What is a New Zealand Apostille

A New Zealand apostille is an internationally recognized certification affixed to a New Zealand document, vouching for its authenticity and legality when presented overseas.

The New Zealand apostille is recognized as a valid attestation to the legality of a document in the 113 countries currently party to the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement for Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents. The apostille does not vouch for the contents or data in the documents, but ensures that the document is recognized when used in a different country.

In order for any document originating from New Zealand to be affixed with a New Zealand apostille, it must first bear the seal of an official government department, or be certified as a “True Copy” or “Certified Copy” by either a New Zealand Notary Public or Deputy Registrar of the Court. When the attestation is received, the document needs be sent to the Department of Internal Affairs of New Zealand (DIA), which will cross check the signature and seal of the Notary or Registrar, and affix an apostille stamp and certificate.

Some government issued documents may not require an attestation by a Notary or Deputy Registrar of the Court, if they hold an appropriate seal from a government body. Certificates from the Companies Office can be apostillized without an attestation, as can documents stamped by the New Zealand Police Force, NZQF papers, NZ Food Safety Authority certificates, birth certificates, death certificates, marriage certificates, and any documents printed under the Ministry of Justice’s blue logo paper.

Once the notarized papers are received by the DIA, the process of receiving an apostille may take as little as one working day. If the documents are attested by a Registrar, the apostillization may take longer as further checks will need to be carried out to ensure the authenticity of the stamps, seals and signatures on the documents.

If the country where your documents are to be used does not recognize apostilles, the documents will need to undergo further authentication with the Ministry Of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the foreign country’s diplomatic mission or, in some cases, an overseas mission.

If you feel that the apostille process is too complicated for you and you do not wish to complete it yourself, there are a number of apostille services providers around New Zealand. These specialists have strong working relationships with local Notaries and will supervise your documents throughout the entire apostille process, ensuring that no mistakes are made and your documents are ready in the quickest possible time.

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