You should check with the local authorities requesting the document as to their requirements in order to ensure that the appropriate service is provided for your documents to be accepted. We cannot advise clients of foreign requirements. We can provide the following general information.
As a general rule, countries that are party to the 1961 Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents require an apostille on documents that qualify as Australian public documents. A full list of countries that are party to this convention can be found at the Hague Conference on Private International Law website.
Some countries will accept an apostille for certain types of documents, and many require an original government document to have been issued within 3 months of the apostille being affixed. You must check the local requirements.
Online verification is available for apostilles issued by Australia on or after 14 December 2015.
As a general rule, documents going to countries that are not party to the Hague Convention require an authentication. It is important to confirm the requirements with the foreign receiving authority as some countries impose specific requirements on how an authentication should be prepared. For example, you may not be allowed to have an Australian notary public certify your foreign document as a true copy for the purposes of having an authentication affixed. It may be required to be signed by their Embassy in Australia after DFAT has stamped it and their Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the capital city.
Can I get both certifications?
There may be occasions when you wish to use the same document in multiple countries, some of which may be signatories to the Hague Convention and other which are not. To ensure that your document is acceptable to the receiving country, it would be in your best interests to have two original documents legalised – one with an authentication and the other with an apostille.
What documents can be legalised?
Overseas, we can only authenticate Australian public documents or foreign documents intended for use in Australia that have already been authenticated by the local foreign affairs department or other approved agency.
In the case of Australian public documents, in order to be accepted for authentication or apostille, you must present the original document issued by an Australian government department or agency with an official signature or seal.
As a general guide the documents most commonly requiring an apostille are original birth, death, marriage, divorce or change of name certificates issued by a Registry Office in Australia, or an Australian Court and original AFP criminal history checks.
Laminated or damaged documents will be refused for legalisation. Replacements will need to be obtained from the issuing authority.
Education documents presented to DFAT for an authentication or apostille must have been issued by an Australian accredited education authority. See the Australian Qualifications Framework website for more information on who can issue education documents in Australia. If your education document was issued by an institution in a foreign country, it will need to be authenticated or apostilled by that country, not by DFAT.
In the case of private documents, such as a power of attorney or an article of association for a company, it must first have been certified and or witnessed by an Australian notary public (in Australia) or an Australian diplomatic or consular officer in accordance with the Consular Fees Act 1955 for an authentication. Copies of documents made by consular and diplomatic officers cannot be issued with an apostille (except copies of Australian Passports).
Where you want to use a copy of an Australian Public document to obtain an apostille, you will either need to post the documents to Australia and have a copy made by an us , or, if you are currently located in an Apostille Convention country, arrange to have a local Notary Public certify the document and then approach the local competent authority for an apostille (not the Australian high commission or embassy).
For example, you are currently in India (Apostille Country) and you have an Australian (Apostille Country) document (eg a birth certificate) that you need to send to Italy (Apostille Country) in support of a visa application. A copy of your Australian document can be certified by a Notary Public in India, and then the competent authority in India would issue an apostille confirming the notary who made the copy is a true notary.
What do I need to do to have my document legalised?
An original Australian Government document (such as a certificate from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Australian court document, police issued fingerprints or AFP/State police check) . A photocopy of an Australian government document (including a copy of an Australian passport) Your document must be certified, signed and sealed by us.
An Australian private document (including company documents, wills and powers of attorney) Your document must be certified, signed and sealed by us.
An Australian commercial document with a signature or seal from ASIC, the ATO, the TGA or trademarks office. Note – Some commercial documents issued by Australian government agencies such as ASIC or the ATO only use computer generated signatures or seals. You can submit the document to us without further requirements if it contains a signature or seal (whether ink or electronic). Electronic documents or printouts from online ASIC registers with no signature or seal can only be authenticated (not apostilled)
A business chamber or chamber of commerce and industry document These can only be authenticated. If you require an apostille, your document must be certified, signed and sealed by us.
Your degree or award must be verified and signed as a ‘true and accurate record’ by the central student administration office of the issuing institution, unless that institution has a public online verification register. For other documents most universities have an existing arrangement with DFAT to have certain staff provide a verification of content. When you contact your university’s student administration centre to arrange this, let them know that your document needs to be signed for DFAT. See below for list of universities with online verification or contacts for central student administration offices. Copies can be certified by an us. The notarial certificate should state the record has been verified with the issuing institution. A statement by a Notary that the document is a ‘true copy’ does not satisfy the verification requirement.
An Australian state technical college (CIT, TAFE etc), or tertiary institution qualification or document issued by an Australian public education institution. Copies can be certified by us.
An Australian secondary school qualification (such as HSC, VCE etc) or document. Your document must be verified and signed by an authorised officer of the relevant state or territory issuing organisation (Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia) or us.
An Australian public primary school document Your document must be signed by an authorised officer of the state/territory Department of Education. Most education departments have an existing arrangement with DFAT to have certain staff provide this service. An Australian private college/school/tertiary institution qualification or document Documents from Australian accredited private schools, colleges, and institutions offering tertiary qualifications will need to be certified and sealed by us.
Foreign language documents
Your translation must be completed, certified and signed by a translator accredited through the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters Ltd (NAATI). The translator must sign both a copy of the original document, and the translated document and certify that it is a “true and accurate translation of the text provided on the attached”