Apostille and Legalisation
An Apostille is a certificate issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs verifying the genuineness of the signature and/or seal of a public officer e.g. a Notary Public, on a public document and the capacity in which he or she has acted. It is sometimes referred to as a “fast-track” version of legalisation.
The Apostille certificate may be stamped on or attached to the public document required to be apostilled.
It is obtained by presenting the document at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Hainault House, 67-71 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2 and paying the appropriate consular fee.
The Apostille procedure applies in lieu of Legalisation between countries that have signed and ratified or acceded to the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961.Ireland ratified the Convention in 1999.
Other countries in which the Apostille procedure applies may be checked on the Hague Convention website, where a list of countries adhering to the Apostille system abolishing the need for legalisation, and also those countries not Hague Convention Countries Adhering or likely also on the Department of Foreign Affairs webpage.
Legalisation (in some countries spelled “Legalization”) is an internationally recognised procedure for certifying the authenticity of official signatures and/or official seal applied to a public document. It operates by means of an unbroken chain of verifying signatures commencing with that of the first signatory to the document and ending with the signature of the diplomatic or consular representative of the state in which the document is to produced and acted upon.
The legalisation procedure usually commences with the attestation by a Notary Public of the signature of a person to a formal document e.g. a Power of Attorney. The Notary Public having subscribed his or her name and affixed his or her official seal to the document by way of notarial act arranges for the document to be produced to the Registrar of the Supreme Court for the purpose of having the Notary’s signature and official seal verified.
The document is then produced at the Consular Section of the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin for the purpose of having the signature of the Supreme Court Registrar verified and finally it is produced to the diplomatic or consular representative in Dublin (or London) of the foreign country in which it is intended the document shall be produced for the purpose of having the Irish Consular Officer’s signature legalised.
When all the foregoing steps have been completed, the document is said to have been legalised.
Other countries in which the Apostille procedure applies may be checked on the the Hague Convention website, where a list of countries adhering to the Apostille system abolishing the need for legalisation, and also those countries not Hague Convention Countries Adhering or likely also on the Department of Foreign Affairs webpage.