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What is an apostille and when is it necessary?

An apostille is a special type of certification required for the use of documents abroad. This certification is used to confirm the authenticity of documents issued by government authorities.

The apostille was introduced in 1961 by the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents. This convention has been signed by many countries around the world, making it an internationally recognised system.

An apostille can be used for various documents, such as:

  • Company incorporation certificates

  • birth certificates

  • Marriage certificates

  • Divorce certificates

  • Diplomas and academic certificates

  • Notarised documents

  • Court orders

  • Powers of attorney

The apostille is issued by the cantonal authority of the country where the document was originally issued. In Switzerland, this authority is usually the State Chancellery of the canton. The apostille is then applied to the document to be authenticated. At this address of the Swiss Federal Chancellery you will find the current list of all official authorities that can certify or issue apostilles. Click here to go to the list of the Federal Chancellery.

The apostille is basically a certified statement that confirms the authenticity of the document and legalises it for use abroad. If a country has signed the Hague Convention, it recognises the apostille and accepts the certified document as valid.

What is a translation with an apostille?

When a document has been issued in one country and is to be used in another, a certified translation with apostille is often required. A certified translation with apostille confirms that the translation of the original document is correct and has been done by a qualified translator.

What does an apostille look like?

Notarisation with apostille
Here is an example of what a notarised certification with apostille looks like

How do you get translations with international recognition?

As a rule, you need a translation with a qualified signature carried out by a recognised translator. Contact us so that our experts can advise you free of charge! 

The apostille is important because it makes it easier for companies and individuals to use documents in different countries. Without the apostille, documents would have to go through a long and costly legalisation process to gain validity abroad.

Overall, the apostille is an important component of international cooperation and trade. It facilitates the recognition of documents abroad and promotes smooth cooperation between different countries and cultures.


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