On October 5, 1961, representatives of more than 100 countries got together in the Hague, Netherlands, and set out to standardize how the documents of one country would be validated in another.
The purpose of the Apostille was to make the flow of official documents between signatory countries more efficient; to save time and money.
The official agreement states: “The Apostille Convention facilitates the circulation of public documents executed in one State party to the Convention and to be produced in another State party to the Convention. It does so by replacing the cumbersome and often costly formalities of a full legalisation process (chain certification) with the mere issuance of an Apostille (also called Apostille Certificate or Certificate). “
The document continues: “The Convention has also proven to be very useful for States that do not require foreign public documents to be legalised or that do not know the concept of legalisation in their domestic law: the citizens in these States enjoy the benefits of the Convention whenever they intend to produce a domestic public document in another State party which, for its part, requires authentication of the document concerned.”
There are 105 countries that have signed this convention and become official members. There are still other nations that are so-called “non-member observer states” such as Belize and Colombia, a hand-full of African countries and much of central Asia.
One signatory country – Tajikistan – has not ratified the Apostille Convention within its own country.