At some point, you will need to apostille your birth certificate (not mandatory but highly recommended). This is one of those procedures that seem daunting even before you start…
To begin, it helps to know what an apostille is : It is a form of authentication issued to documents for use in other countries (thanks google). So in other words, it deems it a legal and valid source of proof, something that will definitely come in handy for all your official work in France (banking, housing etc).
Your birth certificate must have two stamps at the end of it : one from The General Administration Department (state) and one from The Government of India (centre)
Step 1 : Locate a place you can get this done in your city
Every city should have a Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MEA) office – the address is not always listed so you can look for contact details on http://www.mea.gov.in/other-offices.htm. You can also contact an agency who will take the load off your hands and just do everything for you (be sure to check how much they will charge you for it though) – Superb Enterprises http://superbenterprisesindia.com/contactus.asp.
Step 2 : Documents
- Original Birth Certificate
This should be a notarized document – basically meaning it should be stamped by an Advocate/Notary. In case you don’t have this stamp, you can just google ‘Notary service near me’ and get it done for around Rs.50)
- Copy of Birth Certificate
- Original Passport
- Copy of Passport
- Copy of 10th class memo (should have your date of birth)
- A Demand Draft of Rs. 500 from State Bank of India or Andhra Bank (to be written in favour of whoever the office of your state/city specifies)
Step 3 : Fill a form
If all your documents are in order, you are given a form that you fill out. Next, this form along with all the aforementioned documents (except your original passport, that’s for you to take back home) are taken to be stamped by the General Administration Department of your State. This usually takes one day so they ask you to come back.
Step 4 : Copies and postal order
Once the state stamps your birth certificate, you need to take a copy of it. You also need to get a Postal Order of Rs.50 that you can find in a Post office or a Notary service shop (the latter takes a few extra bucks as their ‘fee’). Next, you go back to the same place and submit everything and this time all your documents are given to the people behind the MEA government of India counter. You are asked to return the next day.
Step 5 : Collect + feel a sense of relief
Collect your birth certificate and check the back of it – there should be a stamp/apostille in addition to your state stamp. Et voilà c’est tout!
Total cost : Rs. 500 (that you pay via the demand draft in step 2)
Total visits to the office : 2-3 days
- If a private attestation agency is asking for any more than Rs. 1000 to get this procedure done for you, you’re getting ripped off.
- Outside the office, there will usually be a bunch of brokers ready to swoop in on you, just ignore them and go straight to the counter.
- Around the office, you will usually find a lot of photocopy and notary service shops.
- The Central government (who issue the final stamp) does not work on Saturdays
- If you’re born in another state and not the one in which you’re currently residing in, the procedure is slightly different.
- If you live in Hyderabad, the combined attestation office is near the Secretariat, opposite Amrutha Castle Hotel. It is open from 11 am to 1 : 30 pm.