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What is an Apostille?

An apostille (pronounced “ah-po-steel”) is a certificate issued by the Secretary of State or other Notary regulating agency that proves the authenticity of a Notary’s signature and seal. The apostille is attached to your original document to verify it is legitimate and authentic so it will be accepted in countries who are members of the Hague Apostille Convention.

The Hague Apostille Convention was a conference held in 1961 in which many countries joined together to create a simplified method of “legalizing” documents for universal recognition.  Members of this conference adopted a document referred to as an Apostille that would be recognized by all member countries.  Apostille only pertains to public documents such as marriage, birth, and death certificates and other court documents, patents, or even diplomas.

The United States of America has been a part of the Hague Convention since October 1981.  Getting documents apostilled can be a challenging task, especially if it’s your first experience with the document authentication process.  Fortunately, our team at Washington Express Visas is happy to guide you through the process.  Contact us today for assistance!


The following list includes the 113 countries that are members of the Hague Apostille Convention:​​

 Albania  Germany Oman
 Andorra  Greece Panama
 Antigua and Barbuda  Grenada  Paraguay
 Argentina  Honduras  Peru
 Armenia Hong Kong Poland
 Australia Hungary Portugal
 Austria  Iceland  Romania
Azerbaijan India Russia
Bahamas  Ireland  Saint Kitts and Nevis
 Bahrain Israel  Saint Lucia
Barbados  Italy Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Belarus  Japan Samoa
 Belgium Kosovo  San Marino
 Belize  Kazakhstan  Sao Tome and Principe
Bosnia and Herzegovina Latvia Serbia
 Botswana Lesotho Seychelles
Brazil  Liberia  Slovakia
Brunei Liechtenstein  Slovenia
 Bulgaria Lithuania South Africa
 Burundi  Luxembourg  South Korea
Cape Verde Macau Spain
Chile Macedonia Suriname
 Colombia  Malawi  Swaziland
 Cook Islands  Malta Sweden
Costa Rica Marshall Islands Switzerland
 Croatia Mauritius  Tajikistan
Cyprus  Mexico  Tonga
Czech Republic Moldova Trinidad and Tobago
Denmark Monaco  Turkey
 Dominica  Mongolia  Ukraine
 Dominican Republic  Montenegro  United Kingdom
 Ecuador  Morocco  United States
 El Salvador  Namibia  Uruguay
 Estonia  Netherlands  Uzbekistan
 Fiji New Zealand  Vanuata
 Finland  Nicaragua Venezuela
 France Niue
 Georgia Norway