Crossbows LLP | Notarial & Commissioning Services

Legalisation & Apostille

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The objective of legalisation is to assure the authority in the foreign country that your document is genuine/authentic and can be safely relied upon. The process, usually called the “Chain of Authentication”,  involves the Singapore Academy of Law [SAL], the Ministry of Foreign Affairs [MFA] and if necessary, the embassy of the country that you are sending your document to.

If you have been asked to ‘legalise’ the Notarial Certificate, additional steps need to be taken [See steps 2, 3 & 4 in the table below]. You can certainly do this on your own or, for an additional service fee, we can assist you with this process.

Step 1Notary Public witnesses the signing of a document / certifies it and prepares the Notarial Certificate.
Step 2The document is sent to the SAL, which issues an Authentication Certificate, confirming that the Notary is lawfully practising as one and that the signature on the Notarial Certificate is his/hers.
Step 3The documents then goes to the MFA for further verification and its endorsement.
Step 4The foreign country's Embassy/Consulate in Singapore verifies the endorsements by the SAL and the MFA and affixes its own endorsement, formally recognising the document as legally effective for use in it's country.




Some countries might ask you to get an ‘Apostille’. 

An international agreement called the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents 1961 made the chain of authentication process somewhat easier but this applies only between member countries, ie, countries which have signed the agreement.

Under this agreement, documents executed in one member country for use in another member country do not need to go through the chain of authentication. All that is required is a simple certificate called the ‘Apostille’ to be issued by the relevant authority in the member country issuing the document.

However, please note that Notaries in Singapore cannot issue an apostille because Singapore is not a party to the agreement and the chain of authentication process is therefore the only way of legalising documents.

If you would like to make an appointment with us or just speak to us over the phone to see if we can meet your requirements, just call or send us an email with your questions/requirements and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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Crossbows LLP
14 Robinson Road, Far East Finance Building, 07-02A

Singapore 048545

+65 6532-9980