What is an Apostille?

You're in Ecuador and want to get a visa and you need to get an aspotille for a specific document, but what does that really mean? Here, we lay out a straightforward description for you.

What is an apostille?

First and foremost an apostille is an official certification of a document, verifying that it is an original and authentic document.

When is it needed?

Apostilles are needed for any documents that are being presented in a different country from where the document was issued. For example, if you had an FBI background check done in the United States, and need to present the document in Ecuador as a requirement for your immigration visa, the document representing the FBI background check must have an apostille from the U.S. in order for Ecuador to accept it as a valid and legal document.

In which countries are apostilles accepted?

Once you get an apostille for a document, it will be legally valid in all of the countries that have signed the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961. This includes Ecuador, United States, all states in the European Union, among many others. To see the full list see the Hague Conference on Private International Law website.

What types of documents need an apostille? Any document that needs to be presented in a foreign country for visas, jobs, benefits, or any other legal service must have an apostille. Some examples are:

  • birth/death/marraige certificates

  • driving records

  • university degrees

  • social security letters

  • FBI checks

  • Powers of attorney

How do I get this done? All apostilles must be done in the country in which the document in question was issued. There, it must be notarized and sent to the government department that authorizes apostilles. Do you need an apostille? We can help! Contact us here for more information.

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