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How to certify documents with an apostille stamp?

Michael Decker
Michael Decker

When submitting documents from Israel to a foreign country, or vice versa, it is necessary to stamp the documents with an Apostille stamp. All First World countries (except Canada) are members of the Apostille Convention, which allows documents to be submitted from one country to another relatively easily. But what happens when translated documents are submitted to a country that is not a member of the Apostille Convention? In this article we will explain how to sign documents with an Apostille stamp in Israel and abroad and what to do with documents from countries that are not members of the Apostille Convention.

The article will allow you to familiarize yourself with the necessary process of verifying documents with an apostille stamp or through the embassy of the country where the documents are submitted. In addition, we will expain what the apostille stamp and the Hague Convention on Apostilles mean.

Our office specializes in providing various notarial services, including professional notarized translation of official documents. In addition, we also provide services of sealing documents with an Apostille stamp. If you need translation and verification services FOR official documents, we invite you to contact us.

apostille stamp

What is the Hague Convention or the Apostille Convention?

The Hague Convention, also known as the Apostille Convention, is actually an agreement between a large number of countries, aimed to facilitate the recognition of official documents between the countries.

By signing official documents with an Apostille stamp, any official document from a country that is a member of the convention can be submitted to another member country without additional requirements. The apostille stamp confirms that the documents are indeed official, authentic, and can be accepted.

Submitting documents with an apostille stamp is required for many processes, mainly related to immigration and the acquisition of foreign citizenships. For example, those who apply for foreign citizenship, such as German or Austrian citizenship, will be required to submit documents such as birth certificates and registration extracts which are then translated with notarized certification and signed with an apostille seal.

In the past, receipt of official approval for the submission of official documents from a foreign country was given by contacting the embassy or consulate of the country of origin. Today, this procedure is much less common for the member states of the Hague Convention, but the possibility still exists. At the same time, those who choose to try to get permission to authenticate foreign official documents through the embassy or consulate may have their documents rejected by the authorities, as they may prove unfamiliar with the process.

How can you certify your documents with an apostille stamp?

To verify translated documents with an apostille stamp, you need to submit documents translated by a notarized translation. A notarized translation can be done by a notary who speaks the source language and the language of the translation, who presented a certificate of the correctness of the translation. This translation can also be done by an experienced and skilled translator, who appeared before the notary and proved their comprehension of the translation languages. It is important to note that a notarized translation can only be performed by a certified notary in the official notary database.

After the notarized translation has been made, the document must be stamped with an apostille stamp at the courthouse. The stamp will verify that the notary who drew up the notarial certificate is indeed a notary registered in the database and that the notary’s license is valid in the State of Israel.

As long as it is a matter of submitting official documents of the State of Israel and not of a translation made by a notary, the documents must be authenticated with an apostille at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem. It is generally necessary to verify both the original document (to make sure it is official and accurate) and its translation by the notary. On the other hand, there are cases in which only the translation must be verified, or only the original document must be verified and no translation is necessary – each case individually, according to the circumstances.

How are official documents authenticated for countries that are not members of the Hague Convention?

There are countries such as Canada for example which are not members of the Hague Convention. In these cases, the verification of official documents is done in a slightly different way. In these cases, if the countries in which the documents are to be served recognize the State of Israel, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will issue a verification seal for the official documents that is not an apostille seal. For Canada, it is necessary to submit the official documents to the Canadian Embassy in Israel, to get confirmation beofre the documents can be submitted to the Canadian authorities.

Can you certify documents with an apostille stamp if they are from an enemy country?

If it is a country with which Israel does not have diplomatic relations, it is necessary to transfer the documents through a third country, which maintains diplomatic relations both with Israel and with the country of origin. Our team of experts has the ability to do this for many enemy countries.

Is there a cost for getting an apostille stamp?

Stamping official documents with an apostille stamp involves paying a fee. As of July 2023, the cost of the fee is 38 NIS. The payment can be made in advance online and then the receipt must be presented before signing the documents. There is also the option of making the payment on site.

Are there any documents that require approval from other authorities?

There are documents such as school certificates or marriage certificates that require additional approval before the documents are authenticated with an apostille stamp, from the relevant authority. For example, for a study permit or teaching certificate, which were issued by the Ministry of Education, an official signature on the document must be obtained from the Ministry of Education.

In cases where it is a marriage certificate or a divorce certificate, which were issued by the Ministry of Religions, it is necessary to obtain a certification from the Ministry of Religions to prove that these are indeed official and authenticated documents.

When it comes to non-official documents, such as wills or contracts, there is no need to stamp them with an apostille stamp. In this case, they may require obtaining other certificates to prove the authenticity of the document.

What about foreign documents submitted in Israel?

When submitting documents from a foreign country in Israel, there is a requirement to present an apostille stamp as well. The official documents signed with an apostille stamp must be presented to the relevant authority in Israel. There is also the option of legalizing the foreign documents at the consulate in Israel.

How do you sign documents with an apostille stamp? Use a qualified notary

As you understand, the process of obtaining an apostille stamp for official documents requires a preliminary process of translating the documents and obtaining a notarized confirmation of the translation. It is very important that the translation be professional and accurate, to avoid any delay in the approval of the documents and their receipt. The signing and submission process can be carried out by a law firm, where expert notaries work, to enable the process to be carried out in the best and most convenient way.

Our offices located in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv provide services of notarized translation for official documents and their sealing with an apostille stamp. We also specialize in verifying documents that will be submitted in foreign countries that are not members of the Hague Convention. We invite you to use our services, so that you can be calm and confident that every step of the process is carried out for you in the most professional and strict manner.

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