Sunday, April 26, 2009

HOW-TO and TIPS on APOSTILLE attestation in India

This is in addition to the people get a Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) attestation (commonly known as APOSTILLE [and commonly misspelled as APOSTLE]).

This info is current as of April 20, 2009.

Where is it done?

It is done in the Consular, Passport and Visa (CPV) division of the MEA. It is located on TILAK MARG. There is a big Blue sign on TILAR MARG inscribed with capital English Letters in white marking the entrance of the CPV-MEA. To get there take the metro to Pragati Maidan. From there ask someone to tell you to guide you to India Gate (also to Patiala House). You should also see India Gate as the metro travels outside the tunnel in that stretch). The CPV is on TILAK MARG and a walking distance of about 1.5 KM or 2 bus stops (a 3 Rupee ride). For new people I recommend walking the distance. The auto will not like to take you there as it is a max 10-20 rupee fare. The meter doesn’t even tick it is so short a distance.

What is the complete address of the CPV-MEA?

Ministry of External Affairs

CPV Division (Attestation Cell)

Patiala House Annexe

Tilak Marg

New Delhi

Telefax: 2338-7931

What time and days does it open for acceptance and delivery?

The documents are accepted Monday-Friday (except holidays) from 0930-1200 9:30AM-12PM) and are delivered the same day around 1500-1700 (3PM-5PM).

Does it cost anything?

Yes it does. It costs at the time of this writing 50 Rupees. Cash is NOT accepted. The ONLY ACCEPTABLE form of payment is an “Indian Postal Money Order” for Rupees 50. It should be drawn in favor of “PAO MEA, New Delhi”. You can buy this from any post office in any part of India. At the moment the Postal Order is also sold in the premises of the CPV-MEA but only after 10 AM. People do a “black” of the Money Order to the tune of Rupees 200 sometimes (as the gossip went in the line/queue). I would strongly recommend you to get the money order before you join the line. A better idea is to buy it from your own city.

What do I need? Just the original document?

Well duh! The answer is no. You need a verified and countersigned document. In my case it was my marriage certificate issued from Chandigarh. It was first counter signed by the SDM then the DC office and then the JOINT HOME SECRETARY. The MEA actually also countersigns the document based on the Home Department’s signature. You also need a photocopy of the document after it has been countersigned by your respective home department, and you need the 50 Rupee money order.

Can this be done by mail?

Yes and no. The right answer is NO. Someone needs to stand in line for you (usually 1-2 hours) and then collect the document also. This can be you, your friend or a host of touts that make a living by doing this for you and returning the document by courier. So the answer now seems YES if you have a friend or a known tout there. The tout rates at the time of writing to just get the attestation done are about 100 Rupees (they will tell you hoe they want the money transferred to them). If the document has a problem, means you can’t get it signed by the SDM/DC/Home Dept then of courser the rates are high (about 1000 Rupees, but worth it as they save you the headaches, but I would strongly be against that unless the time factor is against you or you cannot get the document countersigned).

How much time it took you to get your document done?

Except for the wasted trip to Delhi for the lack of the above information, it took me 2 days for the SDM, same day for the DC Office and the Home Dept. But this is for Chandigarh. For other parts of the country it will be difficult.

Do I need to get my documents countersigned?

The bottom line is YES. Be it any certificate. The educational certificates like mark-sheets have a special procedure. There is an older post just like this which is also a must read before you do something (

Describe the Apostille, use, and validity for me?

An Apostille is a government issued stamp or sticker applied to the original document thus legalizing it in all the signatories of the Hague convention which took place on October 5, 1961. Yes, that single stamp/sticker has so much power. The Apostille issued in New Delhi is a sticker about 10x10 cm (don’t panic if the size increases or decreases). It is a colorful sticker. It has printed material on it stating who issued it and why. Then 2 stamps are also affixed on the sticker so that you cannot peel it off and put on another document. It is put either on the document or on the back of it. IT CANNOT BE PUT ON A LAMINATED DOCUMENT. So please do not get that document laminated just yet. The Apostille is valid only for sometime in certain countries (to the tune of 6 months). They may ask for a fresh stamp and Delhi people are really fussy about revalidating an originally issued Apostille sticker. Better get the sticker issued about a month before you intend to use the document for any embassy, study abroad, etc.

Any exceptions for tout and procedural prices?

A tout told me that “Divorce Decrees” and “Adoption papers” are very costly. She told me that they are in the tune of 10,000-30,000 Rupees. I don’t need them but I am just listing it for the purpose of knowledge. I cannot confirm this. If you are spending that amount better to go in person or have a known person make that query for you.

The telephone number of the MEA is really now answered by no one. You will be pleasantly surprised to find always having to hear a fax tone since the number +91-11-2338-7931 is a Tel/Fax.


  1. Hi,

    Your post on procuring an apostille stamp is extremely useful. I'm in the process of applying for a visa to the Netherlands for a PhD.
    The one question which I had for you is, does an apostille certification come with only a colorful stamp or does it also come with the stamp of the Section Officer - MEA which was the earlier process which legalising any document.
    Living in Mumbai, I can't travel to Delhi, and the agent whom I have approached tells me that this process requires first getting a stamp from the section officer (MEA) and then going to a subsequent queue and getting the apostille stamp. Is the process which he described true or is it simpler and requires just gettting the stamp and getting the Section Officer's signature at the same time.

    Could you provide some clarity on the same


  2. You have given some neat tips and useful information as well.

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  3. Replies
    1. Hyderabad Embassy
      Consulate General of the United States of America and other country has its office in Hyderabad Embassy with all facility

  4. Thank you Randy, you have given information which I have been requesting from the MEA office since a month and all I get is a message that my request has been forwarded to another officer to answer, I wonder where the buck will stop.
    You are offering to the public in India a social service with this information!
    Mrs. V Saldanha

  5. Hello there, the information u provided is extremely useful. Even the personnel handling these stuffs they don't provide such nice information. One thing I would like to know as it is about educational documents and I need to apply for my work permit to Denmark for my PhD, what I should do as my all docs are laminated (well I did this for the purpose of safety of my docs). And also for the verification do I need to visit all the universities from where the certificates are issued for verification of my documents?. What I have been told about the procedure is as :that first I need to go to the places from where the certificates are issued to get verification (seal/stamp and signature smthn like that)i.e. as in my case then to go to IIT kharagpur, then to Delhi and then Kolhapur (which is in Maharashtra state).Then once I get verification then I have to do notary from advocate. After this I need to visit Regional Authentication Centre(in my case it is to Mumbai office), to get attestation. After attestation from RAC I will be in position to present these docs to MEA at New Delhi for Apostille stamp. Well all it seems very complicated and I still really don't know what exactly to do, m confused. I would be happy if U know smthn about this and wat exactly to do, n give me information regarding the same.

    with regards

  6. i visited your site n was good enough then othere site that i visited last month

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  7. hello sir i live in gujrat,i study medicine in moscow,it is possible for getting appostal stamp in mumbai or gujrat,plz help

  8. thank you. For this information and your willingness to help others. :-)

  9. thank you, I am not in India and my marriage certificate needs an Apostille stamp (which is in Delhi with a cousin who has no ideas!!) would you recomend a reliable agent?

  10. As of Feb 28, 2011. Documents are collected for attestation only in the morning i.e 9:30-12:00. We then have to collect the document later in the evening


  12. tell me how you countersigned your marrige certificate paper from SDm,DC,HM..didnt they signed first when u got yr marrige certificate? can u tell me the procedure..

  13. and please sugest me that i need registered marriage certificate of marriage or just certificate i got from court. certificate i got from court is still not registered in my local registratr office..

  14. This is a very useful article for public

  15. We can do Apostille in Chennai & Hyderabad Directly

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  18. very useful tips. I really appreciate your post.Thank you once again.

  19. I agree being in Chandigarh simplifies this process to some extent though i had to face delay from agent's end. Overall good and helpful work done by you..Thanks!!

  20. I have to get an application for US notarized and they will accept foreign country notarization if it has an apostille stamped on it. I approached one of the outsourced companies for apostille( the 5 outsourced by the MEA) and they asked me for Rs. 2500/- as the cost of it. Ds it cost so much??? n for the notarization, do I need to get it notarized and then signed by SDM for the apostille?

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  22. Dear Sir,
    I need apostille on my documetns.

    How & where i can start to get Apostille?
    I contacted to SDM, Dupty Collector etc...but they don't know what is that and how they can done.
    even they dont want to attested because they haven't any roles and regulation for attested for start the procedure?

    Now im facing problems and pls advise me how i can get and done this apostille.

    who is the right person who can help me....

  23. Hello,
    I want to get Apostille on documents.

    1) Birth Certificate
    2) passport Copy
    3) Affidavit single certificate
    4) Bona fide
    4) Visa copy (German Visa)

    1,2,3,4 doucments has been issued from Jodhpur & Visa from German Embassy.
    for the Attestation I should be contact directly to Home administration Department, Jaipur? how much days they takes & after got Attestaion & Verification i should be go MEA, New Delhi for Apostille?

    its right? if not pls give me right way to do get apostille.
    i facing problem for procedure of Attestation & Verifcation because i m confiused where i can to get this.

    Its really urgent because i need to get Attestation Verification & then Apositlle for private & business purpose.

    i want help pls.


    Jamshed Ali

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  82. Hi
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