|What is an Aopstille and why do I need one|
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What is an apostille?
| ||Example of an apostille (Delaware, USA)|
An apostille is
a special seal applied by an authority to certify that a document is
a true copies of an original. Apostilles are available in countries,
which signed the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of
Legalization of Foreign Public Documents, popularly known as The Hague
Convention. This convention, created
in 1961, replaces the time consuming chain certification process used so far, where
you had to go to four different authorities to get a
Why do I need one?
If you open a Swiss bank account by mail,
the bank will not see the original of your passport. The people who process your
application in the back office will have to check that the copy is correct. Each
bank has devised its own way of establishing whether a passport copy is
acceptable to open an account. Some banks will accept a passport copy if it has
been authenticated (legalized, certified) by a notary public, but
most will require that the document bears an apostille.
Where can I get an apostille?
Each country party to the Hague Convention designates an authorithy within its territory that can issue apostilles. For example, in the USA, it is the office of the state's secretary. In practice, you should contact a notary to get an apostille. Please note that some notaries may not be familiar with this procedure - they may propose you an ersatz that they are more familiar with. If it does not bear the term "APOSTILLE" in big, that's not it. Also, you don't have to explain why you need an apostille when dealing with your notary - just tell him what you need. Finally, please bear in mind that there are some countries
that did not sign this treaty yet and thus no apostilles can be obtained.
What are apostille normally used for?
An apostille can be used whenver a copy of an official document from another country is needed. For example for international marriages, adoptions, inheritance, but also for plain contracts. The apostille is an official certification that the document is a true copy of the original. It does not certify that the original document's content is correct, however.
What should I do if I can't get one?
an apostille is required to authenticate a copy of your passport, no substitute will
be accepted by the bank. If you cannot get one, contact us to see if there are
alternative ways of legalizing your document. Don't try to get just any type of
official seal - this won't work and the bank won't open the account.