Frequently Asked Questions


How do I use your Apostille service?

Complete either our online Order Form or PDF Order Form or contact us by email on for guidance.


Pronunciation of “Apostille"

Phonetically, this unusual English word (which you cannot find in your everyday English dictionary) is French in origin, and pronounced... "A - poss - steal".


Can a Justice of the Peace or Solicitor witness my signature or certify my document for use overseas?

No. Australian public, company/commercial or educational documents can only be signed before a notary public or certified by the same person, who has his or her signature and seal registered on the Australian Government’s computer data base for authentication purposes. Please note that multiple page documents must be signed or sealed by the Notary Public at the bottom of each page of the notarised document required to be legalised, or apostilled.


What exactly is an Apostille Certificate?

An Apostille Certificate is an official government Certificate printed or stamped onto the reverse side of a single page document or attached to multiple paged documents with green notary ribbon making it become one inseparable document. It authenticates the seal and or signature of the public official or authority such as a notary or registrar issuing the document.

A Notary Public in Australia is a public official appointed by law, inter alia, to witness signatures or certify copied documents for international use. When a Notary Public signs, seals or stamps a document, that document then becomes a document capable of being apostilled or legalised.

An issued Apostille Certificate confirms that the person signing, sealing or stamping a public document has lawful authority to do so, and the apostilled document automatically becomes a legal document in countries which are members of the Hague Convention. It does not authenticate or confirm the contents of a document.


What does an Apostille Certificate look like?

An Apostille Certificate is a square approximately 9cm long, usually stamped onto the reverse side of a single page public document or attached with green ribbon to a document having more than one page or with insufficient space to place the Certificate on the reverse side of a single page document.

It is formatted into numbered fields to allow certified data to be easily identified by the receiving country, regardless of the official language of the issuing country. It is also dated, numbered, registered and impressed with the official seal of the government department which issues it.

The Certificate's official issue and registration may be readily verified by means of a simple request for information addressed to the country's issuing government department from where it originated.

If a public document consists of more than one page, all pages are bound together into a single bundle and tied firmly with green notary ribbon or tape, with the Certificate attached to it on a separate sheet of paper.


Why do I need an Apostille Certificate?

Prior to the introduction of Apostille Certificates, the burden on international governments, law courts, universities, businesses and other organisations to ascertain whether or not a foreign public document was authentic and reliable, was quite onerous and difficult to assess.

To overcome these predicaments, on the 5 October 1961, The Hague Convention abolished the requirement of formal legalisation of foreign public documents by Embassies or Consulates in a successful attempt to prevent these problematical appraisals having to be made.

The Convention reduced all of the cumbersome formalities of embassy or consulate legalisation to the simple delivery of a Certificate in a prescribed form, entitled "Apostille", to be issued by the appropriate government department of any country ratifying the Convention.

Whilst most countries have embraced the Convention, many have still to embrace it.


Australian educational documents… Can they be legalised or apostilled?

Australian educational documents are not public documents and cannot be apostilled or legalised standing alone without certification.

Educational documents may include...

  • University or Tertiary Degrees | Diplomas | Certificates | Academic Transcripts
  • TAFE | Trade Certificates | Transcripts
  • Higher School | Matriculation Certificates
  • Secondary School Semester Reports | Principals’ Statements

If an Australian public tertiary educational/university document does not have a public online verification service available by its issuing University, it must be certified and signed directly by the central Student Administrative office of the issuing University as a "true and accurate" record before the document can be submitted to DFAT for issue of an Apostille or Authentication Certificate. You will need to contact your university's Student Administration to arrange this processing.

We provide verification services if you do not or cannot attend upon your University for signature and certification. If you deliver to us the original testamur/degree/academic transcript, we will attend to verification of that document before notarising it, at an additional cost of $150.00 inclusive of GST. This additional cost involves time spent to obtain verification, including completing online an Application Form. A signed Authority from you is required for this purpose and a blank Authority Form will be emailed to you for completion and for return to us by email should you wish to proceed in this manner.

An Australian private tertiary educational document must first be notarised by a Notary Public before it can be submitted to DFAT for issue of an Authentication or Authentication Certificate.

A public primary or secondary school document must be signed by an authorised officer of a State/Territory educational authority before the document can be submitted to DFAT for issue of an Apostille or Authentication Certificate.

A private or secondary school document must be notarised by a Notary Public before lodgement with DFAT for an Apostille or Authentication Certificate.

A Certificate from the Board of Studies must be reissued and signed by an Authorised officer of a State or Territory Board of Studies.


What is an Authentication Certificate?

An Authentication Certificate is a Certificate issued by the Australian government authenticating the seal or signature of a public official on an Australian public document, including that of a notary public to assist Embassies and Consulates legalise documents for use in their countries.


Which countries do and do not recognise Apostille Certificates?

Apostilled Australian public documents are accepted by all countries participating in the Hague Convention.

There are currently over 80 member countries of The Hague Convention recognising Apostille Certificates. Click on this link to view a list of these participating countries

In addition to those countries which are participants in The Hague Convention, there are many non participating countries that will also recognise Apostille Certificates without themselves being members. We recommend you check with your principal source to ascertain whether or not an Apostille Certificate is acceptable.

If an Apostille Certificate is not recognised by a particular country, full embassy or consulate legalisation is necessary which for most countries involves the issue of an Authentication Certificate, certifying the seal or signature appearing on that document. Click on this link to view a list of non participating countries.

Public documents legalised by a country's Embassy or Consulate are restricted in their use to the particular country whose embassy or consulate legalised the documents. They are not transferable.


What type of document can be authenticated by an Apostille Certificate?

Virtually any public document can be legalised by an Apostille Certificate. Here is a list of popular Australian Public Documents...

  • Consent letter for children to travel or visit overseas
  • Powers of Attorney
  • NAATI certified language translations
  • University, TAFE, and Secondary School degrees, certificates and transcripts certified by an authorised officer, or copies certified by a Notary Public
  • Doctor and Dentist applications for overseas appointments
  • Birth, Death and Marriage Certificates
  • Change of Name documents
  • Single Status Certificates
  • Certificate of No Impediment to Overseas Marriage
  • Statutory Declaration signed before a Notary Public
  • Probate, Letters of Administration
  • Land Transfer documents
  • Affidavits, sworn Statements, and depositions sworn before an Australian Notary Public
  • Certificate of Incorporation of Australian Company issued by ASIC and miscellaneous original company documents including Notarial Certificate of Good Standing in respect of Australian company
  • Notarised copy of Passport, Drivers Licence and other identity documents
  • Certificate of Divorce issued by the Family Court of Australia or Federal Magistrates Court
  • Police Certificate ("no criminal record") issued by State or Federal Police
  • Miscellaneous notarised documents for use overseas

This list is not exhaustive. If you have a document not listed above which you require apostilled, email us for free professional guidance.


I have multiple public, company/commercial, or educational documents… do I need multiple Apostille Certificates?

Whenever possible, we will legalise your documents under one Apostille Certificate to keep your costs to a minimum. For example, multiple company/commercial or educational documents can be legalised under one Apostille Certificate when certified by a notary grouped in a bundle, attached and inseparably bound by notary ribbon to a “Notarial Certificate”.

However, most public documents require individual Apostille Certificates, e.g. Birth Certificates, as they name different persons and are usually signed and or sealed by different public officials.

We will advise you on the most cost effective way to legalise your multiple documents if you're unsure.

Most foreign embassies and consulates will accept notarial certificates but charge for individual documents included in the bundle.


How long does it take to have an Apostille Certificate in my hands?


Our written Request/Application for an Apostille or Authentication Certificate as ordered bTy you is express posted to DFAT's office in Melbourne  and when processed is delivered back to us by express post, usually within  FIVE (5) to TEN (10) working days from date of receipt of your document/s at its office and confirmed payment of its filing fees paid by us.

Requests/Applications are sent by express post to DFAT Melbourne for processing as it is the only DFAT office in Australia that accepts Requests/Applications in this manner. There is currently over a month's wait and/or more for a walk in appointments at the Sydney office of DFAT to process. 

We are unable to give an accutate assessment of turnaround time as DFAT is a law until themselves and turnaround times depends on how many Requests are in lined up in order of receipt on a daily basis.

Because of the great demand for Certicates made to DFAT, significant delays are occurring in the processing, issuing, and delivery back to us of processed documents by DFAT… possibly also due to its need to obey government public health guidelines and rules set in place, resulting in a shortage of staff. Also other possibilities such as staff sickness,  service and equipment difficulties such as computer breakdowns and large workload.



When delivering to overseas clients, we use DHL Courier, a reliable international courier well known for its swift and safe deliveries.

Our experience gives us confidence that DHL carrier will ensure quick delivery of your document/s within three (3) to five (5) working days calculated from the day the parcel is collected from our office by its representative.

However, as it is a public courier, sometimes unexpected delays may occur beyond our control.

We express post with signature required to addresses for delivery within Australia.

Also, if the nominated delivery address is outside a country’s capital or major city, a delivery delay may occur.

Our responsibility to our client for delivery of processed documents ends when our DHL courier issues us with a Way Bill upon payment of its prescribed delivery fee, and collected from our office.

We cannot control deliveries after that point of time. We accept no responsibility for loss, damage, destruction or delays due to courier problems or insufficient or incorrect addresses or phone contacts provided to us.

Note that our standard DHL delivery charges do not include insurance for loss, damage, destruction or delay in delivery of couriered documents. If protection insurance is required, extra fees are payable. Email us to arrange this additional service.


How do I instruct you?

Complete our PDF Order Form or order online.

If your matter is urgent, consider using our Online Order Form with online credit card payment facility to ensure speedy service.

One of our experienced clerks will be happy to discuss your specific requirements including your need for urgent services, or preferred payment method and we invite you to make use of our contact page.

For the ABC’s of Apostilles and how to ensure that your public documents will be recognised abroad click on this link....


Does your document qualify for an Apostille Certificate?

Only original Australian Government documents issued and signed by a government official qualify for Apostille Certificates {such Certificates are issued by the Australian Government Department named Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)} and those officials’ seal and signature specimens are recorded on DFAT’s computer data base to check and confirm. Apostille Certificates authenticate these seals and signatures to enable the document to be accepted overseas as genuine. Documents issued by an Australian Births, Deaths, and Marriage Registry qualify. Documents issued by Australian Courts, Police and miscellaneous government departments also qualify. Documents witnessed or certified as true and correct copies by an Australian Public Notary also qualify for apostilles as notary seals and signatures are also recorded on DFAT’s computer data base. Certificates of Marriage issued and signed by a Marriage Celebrant are not public or government documents and their signatures are not registered with DFAT so do not qualify. This important information is readily obtainable on the internet by a simple Google search or by an enquiry made to us from our website Enquiry Form.

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Michael, thank you a lot for your great support and the work you have done! We highly appreciate it and wish you all the best! Possibly, later I will contact you again re apostille of Chertered Accountant Certificate J.
Thank you and kind regards,

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