Do You Need An Apostille For Your Documents?

A Guide To Certified Documents And The Need For Apostille Stamps


Do you need an apostille stamp on that document? Oh, you don’t know? Then let us clear the murky waters as we tell you all about why and when you might need apostille services in Switzerland.

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Figuring out how to legalize your translated documents, and which documents need to be translated, can be a nightmare. Maybe you want to get married and have a divorce certificate in another language, you’re applying for a study visa or simply trying to open a bank account. No matter what your reason for asking, it’s important to know under which circumstances you need a certified document to be legalized by an apostille.

What Are Apostille Documents?

You may have seen the word around but not know exactly what it means. An apostille document is a translated document with a signature and stamp to certify the information is correct and accurate. Apostille stamps are used to make a translated document legally valid and are required for a whole host of documents in certain situations. Apostilles are also used on original documents. Countries that are member of the Hague Convention do accept documents legalized with an apostille (be it the original or a translation with an apostille), and no further legalization is necessary.

Which Documents Need Apostilles?

Swiss authorities accept documents in English, French and German, so if your documents aren’t in these languages and need to be translated, you might night an apostille on the original document, which then is translated into one of the accepted languages as well.

The most common documents that need apostilles are documents of civil record. If you’re trying to open a bank account, get married or do anything that requires you to submit an official record, you probably need an apostille.

Documents of civil record include birth certificates, death certificates, marriage certificates and divorce certificates. Documents from an institution may also need an apostille, the most common of which is a degree certificate.

When Do I Need To Use Apostille Services?

There’s a long list of circumstances that may require you to submit translated documents that need to be apostille stamped, especially for the use in foreign countries. Applying for a visa, opening a bank account, getting married, applying for a post-graduate course at university and many more. It’s always advised that you check with your local consulate to find out if any document needs an apostille.

SemioticTransfer AG offers professional translation services from accredited and experienced native translators together with the apostille service, making your application run smoother.

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We at SemioticTransfer AG are a translation services company based in Switzerland. We are certified to provide certified translations in 40 languages. If you want a free quote, or would like to contact us directly, please call or email us on +41 56 470 40 40 or contact@semiotictransfer.ch.