An Apostille is the legalization of a document for international use (only in the member countries of the Hague Convention). On October 5, 1961, many nations joined to create a simplified method of “legalizing’ documents for universal recognition. This group of nations is known as the Hague Convention. They adopted a document referred to as an Apostille that is internationally recognized by all member nations.
An Apostille certificate verifies that the document to which it relates is authentic and has been checked in its country of origin. Once this certificate or stamp has been attached the document is legalized and is acceptable to overseas authorities in countries that have joined the Hague Convention. Requirements vary from country to country and many countries that are not party to the Convention also recognize Hague Apostille Certificates. Those that do not may require further embassy legalization.