July 13 2017 in Language Connect by Global-Language

Does apostil has a term of validity?

Does apostil has a term of validity and will it be accepted if the document was prepared several years back?

It’s one of the most frequent questions our clients have. Surely, no one wants to spend their efforts for preparing new duplicates of documents and apostilling them. We will gladly clarify the situation to our current and future customers.

To come up with the answer, let’s first discuss the definitions. What is apostil and legalization?

It’s hard to imagine the amount of paperwork we would need to do if all the world countries had different standards for their main documents. Nonetheless, these standards may still vary greatly. In order to solve the issue of spending long time for getting official confirmation, a universal stamp to approve the validity of certain documents – apostil (or ‘apostille’ in French) was invented. Its form is universal and recognized by all Hague Convention member countries (Convention de la Haye du 5 octobre 1961). This stamp has square shape with the side of no less than 9 centimeters and has to correspond to the approved sample.

Thus, apostil is a special mark ensuring the validity of signatures of certain document, the capacity of the person who signed it, and the other stamps it bears. The aim of apostil is to automatically make the document valid in all the Hague Convention countries.

Please, note that it is not obligatory in case the document procedure is simplified. Although, it guarantees the validity of paper issued by legislative, administrative, notarial, educational documents and certificates.

According to the agreement, this stamp is not required in the following cases:

  • If the document was issued by the diplomatic organization overseas;

  • If it’s linked with commercial or customs procedures;

  • For correspondence.

In the legislative documents, including Hague Convention abstracts, no requirements regarding the term of validity for apostil are mentioned. Thus, if some organization or institution insists on apostil renewal, its requirements have no legislative grounds.

Nonetheless, you may face a different problem. Some countries, such as Italy or Switzerland, come up with claims to renew the document quite often; their embassies don’t accept any documents issued more than 6 months from the application date.

Is it legal? The ground of their concerns doesn’t touch the apostil stamp itself, but they question the validity of the document, which bears the stamp. Certificates approving your place of work or study, bank statements, etc., can change within such a long period of time as half a year. Thus, we advise you to remember to get the copies of those documents, bearing fresh dates – both in the body of the document, and in the stamp.

If you are looking for professional translation services with apostil, just stop for a while and try our services for a decent fee!


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