What is Apostille?
An apostille is a special seal applied by an authority to certify that a document is a true copies of an original. Apostilles are available in countries, which signed the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization of Foreign Public Documents, popularly known as The Hague Convention. This convention, created in 1961, replaces the time consuming chain certification process used so far, where you had to go to four different authorities to get a document certified.
List of Countries and Territories Participating in Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents
Albania, Antigua, Argentina and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Belarus, Belize, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Bulgaria, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, Fiji, France, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Hungary, Italy, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lesotho, Liechtenstein , Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malawi, Malta, Marshal Isl., Mauritius, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Niue (Savage Island) , Panama, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia and Montenegro, Seychelles, Slovak, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tonga, Turkey, United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, Ukraine, United States of America, Venezuela, Yugoslavia.
About Authentication Office, US State Department
The Department of State, Authentications Office is responsible for signing and issuing certificates under the Seal of the U.S. Department of Sate (22 CFR, Part 131) providing authentication services to U.S. citizens and foreign nationals on documents that will be used overseas. This office receives a variety of documents from commercial organizations, private citizens, and officials of the Federal and State governments. Documents include but not limited to: company bylaws, powers of attorney, trademarks, diplomas, transcripts, distributorship agreements, articles of incorporation, good standing certificates, home studies, letters of reference etc. It also ensures that the requested information will serve in the interest of justice and is not contrary to U.S. policy.