Apostille documents in Hong Kong

Jan 19, 2021
6 min. to read

Are you about to take your business global? Oh, so, as many companies look for business records rendered by an Apostille service in Hong Kong, you may be looking to internationalize the papers. What is the Apostille document, though?

An Apostille is a kind of certification in which documents are legalized in a particular format valid in all the countries that are connected to the Hague Convention.

Since time immemorial, there have been frauds and scandals. Misrepresentation of certificates and forging of signatures are two of those scams that still exist to this day. Scam artists have been stepping up their game even in the modern age, venturing into online platforms. Thus, to protect ourselves from these malicious activities, we have to be more vigilant than ever.

We would certainly want to make sure that due to the use of fake documents, the documents we get, including those originating from overseas, are genuine and not mischaracterized.

In other words, in most countries across the globe, an apostille is an appropriate form of foreign qualification. So, if you have a business in Hong Kong and are going to take it internationally, you’re going to need a provider in Hong Kong for the Apostille operation. What you need to know about the Apostille Hong Kong documents will be clarified in this article.

We have to make sure that it has an apostille in such texts.

How can we get the Apostille on our hand in Hong Kong documents?

What is Apostille?

An apostille is a seal or a sticker that confirms the validity of an official’s identity. The universal certification of a document under a protocol called the Hague Apostille Convention is in effect an international one. Apostille shall certify the authenticity of the signature or seal in the paper.

Provided that two countries are members of the Hague Apostille Convention, the legitimacy and authenticity of documents in another Member Country may be counted on by anyone from one Member Nation. The Apostille is appropriate for the authenticity of the text to be carried from one country to another.

It is an attestation that the apostille documents are legal in a particular format acceptable in all countries which are part of the Hague Apostille Convention.

In Hong Kong records, the apostille is more explicitly created to retain legal status in a foreign country. Therefore, if for whatever reason, you need to provide corporate documentation to Hong Kong in the member nations, it must ensure that these documents are apostilled in Hong Kong.

The Hong Kong High Court apostilles papers in Hong Kong

Apostille Seal of the High court

The significance of the Apostille seal does not apply to a public notary’s stamp or a notary’s seal. Instead, an Apostille is a French term for “certification,” which was adopted into the Hague Convention of 1961.

The key aim of these documents is to allow the legitimate use of such documents in a foreign country. In Hong Kong, the High Court affixes the High Court’s official Apostille seal. The Apostille will be honored only by countries who have ratified Article 12 of the 1961 Hague Convention and non-member states or countries may need legalization by the Embassy.

What documentation does Apostille need?

On original and approved true copies of documents, the High Court can impose an Apostille.

It could be based on original papers published by the government, such as:

• Background Checks (Local, State, FBI)
• Power of attorney
• Copy of passport
• Divorce decree
• Birth certificate
• Death certificate
• Marriage certificate
• Single status affidavit
• Certificate of origin

They may have the meta-analyses apostilled in Hong Kong for those who are already going to work:

• Commercial documents legalized by a state registration body such as articles of
incorporation, registration
• Certificates, tax registrations
• Articles of incorporation
• Certification of free sale
• Commercial invoice
• Trade register excerpts,
• Judicial decisions,
• Authorizations, last will, and declaration

For students, an apostille can be placed on:

• Copy of driver’s license,
• School reports
• Travel consent letter
• Certificate of good standing
• Diplomas

Apostille for International Bank Accounts

This distinctive apostille seal was added to the records to certify that a document is authentic. For Overseas Bank Accounts, the apostille is sometimes used. You would require an overseas bank account if you are carrying out any foreign activities. The legalization of your records would be a critical consideration for conducting those operations. A simpler procedure is the Apostille service system. Apostille requires the parties to the Hague Convention to legitimately recognize your documents.

How can one get an Apostille in documents for Hong Kong?

So, first, records to be apostilled should be in decent form, plain and readable with all stamps and signatures, and no other stray marks or marks are present.

Then the paper will be addressed to the High Court of Hong Kong. A clerk will check the document there, match the signature with their database on the document, and affix the apostille.

What if it were merely a replica of the original? It must first be approved by a public notary as a true copy. This may be more costly than the normal method, but it’s worth it. The Apostille can be put on a copy of a document only if it is signed by a government official or a notary public.

Can apostille be placed on any document?

Apostille can be put either on original records provided by the state, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, or company papers or on a certified copy of some such record.

The method is reasonably simple in the first instance, where the apostille is put on an original official document. The paper must be sent to the High Court of Hong Kong, where it will be checked by a clerk, compared with their database by the signature on the text, and affixed to the apostille.

In the second example, if you would like to add an apostille on a copy of a document, a notary must validate the copy. The additional procedure is costly, but it is important because it is only possible to put an apostille on a document signed by a government official or notary.

Will the notary certify copies of any documents?

Usually, public notaries in Hong Kong will certify copies of documents such as power of attorney, although certain other forms of documents will be hesitant to process them.

Under that scenario, the last resort is to make a private citizen confirm, under oath, to a government office that the copy of the paper is correct. The certificate will be signed by an official of the government of Hong Kong, which means that an apostille may be imposed on it.

Difference Between Apostille and Notarized Documents

You often need legally-authenticated records for your company. We see a variety of corporate papers on several occasions that require some form of verification for court cases, business arrangements, or contracts. For each form of authentication as notarized or apostilled, Hong Kong has a mechanism in place.

Both have been defined below to help you understand the distinction between them. This will give you a deeper understanding of how in Hong Kong these authentication procedures run and how they are used worldwide.

Notarized Documents

A notary is a licensed practitioner qualified to validate record validity. The notarization process would normally involve proof of identity on the documents from the person. The reception of notarized documentation would allow the non-witnessing party to recognize that the document(s) is legally enforceable.

Apostille Documents

An apostille certification varies from a notary certification by the authority of the document. An apostilled paper is used to validate document records precisely so that they can be used in a foreign country. Usually, in most cases, this form of qualification operates in countries under the Hague Convention.


It is possible to apostille both original and authorized true versions of an original document in Hong Kong. Documents for affixing the seal will be taken to the High Court of Hong Kong. Only for authorized true versions, the process it would take to affix the apostille is longer than for original documents.

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