India is one of the many countries that signed the Hague convention; hence, Apostille in India is a mandatory procedure. In other words, the Ministry of External Affairs must accredit the legitimacy of your documents if you want to visit or move to a Hague-member country.
The apostille process refers to the legalization of the documents and certificates. Your documents and certificates pass through several layers of verifications and approvals before final legalization from the central government. Below are the different bodies that are involved in the Indian Apostille process ( Not all bodies are involved in all the cases) :
- Notary: This is the first stage of Apostille. A lawyer at the collector’s office certifies your education and professional certificates.
- Home Department attestation: At the state level, the home department of each state certifies documents from their state. It issues documents that have been published under the same state government.
- HRD attestation: The Human Resource Department of the state is responsible for attesting educational documents. To certify the documents, verification is done by the university or board from the place of origin of the document.
- SDM Attestation: In some cases, Sub Divisional Magistrate provides state attestation. SRD attestation is required when Home Department and HRD attestation is not required.
- Chamber of Commerce Attestation: The Chamber of Commerce legalizes the commerce documents before they are sent to MEA for final approval. No state attestation is required for commercial documents.
- MEA Attestation: Ministry of External Affairs provides a unique sticker or a stamp to approve your document. This is the final stage of approval, after which your documents can be used in the Hague Convention countries.