Apostille is the term for certification of all your legal documents. Apostilles are very frequently required for paperwork such as driving license, children’s migration to transnational schools, etc in a foreign country. However, unlike your regular legal documents such as National Identification (ID), driving license or passport, an Apostille usually does not have an expiry date. To understand why, it is imperative to understand how a document is apostilled.
How is a document Apostilled?
Under the 1961 Hague Convention, the documents which are Apostilled have an issue date. It does not have an ‘expiry’ date, once physically related (attached) to a legal document. Hence, when an Apostille is issued to a particular certificate, such as marriage certificate Apostille or driving license Apostille, it is almost always valid to be used overseas in countries that require that Apostille. However, some countries may require an Apostille to be issued within a certain timeframe.
Which countries do not have an expiry date for Apostille?
Countries which are members of the 1961 Hague Apostille Convention are eligible to request you for an Apostille for several documents including divorce decree Apostille, marriage certificate Apostille, diploma Apostille, birth Apostille, transcripts Apostille, etc. However, countries that are not signatory to this convention may or may not accept Apostilles and hence would require additional notary documents. *It is important to note that the signatory countries always recognize other signatory countries’ Apostilles and those Apostilles have no expiry date. You can check if your country is a signatory to the Hague Apostille here.
Exceptions to Apostille Permanent Validity
In some instances, citizens or immigrants would be asked by foreign authorities to produce a newer version of the Apostille issued to a document. Although it is very difficult to pinpoint for when and which documents the US authorities would require fresh Apostilles, in most cases the process is only bureaucratic. Examples of exceptions to Apostille’s permanent validity may be criminal records Apostille, FBI background checks, certificate of free to marry, etc. This is because circumstances in people’s lives are bound to keep changing; hence the request for newer versions of these Apostilles is manageable and easy to understand. Please remember that most of such documents would be rejected if they are older than 6 to 12 months depending on the gravity of the documents.
Apostille Documents with Permanent Validity
There are some documents, which are based on facts and which almost never change. These include birth certificate, marriage certificate Apostille, death certificate Apostille and company registration Apostille. Since these documents do not change over any period of time, it is unnecessary to request newer ones.
If you’re unsure of whether your legal documents would require a new Apostille, you can contact our professional Apostille attorneys here. Moreover, you can click below to download the Apostille order form.
Click Here to Download the Apostille Form