Apostille Guide for Australia

In order for foreign governments to accept Australian documents, they sometimes require proof that the official signatures on the documents are genuine. The legal process by which a  signature, stamp or seal on an official Australian public document is proved to be genuine is by being checked by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) against a specimen held on file. After obtaining proof that it is genuine DFAT will certify the signature, stamp or seal and provide a certificate or stamp in the form of an ‘authentication’ or an apostille which is signed by DFAT staff and sealed with a wet and a dry seal.

In order to get your documents ready in the correct form and therefore prevent delays you should become familiar with a few guidelines that are specific to the process of requiring an apostille. First of all you need to know that in order to obtain the authentication or apostille, you need to present the original document or a notarized copy.

What do I need to do to have my document legalized?

 Government issued documents

To obtain apostille for documents such as certificates from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, police issued fingerprints, Australian court documents, AFP/State police check or other original Australian Government documents, all you have to do is submit the document to us. If you need an apostille for a photocopy of an Australian document issued by the government, including passports, the document presented for apostille needs to be certified and bear the signature and seal of an Australian notary public.

Private documents

Private documents such as company documents, powers of attorney, wills and other such documents presented for apostille need to be certified, signed and sealed by an Australian notary public.

Commercial documents

If you need to apostille or authenticate Australian commercial documents bearing the signature or seal of ASIC, ATO, TGA or trademarks office (whether ink or electronic), all you have to do is submit the documents to us.

If you have electronic documents or printouts from online ASIC registers that do not have a signature or a seal, you can only authenticate them, but you can’t obtain an apostille. Documents issued by a business chamber or chamber of commerce and industry can only be authenticated. In order to obtain an apostille for such documents you need to have them certified, signed and sealed by an Australian notary public.

Education documents

To obtain apostille or an authentication of an original Australian public university document or degree, the document must be verified and signed as a ‘true and accurate record’. This verification is made by a central student administration office of the issuing institution, or on-line if the institution has a public online verification register.

Universities have staff that provides a verification of content, according to an existing arrangement with DFAT, but you need to specify that your document needs to be signed for DFAT.

For documents and qualifications issued by an Australian state technical college such as CIT or TAFE, you need a document bearing the signature of an authorized officer of the state/territory Department of Education or another relevant accrediting authority. In most education departments there is staff that provides this service according to an existing arrangement with DFAT. In order to apostille or authenticate copies, you need to get them certified by an Australian notary public.

Australian secondary school qualifications or documents need to be verified and bear the signature of an authorized officer of the NSW Board of Studies, the QLD Studies Authority or other relevant issuing organization or an Australian notary public.

Obtaining apostille for an Australian public primary school document you need a document bearing the signature of an authorized officer of the state or territory Department of Education. Although in most education departments you can find staff providing this service according to a previous arrangement with DFAT, you need to let them know you need them to sign your documents for DFAT.

If you need apostille or authentication for an Australian private college or school, documents need to be certified and bear the seal of an Australian notary public.

Foreign language documents such as translations need to be completed, certified and signed by an accredited translator (with the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters Ltd). You need a copy of the original document and the translated document signed and certified by the translator with the mention “true and accurate translation of the text provided on the attached”.

As for documents that are prepared in a foreign language, but by an Australian notary public, apostille or authentication can be obtained by simply submitting the document to us.

Single-sided page document – $60 Australian dollars
Documents of two or more pages – $80 Australian dollars

Apostille Australia Contacts

Website: http://www.dfat.gov.au/

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade – Consular Branch
R.G. Casey Building

John McEwen Crescent – Barton  ACT  0221


E-mail: legalisations.australia@dfat.gov.au