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Legalization of documents in Singapore

To use a document issued in one country within another, it must be recognized by the second country. This involves a series of procedures, and one of the most complex is the multi-step process of document legalization. In 1961, the Hague Convention abolished the need for legalizing documents issued abroad. This convention introduced the apostille — a stamp that simplified the previously convoluted process into a single, straightforward action. Since September 2021, legalization of documents in Singapore has significantly simplified thanks to the possibility of apostille certification.

Legalization of documents in Singapore

Posted 8 April 2024

A reminder: an apostille is a stamp that confirms the legality of documents issued in a member state of the 1961 Hague Convention, allowing the use of such documents abroad.

With the use of an apostille, the complicated procedure of document legalization can be avoided.

However, an apostille can only be used in countries that are signatories to the Convention. Singapore was not among these countries, so getting an apostille in Singapore was not possible. Instead, the documents had to undergo a legalization procedure to be recognized in foreign countries. But this changed a couple of years ago, as Singapore adopted the apostille.

In January 2021, Singapore officially joined the 1961 Hague Convention. Then, on September 16, 2021, Singapore began implementing the apostille system.

The introduction of the apostille procedure in Singapore is highly convenient and significantly saves time and makes the legalization of documents in Singapore way easier. Simply applying one stamp enables the recognition of the document in all Convention member countries. The apostille in Singapore substantially eases the process of document preparation, making dealings with international partners more straightforward.

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