How Do I Have an Apostille in Hong Kong Documents?
Frauds and scams have been existing since time immemorial. Two of such scams that still persist until today are falsification of documents and forging of signatures. Even in the digital age, scam artists have been stepping up their game, venturing into online platforms. Thus, we have to be more vigilant than ever to protect ourselves from these malicious practices.
We would definitely want to make sure that the documents we receive, especially those coming from abroad, are authentic and not misrepresented due to the use of forged signatures.
We have to make sure that those documents have an apostille in it.
On our side, how do we get an apostille in Hong Kong documents?
What is an Apostille?
Simply put, an apostille is a seal or a sticker confirming the authenticity of the signature of an official. In fact, it is the international certification of a document under a treaty called Hague Apostille Convention. The validity of the signature or seal in the document is certified with an apostille.
Given that two countries are members of the Hague Apostille Convention, someone from one member country can rely on the validity and authenticity of the documents in another member country. An apostille is enough to carry a validity of the document from one country to another member country.
It is an attestation that the documents with an apostille are legal in a specific format that is acceptable in all nations who are member countries of the Hague Apostille Convention.
Apostille in Hong Kong documents is most especially made to keep legal recognition in a foreign country. Hence, if you need to provide Hong Kong corporate documents in member countries for any reason, it must be that these documents are apostilled in Hong Kong.
In Hong Kong, documents are apostilled by the Hong Kong High Court.
What Documents Need Apostille?
The High Court can place an apostille on original and certified true copies of documents.
What documents are those?
It can be placed on original government-issued documents such as:
- birth certificate
- death certificate
- marriage certificate
- single status affidavit
- certificate of origin
- divorce decree
- background checks (Local, State, FBI)
- power of attorney, and
- copy of passport.
For students, they may place an apostille on:
- school reports,
- copy of driver’s license,
- authorization letter,
- travel consent letter, and
- certificate of good standing.
For those who are already working, they may have the following documents apostilled in Hong Kong:
- articles of incorporation,
- certification of free sale,
- trade register excerpts,
- judicial decisions,
- further notarial documents such as authorizations, last will, and declaration,
- commercial documents legalized by a state registration body such as articles of incorporation, registration
- certificates, tax registrations, and
- commercial invoice.
An original document is more acceptable for placing an apostille in it rather than a certified true copy of it.
How Do I Get an Apostille in Hong Kong Documents?
First of all, documents to be apostilled should be in good condition, all stamps and signatures clear and readable, and there are no other stray markings or labels.
The document will then be submitted to the Hong Kong High Court. A clerk there will review the document, compare the signature on the document with their database, and will affix the apostille.
That is, given that the document is original.
What if it is just a copy of the original?
It must first be certified as a true copy by a notary public. This may be more expensive than the usual process but is worth it. The apostille can only be placed on a copy of a document if it is signed by a government official or by a public notary.
Both original and certified true copies of an original document can be apostilled in Hong Kong. Documents will be brought to the High Court of Hong Kong for affixing of the seal. Only, the process it will take for affixing the apostille is longer with certified true copies than original documents.
At 3E Accounting, we would be glad to help you with your documents. Our corporate secretary services may be of use to you. Give us a try, and you will be satisfied with the results of our apostille services in Hong Kong.