Official documents need to be legalized in France before they are translated by a sworn translator. In order to obtain an apostille in France, you will need to follow these steps:
- Determine which documents require an apostille. Not all documents need an apostille, so check with the authority requesting the documents to see if an apostille is necessary. Generally, apostilles are needed for documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, diplomas, and other official documents.
- Get your documents certified by the relevant authority. This will vary depending on the type of document. For example, a birth certificate may need to be certified by the town hall where the birth was registered, while a diploma may need to be certified by the educational institution that issued it.
- Bring the certified documents to the relevant authority where the document was issued. Usually, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Department of Justice are responsible for issuing apostilles. In France, this document is provided by the Legalization department of the Cour d’Appel.
- Pay the fee for the apostille. The fee will depend on the type of document and the region. In France, this process is free, but you will need to provide a stamp enveloppe with your address to receive the « apostilled » document.
- Wait for the apostille to be issued. The processing time will vary depending on the region, it usually takes a few days to a week.
- If you need to send the documents abroad, make sure to send both the original document and the apostille. The apostille certifies the authenticity of the original document and must be attached to it for it to be recognized internationally.
It’s highly important to note that the process of obtaining an apostille may vary depending on the type of document and the region, whether in France or in other countries.