What is an Apostille?

Apostille Moldova

Special Stamp Apostille entered into force in the Republic of Moldova on March 16, 2007. This stamp cancels the requirement of legalization of foreign documents in Moldova and Moldovan ones abroad. This stamp is used by the Member States of the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961 “On Apostille”. In other words, the Convention abolishes the requirement for consular legalization of documents in their country of origin.

Apostille is a special inscription or seal that is attached to official documents for their legalization in other countries. Apostille is based on the Hague Convention on Apostille Documents of October 5, 1961. Since that time, apostilled documents are recognized and accepted without additional legalization procedures in the countries-participants of this convention.

Apostille format:

  1. Apostille measures 9 x 9 cm (about 3,54 x 3,54 inches).
  2. Apostille text must be written in French, although many countries now allow other languages.
  3. Apostille consists of 10 standard items that contain information about the document to which it is attached and the state body that issued the apostille.
  4. Apostille must be attached to the document for which it is issued by gluing, stamping or printing.

Apostille forms and its application in different countries:

  1. Paper apostille: the most common type of apostille. Used in most of the member countries of the Hague Convention. A paper apostille is pasted or stamped on the original document or on its certified copy.
  2. Electronic apostille (e-apostille): some countries, such as the USA, Spain, Mexico, Colombia, Belgium, etc., offer electronic apostille services. An electronic apostille is a digital certificate that can be attached to an electronic document or provided separately as a file. An electronic Apostille has the same validity as a paper Apostille and is accepted in countries that recognize this form of Apostille.

The methods for attaching an Apostille may vary from country to country, but in general the format of an Apostille and its content remain standardized.

It is important to note that an Apostille is not suitable for all documents and countries. Some countries, such as Canada, China and the UAE, are not parties to the Hague Convention and require consular legalization for the recognition of foreign documents. In this case, you must contact the consulate or embassy of the country in which the document will be used for information on the legalization procedure.

When submitting documents in a country that is a party to the Hague Convention with an Apostille, make sure that the Apostille has been obtained from the appropriate government agency and is properly affixed to the document. If the document is in a foreign language, a notarized translation into the language of the country in which the document will be used may also be required.

The Convention applies to all official documents that have been issued or received in the territory of one of the contracting states and must be presented to authorities or private organizations (at the request of the latter) in the territory of another contracting state.
As a rule, an Apostille is issued in the language of the country that issued the document, approximately as follows:

APOSTILLE (Convention de la Haye du 5 October 1961)

1 . A country …………………………………..
This white paper
2. was signed by (surname) …………………….
3 . acting as …………………….
4. affixed with a seal / stamp (name of institution)
5. in ………………………. 6. (date) …….
7. (name of certifying authority) ……………
8 . for N …………………………………….
9 . seal / stamp 10 . signature ……………….

As can be seen from the example, an apostille certifies the authenticity of the signature of the person who signed the document and the authenticity of the seals (if they are affixed to the document).

Passports and identity cards are not apostilled or legalized.

Apostille is affixed only on documents from state institutions and organizations of the Republic of Moldova. No further consular certification is required. The document is considered legitimate in the territory of one of the states of the countries of the countries of the Hague Convention immediately after the apostille (stamping (seal) Apostille).
The Convention considers as official documents:

• documents coming from a body or an official, including documents coming from a prosecutor's office, a court or a bailiff;
• administrative documents;
• notarial deeds and extracts;
• official marks, such as registration marks;
• visas confirming a certain date;
• Certification of a signature on a document not certified by a notary, as well as certified by a notary.
At the same time, the Convention (on Apostille) does not apply to:
• diplomatic or consular documents (obtained and legalized in these bodies, instances);
• documents directly related to a commercial or customs operation.

Where to put an apostille in Moldova

In the Republic of Moldova, the apostille is affixed by the following authorities:

1. Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Moldova:

a) civil status acts issued after February 24, 1998 and duplicates of civil status acts, for
with the exception of death certificates issued within 3 months before the submission of acts for apostille;

b) documents issued by the Ministry of Information Technology and Communications;

c) police clearance certificates issued by the Ministry of the Interior;

d) certificates of education issued by educational institutions accredited in the manner prescribed by
legislation, which must be submitted along with a confirmation from the educational institution that issued
an act on education or from the Ministry of Education;

e) notarial deeds;

f) acts issued by judicial authorities, prosecution authorities;

g) certificates issued by the National Social Insurance House certifying the length of service;

h) medical certificates issued by the Specialized Medical Center for Medical Examination of Emigrants and Immigrants and the National Scientific and Practical Center for Preventive Medicine / Center for the Prevention and Control of AIDS;

i) other acts issued by the official bodies of the Republic of Moldova.

2. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Moldova:

The exceptions are acts committed by central public administration authorities at the request of individuals and legal entities at their request.

It should be said a little about the validity period of the Apostille. In general, an Apostille does not have an expiration date on its own. But keep in mind that a document that has been apostilled may have an expiration date.

Little note. When ordering documents from the CIS countries, be extremely careful. Often the spelling of the surname, name or patronymic in the native language is not translated exactly as we would like - not according to the rules of the Russian language. Therefore, before ordering documents, tell the agent or company what your wishes for writing in the documents are.

What should I do if the apostille has already been affixed, but the document contains errors?

In some countries, such as, for example, Moldova, the apostille is electronic and is not placed on the document itself, but a plain paper with an apostille identification code is issued. But even in this case, you need to make a new document with the correct spelling and get a new apostille. You will also have to get a new document in the case when the apostille is affixed to the document itself, as, for example, in Ukraine and Russia, in Kazakhstan, in Uzbekistan.

What should I do if I am abroad and the document does not have an apostille?

You can contact our agency. We will help you. The terms for affixing an apostille depend on the country of origin of the document. The fastest procedure in Moldova, Russia and Ukraine.

Is it possible to put an apostille on old documents?

Documents received on the territory of the former Soviet Union are considered old-style documents. These documents are valid and valid only in the territory of their origin. That is, in the former Soviet republics of the same name. But even so, not all former republics allow the use of old-style certificates.