India is a member of the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961, abolishing the requirement of legalization of foreign public documents. Apostille is acceptable in 98 member-countries of the Convention. Apostille is done for personal documents like birth/death/marriage certificates, Affidavits, Power of Attorney, etc. and educational documents like degree, diploma, matriculation and secondary level certificates etc.
All original documents requiring Attestation or Apostille should be first authenticated by the designated authorities of the State from where the document has been issued. The Ministry of External Affairs legalises the documents on the basis of the signature of the designated signing authorities of the State Government/Chambers of Commerce; hence it does not take responsibility of the contents of the documents. In case of personal documents, Home/General Administration Department of the concerned State Government are the designated authorities. In case of educational documents, the documents should first be authenticated by the Education Department of the concerned State Government. Commercial Documents are to be pre-authenticated by the respective Chambers of Commerce. The details of the Regional Authentication Centres (RACs) in the States from where the documents should first be authenticated are given below.As a result to outsourcing of receipt and delivery of documents for attestation/apostille with effect from July 2012, no document from individuals is accepted at the Ministry of External Affairs Counter at CPV Division, Patiala House Annexe, New Delhi.
Normal Attestation is done for all the countries who are not the member of Hague Convention and where apostille is not accepted.
Attestation of Personal/Educational & commercial certificates is the act of witnessing a certificate by authorised person/persons/Departments/authorities with their official seal and signature. This attestation also confirms that, the specified certificate has been issued by that mentioned department and Seal and signature on that particular birth certificate is authentic.
Attestation/Apostille from MEA can be done after attestation is done from relevant state authorities. For Example in case of Educational Documents document has to be attested from concerned state education department first. In case of personal documents, document needs to be attested from concerned home department prior to MEA attestation.
An apostille is a certificate that authenticates the origin of personal, educational or commercial documents.Apostille can only be issued for documents issued in one country party to the Apostille convention and that are to be used in another country which is also a party to the convention. Essentially, Apostille is an international attestation that is acceptable in about 92 countries, and most of the western world recognises Apostille.
For the list of countries that require documents to be apostilled, please refer to the following Link