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How Long Does an Apostille Remain Valid?

How Long Does an Apostille Remain Valid?

How Long Does an Apostille Remain Valid?

December 12, 2023 apostille-online Comments Off

One of the most common queries for anyone working in the legal field verifying documents is what exactly an apostille is in the first place. After we’ve cleared that up, with explanations about international agreements and checking documents for overseas working, the next most common question is probably “How long does the Apostille last?” or “What is the validity period of the Apostille?” The very brief answer to this one is that Apostille Certificates do not have an expiry date; and will never expire or go out of date. Although they are issued with a date of issue printed on them, Apostille Certificates do not lose their validity over time.

Requirements for new Apostille Certificates

In most circumstances, a document which has been through the Apostille process should be accepted at any time after its date of issue. Once you have the official apostille seal on your degree certificate or marriage certificate you can use that document in any situation in the future. However, there are some situations in which a recent Apostille may be specifically requested. For example, certain companies or overseas governments may require a recent criminal record check, typically within the previous 3 to 6 months. Even if you have already been through the criminal record checking process and have an Apostille certificate from a body like ACRO, the process will be repeated to make sure nothing more recent comes to light.

In addition, some countries might ask for an Apostille that is not be more than 3, 6, or 12 months old. This requirement is entirely at their discretion, as the law allows them flexibility in determining how they want the Apostille presented. Always make sure you understand the requirements of the body or government you are dealing with. If you are applying for an overseas job, your employer should be able to guide you about the formalities of getting a work visa, or if you are permanently emigrating to another country, there will be information on the official government website about the information required, and the format in which it should be presented.

Further Accreditation and Legalisation

Apostille Certificates issued in the UK are generally accepted without further legalisation in all of the 126 other countries which are also members of the Apostille Convention. The Apostille Convention is a legal agreement which was signed first in 1961 in the Netherlands and has now grown to cover the countries of Europe, most of the Americas excluding Canada, India, China, Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Asia. Few countries in Africa are part of the agreement, with South Africa and Morocco being the exceptions. If you are moving to Africa for work or to study or are thinking of moving to Europe from Africa and require accreditation of documents, then documents will have to be verified in other ways. This process will take longer than using the Apostille agreement, so factor these potential delays into your travel or work plans.