Monday, July 31, 2017

Role of Home Department in Indian Apostille

In the present times, a lot of people from India go abroad for work, family union and studies. Many of these destination countries require your certificates to be apostilled. Before, coming to the role of Home Department in Indian apostille process, let us come to the definition of apostille process, since it is imperative for you to know what apostille is. Apostille is defined as 'Certification' in French. Prior to 1961, if you wanted to go abroad then you had to get your certificates like birth, marriage etc. authenticated from different authorities from different departments. This led to a lot of inconvenience to applicants, since they had to seek permission and appointments with various authorities to get the necessary work done. Realising the need for a uniform system of authentication, the Hague Convention of 1961 devised a new method of legalization known as Apostille. In this process, once your certificate is apostilled from one member country, then it is automatically valid in a different member country. For example, if your birth certificate is apostilled in India, then it is equivalent to the birth certificate in Oman, and there is no need for validation from the Oman Embassy. In India, Indian govt has appointed Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi as the supreme authority for apostille legalization. Only, the MEA has the exclusive right to perform apostille legalization in India for all kinds of personal documents.

Responsibility of the Home Department in Indian apostille

Home Department is a legal body which is constituted by the various state Govts like Punjab, Haryana etc. to validate personal documents like birth, marriage, death which are issued from the districts inside their jurisdiction. This means that if your birth certificate emanates from Jalandhar in Punjab, then only Punjab state Home Department has the authority to validate the document. For majority of the Home Departments in India, the General Administration Department or commonly known as GAD does the substantiation. The GAD authority will verify the information on your birth certificate and then put his signature, seal 'Home Department attested' on the papers. The fee structure of the GAD varies depending upon the state and the type of document. In some states like Delhi, the Sub Divisional Magistrate or widely known as SDM performs the Home Department attestation.  After verifying your certificate, the Home Department will return the document back to you. Finally, you have to submit your birth certificate to the MEA in Delhi. The MEA authorities, after confirmation will put an apostille stamp, besides their seal and signature on the papers. Congratulations, your birth certificate is ready to be used in Oman. Very often, it has been discovered that in order to avoid hassles, Indian applicants take the assistance of authorized agencies to provide them Home Department attestation services for optimum charges.

Advantages of Home Department authentication 

There are lots of advantages of Home Department authentication particularly, when you are applying for overseas visas. The biggest advantage is that your documents once attested by the Home Department are valid lifelong. This means that your birth certificate which was validated 10 years ago, will be applicable now in the same format for applying for Oman visa. Secondly, the charges for Home Department services are quite low, considering the work they do. Thirdly, your personal document once attested are applicable in all the countries. For example, if you have done SSC from India and you wish to pursue BBA in Oman and MBA in USA, then the same authenticated birth certificate holds good in all the three cases.

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