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Legalising Documents Is Cheaper

Just when you thought bureaucracy was unrelenting here's the good news. Legalising documents for use overseas has just become cheaper and easier to achieve.

New Zealand has joined over 80 countries in signing the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents. The Department of Internal Affairs manages the process and issues Apostille Certificates for use in these countries.

Legalisation of public documents is necessary when overseas officials are unable to demonstrate their authenticity on sight. The process varies depending on the type of document and country involved. Public documents include court and administrative documents issued by Government agencies (eg. birth, death and marriage certificates) and those notarised by a notary public.

Legalisation of international documents can be a pricey and time consuming business because they often have to go to different agencies within New Zealand plus to the embassy of the country they will be used. New Zealand's ratification of the Hague Convention will reduce costs to applicants by abolishing a number of layers and the associated costs.

If the New Zealand document bears the seal and signature of an approved government agency (e.g. Registrar General, District Court) it can be sent directly to the Authentications Unit of the Department of Internal Affairs. Other documents may need to go to a Notary Public in New Zealand before an Apostille Certificate can be approved.

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