Apostille Hong Kong

Apostille Hong Kong

Updated on Friday 25th September 2020

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Apostille Hong Kong.jpgThe apostille in Hong Kong is a document that has been issued by the official authorities according to the Hague Convention. This is done in order to certify that a document of interest has been signed by a notary public. 
The Hague Convention is an international treaty according to which a document issued in a signatory country can be certified for legal purposes in all the other states that have signed the Convention. The certification, according to the Convention, is called an apostille and it is comparable to a notarization in domestic law. It serves as a supplement to the locally notarized document. 
A document that bears an apostille Hong Kong can be requested by authorities in certain countries and it can be performed in case of several types of documents that are clearly established. In this article, our team of lawyers in Hong Kong highlights the main issues regarding this procedure. For more information, interested individuals can reach out to us. 

What documents can be subject to apostille in Hong Kong?

Not all documents are accepted for apostille services. However, their classification is a relatively simple one as they fall into two broad categories:
  1. Public documents with an official signature: these have been issued by the Hong Kong Government and include marriage certificates, birth and death certificates, business registration certificates or certificates of incorporation for a company in Hong Kong;
  2. Documents signed by a notary public: these include a power of attorney, a certified true copy or a legalized authorized document translation; documents signed by a commissioner for oaths are also accepted for an apostille in Hong Kong (such as a declaration).
For those who are interested in obtaining the apostille for a certificate of incorporation, it is worth noting that the applicant is to attach to the file the print-out of the company name search performed with the Registrar of Companies. Our attorneys in Hong Kong can provide complete details and assistance during this process.

What is the general process to obtain apostille in Hong Kong?

The application procedure is not a complicated one, however, direct submission of the document to the authorities in Hong Kong is required. The steps are briefly outlined below:
  • Present the document: the process to obtain an apostille in Hong Kong starts with the presentation of the document to the Apostille Service Office, at the High Court Registry in Hong Kong;
  • Document assessment: the Apostille Service will decide if the document can be accepted and this will depend on whether or not is it one of the types of documents presented above;
  • Fee payment: applicants should keep in mind that the apostille in Hong Kong is subject to a clear fee and the process cannot continue without this step;
  • Proof of payment: the applicant is expected to pay the fee after the submission of the documents and then return with the proof of payment to be added to the apostille application;
  • Collection of the documents: once the payment is made and the applicant has received notice that the apostille has been applied to the submitted document, he can collect in person or through an authorized person.
Overseas applications are accepted for an apostille in Hong Kong. This means that either the applicant empowers another individual to travel to Hong Kong with the original document and the payment fee and handle the process altogether or that he chooses to mail the document to the Apostille Service Office together with a bank draft for the processing fee.
The costs and the processing time to keep in mind for this service are the following:
  • 125 HK$: this is the usual fee for the apostille service that is required per each apostille placed on a document; it also applies when the applicant sends the documents by mail; cash sent directly to the Apostille Service is not accepted for this procedure;
  • 15.5 HK$: this is the fee for sending the document by registered air-mail, when the applicant cannot be present in Hong Kong in person (the additional cost in included in the bank draft that is sent with the original document);
  • 2 days: this is the normal processing time for the apostille applications (excluding Saturdays).
Please note that these fees may be subject to change.

How can our lawyers in Hong Kong help you?

Our team of lawyers can assist you throughout the apostille process and/or the notarization of the document, as needed. We can help by collecting the original documents and handling the application in person with the Apostille Service Office, acting as a representative.
Contact us for more information on the apostille in Hong Kong, the notarization and legalization of documents in Hong Kong and how these processed should be performed.