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  • Writer's pictureMatt Fogarty

How to Get an Apostille if You're in Australia

British professionals travelling overseas often find themselves needing to verify documentation intended for execution back in Europe or elsewhere. Like in Britain, an Australian Notary Public can assist.

A Notary Public in Australia serves as a representative of the government. These public officers effectively help verify identities and validate signatures. A Notary Public will check your identification and witness the signing of important documents. They serve to ensure that the people are who they claim to be and competent to sign and verify signatures.

After witnessing, the Notary will sign the document and apply either a stamp or a seal. for those intending to use the document in Australia, that is the final step. A notarised document is official and will be recognized throughout Australia. For those who need those documents for international purposes, including work visas, marriage licenses, or business formation abroad, an Apostille may be required.

For those not familiar with the term, an Apostille is an international verification of a Notary stamp. Any country that belongs to the 1961 Hague Convention will recognize an Apostille from another country that signed. Member countries include Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom. There are several more steps in the process of obtaining an Apostille after signing a document.

However, the process is much more streamlined that it was prior to the Hague Convention. Member states have the ability to verifying notarised documents with an Apostille. This saves people time and stress, because they no longer have to get consulate approval of important documents.

The Australian government maintains records of the stamp or seal and signature of each Notary it authorizes. That allows the government to verify the authenticity of any notarised document. They use these records when granting and Apostille for your documents. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will compare the signature, stamp or seal with internal government records. Provided that everything matches official records, they will then provide a certificate or stamp that serves to authenticate the document.

That certificate or stamp is an Apostille. the Apostille on the document helps ensure that the government of another member nation from the Hague convention will recognize the document. In cases where the other country is not part of the 1961 Hague convention, you may need to take the documents to that country's consulate prior to exiting Australia.

The process of obtaining an Apostille can be frustrating and time-consuming. For many people, the best option is to work with a Notary who can handle the process on their behalf. For those in or near the Melbourne area, John Pearce is a professional Notary with experience in document signing and obtaining an Apostille. For one flat fee, you can obtain both Notarisation and an Apostille. Those services help streamline the process and speed up obtaining an Apostille. More importantly, you can focus on preparation for traveling, instead of working with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

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