An apostille is a from of authentication given to documents for use in members countries of the ‘Hague Convention of 1961. If a country is not signee for this international convention, then foreign documents being processed in that country need to be authenticated or certified.
In the United States, government bodies like the Secretary of State can issue apostille and authentication to US citizens that are intended to be used abroad. Documents commonly requiring and apostille include corporate documents such as company bylaws, articles of incorporation, power for attorney, diplomas, transcripts, letters relating to degrees, marital status, references and job certifications, home studies, deeds of assignments, distributorship agreements, papers for adoption purposes, and others.
A list of countries that use apostilles include:
Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia,? Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom/Northern Ireland, United States of America, Uruguay, and Venezuela.