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Apostille: What it is and how it's done

An apostille is a certification of the authenticity of an official document, essential if you plan on conducting real estate transactions abroad. Discover in this guide what an authentic document is and how to obtain an apostille.

Apostille: What it is and how it's done
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20 Oct, 2023

Definition and Purpose of the Apostille in Properties in Spain

An Apostille is a special type of certification that allows the recognition of official documents between countries. In the context of properties in Spain, "What is an Apostille?" becomes a key question for individuals interested in buying or selling properties abroad. This certification confirms the authenticity of official documents such as sales contracts, notarial deeds, or property certificates, which is crucial for the smooth progression of real estate transactions.

The Apostille not only verifies the signature of the person issuing the document, but also the nature of their actions and the identity of the seal placed on the document. In this way, it becomes a guarantee of legal security for both parties in the transaction, as well as for any institution involved in the process. In Spain, the procedure of apostilling is governed by the provisions of the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961, which further underscores its international character and its importance in the global trade of properties.

In Spain, the competent authorities to certify the authenticity of a document with an apostille are specified in the Royal Decree 1497/2011 of October 24. This distinction is made based on the type of document, for example: administrative, notarial, judicial documents, etc.

Armenian Apostille
Armenian apostille of 2008

Documents that can be Apostilled

In the realm of properties, it's important to understand, what is an official document?. An official document is a formal paper issued by an authorized institution, such as notarial deeds, which are essential during real estate transactions. In Spain, when we talk about international transactions, the question arises, where to do the apostille?. The Apostille can be obtained in various institutions depending on the type of document, for example, in local courts or in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The apostille clause is an additional certification that confirms that the official document is valid and has been correctly authenticated, which is crucial for the smooth progression of international real estate transactions. Finding the right place to obtain the apostille clause, and understanding its meaning, is key to carrying out real estate transactions in Spain safely and effectively.

Process to Obtain an Apostille

To obtain an apostille on an official document in Spain, it is necessary to submit a suitable application to the corresponding authorities. This process begins by identifying the institution that is authorized to issue the apostille for that type of document. It could be a local court, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, or another designated administrative unit.

Subsequently, the document for which the apostille is to be issued must be presented along with the completed application. In some cases, an additional certificate or verification by another governmental institution may be required before submitting the apostille application. Once the application is submitted, the process of verification and authentication of the document will be initiated, which may take some time.

Upon completion of the verification process, the apostille will be attached to the document, allowing its use abroad. It is important to understand that the apostille can only be issued on the original document, so copies are not accepted.

In Spain, the process to obtain an apostille may vary depending on the region and the type of document, so it is always advisable to consult with an expert or research carefully to understand how to properly obtain the apostille on your documents.

Cost and Payment for the Apostille

Obtaining an apostille in Spain entails certain costs. The fee for the apostille for a document usually ranges between 18€ and 37€, although it is important to note that fees may vary depending on the institution, the type of document, and the number of documents you wish to request. Payment can be made through various methods, including bank transfer or in cash at the corresponding institution.

It is also important to note that in some cases, additional payments may be required for services such as document translations or additional verifications. Therefore, it is always recommended to check the exact costs and requirements before starting the process to obtain an apostille.

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