.
In countries which are not signatories to the 1961 convention and do not recognize the apostille, a foreign public document must be legalized by a consular officer of the country from which the document is issued. The United States is a member; Canada is not.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement for Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents
The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement for Legalization for Foreign Public Documents is Convention #12 of the Hague Conference on Private International Law. It was signed by the original signatories on 5 October 1961. 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. It is an international certification comparable to a notarization and is often added to documents that have been in some manner signed by a Notary, lawyer or other public official such as the clerk of a court of record in their official capacity.
States which have not signed the Convention must specify how foreign legal documents can be certified for its use. Sometimes two countries will have a special treaty concerning the recognition of each others documents, but usually not. When the country issuing or receiving the document does not recognize an apostille, you must usually take the document to the consulate of the foreign country you need to certify it or to an honorary consular officer appointed by that country who is qualified to certify it. It may need to be certified by the highest government official in the country where it originated, such as the Secretary of State or Minister of Foreign Affairs, before being accepted by the consular officer of the foreign country, this process is known as chain authentication as an unbroken chain of government officials each certifies the signature (and seal in some cases) of the prior official in the first country and the consular officer then certifies that the document should be recognized as authentic in the country of destination. Usually that consular officer's signature can be authenticated in the country of destination as well.
In the United States, apostilles are usually affixed by the secretary of state in each US state or territory. It may be necessary for an intermediary official to affix a certification that the original signatory (notary or clerk) was authorized to sign the public document. Note that Canada is not a party to this convention and Canadian documents cannot be certified with an apostille. In the Russian Federation the local office of the Ministry of Justice will affix an apostille for local notaries.
For a list of countries (States) that have signed the document, please go to the Status Table of the Hague Conference on Private International Law. (http://www.hcch.net/index_en.php?act=states.listing)
|Gordon & Tina Jones (Focus alumni now living full-time in Ajijic)
|“Surprisingly, we had no intention of buying ... but something happened, especially to me, during the latter part of the tour. I felt as though the Lakeside was where I wanted to spend the rest of my life. Gordon too, felt my enthusiasm and we actually signed the contract two hours before the airplane was due to leave for Calgary ... We would recommend the zero pressure, friendly, informative and well-organized tour to anyone. The itinerary was balanced carefully between cultural exposure and fun, as well as introducing aspects of living in the area.”