The act of issuing apostilles under the Apostille Convention. A document for which an apostille has been issued under the Convention is referred to as „apostilled“.

Issuing apostilles often replaces the cumbersome, time-consuming and costly legalization process. Legalization is a term that is still used and can mean „apostille“, „testify further“. It can often be used in cases that can be considered „lost in translation“.


A person requesting the release of an apostille.


Law on other legislative processes with states that are not members or parties to the Apostille Convention.
An updated list of all Contracting States is available on our website.

Verification / Verification

Verification is a general term that commonly refers to the process of verifying or „verifying“ the origin of a public document. „Authentication“ and „legalization“ are sometimes used synonymously, and „authentication“ can also be used to refer to the apostilization process.

Contracting State

A State which has acceded to the Apostille Convention, whether or not the Convention has entered into force for that State. A Contracting State for which the Convention has actually entered into force may also be designated as a Contracting Party. An updated list of all Contracting States is available on our website.

Issuance of Apostilles

The act of completion of the apostille and its attachment to the underlying trust document for the purpose of certifying its origin.


The process of verifying foreign public documents. Apostilization has the same effect as legalization, but is the result of a simplified process established by the Convention.

Elaboration of a Public Document

Act of presentation of an authentic instrument in the proposed State of destination. The production of an authentic instrument may be required or ensured (i) by the law of the State of destination (e.g. in court proceedings or residence applications), or (ii) by another arrangement (e.g. under a commercial contract or private application process).

Public Document

A broad concept that is at the heart of the Apostille Convention. A public document is, in principle, a document carried out by an institution or person acting in an official capacity. Determining what constitutes a public document is entirely a matter for the law of the State of origin.


A person who, in the State of destination, is presented with an apostilled public document.

Register of Apostilles

A register in which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Community records data on each Apostille issued.

State of Destination

States other than the country of origin in which the (apostilized) public document (sometimes also referred to as the State of production) must be submitted.

Country of Origin

The state from which the public document is based and whose competent authority is obliged to issue an apostille (sometimes also referred to as the executing state).