All You Need to Know About Apostille in India: A Comprehensive Guide from A to Z

January 3, 2023 Comments (0)

In today’s globalized world, the need for document legalization and authentication is crucial, especially when it comes to international affairs. One widely recognized method of document authentication is through the process of apostille. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore everything you need to know about the apostille in India, from its definition to the step-by-step process, and its significance in international document verification. So, let’s dive in and unravel the world of the apostille in India.

Apostille Definition:

Apostille is an internationally recognized certification that authenticates the origin of a document. It is a simplified method of document legalization used in countries that are members of the Hague Convention, including India. The apostille certification validates the authenticity of public documents, such as birth certificates, educational degrees, marriage certificates, and more.

Benefits of Apostille:
  1. International Recognition: Apostille ensures the acceptance of Indian documents in member countries of the Hague Convention.
  2. Simplified Process: Compared to traditional document legalization methods, apostille offers a streamlined and standardized process.
  3. Time and Cost Efficiency: Apostille reduces the time and expenses associated with lengthy document authentication procedures.
Competent Authorities

In India, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) is the designated competent authority responsible for issuing apostilles. The MEA has several branches across the country, including regional passport offices, which facilitate the apostille process.

Documents Eligible for Apostille: A wide range of documents can be apostilled in India, including:
    1. Educational Certificates: Degrees, diplomas, mark sheets, etc.
    2. Personal Documents: Birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates, etc.
    3. Commercial Documents: Export/import-related documents, certificates of incorporation, etc.
    4. Affidavits and Power of Attorney.
Essential Preparations: Before initiating the apostille process, it is crucial to ensure the following:
    1. The document is genuine and carries the necessary seals and signatures.
    2. The document is issued by an authorized authority.
Foreign Language Documents:

 If the document is not in English, it is necessary to get it translated by an authorized translator. The translation should be notarized and then apostilled along with the original document.

Government Departments Involved:

In India, the document legalization process for apostille involves three primary government departments:

  1. Notary: The document must be notarized by a notary public.
  2. Home Department: Certain documents need verification from the respective state’s home department.
  3. Ministry of External Affairs (MEA): The final step is to get the apostille from the MEA.
Hague Convention Countries:

Apostille certificates issued in India are recognized by over 120 countries that are members of the Hague Convention, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and many European nations.

In-Person and Online Process:

The apostille process in India can be done either in person by visiting the designated authorities or through an online portal provided by the MEA. The online process has made it more convenient for applicants to apply for apostilles from anywhere in the country.


 Apostilles are issued based on the jurisdiction where the document originates. Therefore, it is essential to apply for apostille in the same jurisdiction as the issuing authority.

Know the Timelines:

The apostille process in India usually takes around 1-2 weeks, depending on the workload and the number of documents being processed. It is advisable to apply well in advance to account for any potential delays.

Legalization Alternatives:

For countries that are not members of the Hague Convention, an additional step of embassy or consulate attestation might be required for document legalization.

MEA Apostille Sticker:

Upon successful verification, the Ministry of External Affairs attaches an apostille sticker to the document. This sticker confirms the authenticity of the document and makes it valid for use in member countries of the Hague Convention.

Notary Attestation:

Before submitting the document for apostille, it is necessary to get it notarized by a notary public. Notary attestation confirms the authenticity of the document and the signature of the issuing authority.

Online Tracking:

The Ministry of External Affairs provides an online tracking facility to check the status of the apostille application. Applicants can use the tracking number provided to monitor the progress of their application.

Points to Remember:
  1. Ensure the document is in the correct format and carries all the necessary information.
  2. Keep all the required supporting documents handy.
  3. Double-check the spelling and accuracy of the information mentioned in the document.
  4. Make sure to apply for an apostille in the correct jurisdiction.
Quick Turnaround Services:

 For urgent requirements, some service providers offer expedited or quick turnaround services for apostille. These services ensure faster processing, albeit at an additional cost.

Reliable Service Providers:

 If you find the apostille process daunting or time-consuming, you can seek assistance from reliable service providers specializing in document legalization. They can guide you through the process and handle the paperwork on your behalf.

Step-by-Step Process:
  1. Notarization: Get the document notarized by a notary public.
  2. Home Department Attestation: If required, get the document verified by the respective state’s home department.
  3. MEA Apostille: Submit the document along with the necessary fees to the MEA or apply through their online portal.
  4. Apostille Sticker: After verification, the MEA attaches the apostille sticker to the document.
  5. Document Return: Collect the apostilled document either in person or through a designated courier service.
Translation Services:

For documents not in English, translation services are necessary. Authorized translators can translate the document, which then needs to be notarized and apostilled along with the original document.

Unacceptable Documents:

Certain documents are not eligible for apostille in India, including documents issued by consular or diplomatic agents, documents related to commercial matters, and documents that are not signed or sealed by an authorized person.

Verification Charges:

The Ministry of External Affairs levies a nominal fee for apostille services. The fee structure varies depending on the type of document and the mode of application (online or in-person).

Worldwide Recognition:

 Apostille certificates issued in India are recognized and accepted across the member countries of the Hague Convention. This recognition simplifies the process of document verification and eliminates the need for further attestation.

Xerox Copies:

During the apostille process, it is essential to carry both the original document and a photocopy. The photocopy is retained by the issuing authority for their records, while the apostille is affixed to the original document.

Your Responsibilities:

As an applicant, it is your responsibility to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information provided in the document. Any errors or discrepancies may cause delays or rejections during the apostille process.

Zero Room for Error:

When it comes to apostille in India, accuracy and adherence to the required procedures are paramount. Make sure to follow all the guidelines and provide the necessary supporting documents to ensure a smooth and error-free apostille process.


Apostille plays a crucial role in authenticating Indian documents for international use. Understanding the process, requirements, and significance of apostille in India is essential for individuals and businesses involved in international affairs


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