5 Helpful Questions about Preparing Your NZ Documents Overseas

5 Helpful Questions about Preparing Your NZ Documents Overseas

5 Helpful Questions about Preparing Your NZ Documents Overseas

When you need to use a New Zealand document in another country, you might be asked to get the document apostilled or authenticated. Some countries call this legalisation.

An apostille or authentication is an official government certificate that proves the signature, stamp or seal on a document is genuine.

What to do?

There are several actions you need to perform in order to have your paperwork be completed properly and in time:

1. Check the country you are using the document in

Whether you need an apostille or an authentication depends on the country your documents will be used in. Check the list of countries:

List of apostille and authentication countries

2. Check with the overseas organisation

You should also check if the overseas organisation asking for the document has specific requirements. For example, they might:

  • only accept documents that were issued recently
  • want the documents translated
  • accept multiple documents as a set
  • only accept original documents, and not notarised copies
  • accept electronic apostilles or paper apostilles.

3. Check what documents the Authentication Unit will accept

Find out if you need to send the Authentication Unit the original documents or if they will accept copies. You might also need to get your documents notarised or certified before you send them.

List of documents and requirements accepted by  the Authentication Unit.

Translations

If you need to get your documents translated, the Department of Internal Affairs can do the translation as part of your application or you can organise your own translation.

If you organise your own translation, you need to get it notarised by a New Zealand notary public.

Getting a document notarised

If you need to get your document notarised, you must use a New Zealand notary public.

Tell them that your document is being notarised for an apostille or authentication.

Don’t get it certified by a justice of the peace or a solicitor — it won’t be able to be apostilled or authenticated.

What the notary public needs to do

The notary public must:

  • make a statement that describes what they have done, for example ‘witnessed a signature’ or ‘certified a true copy’ — this is called a Notarial Act
  • include their name and signature
  • add their seal or stamp
  • state the date and place, and
  • make it clear they have seen all the pages in a document.

4. Fill in the application form

You need to fill in the form and send it to the Authentication Unit, along with your documents and the payment.

How to apply?

After this stage is complete, you are able to move further. This means you can apply.

1. Complete the application form

2. Submit your application form and documents

Send the completed form, your documents and the payment to the Department of Internal Affairs Authentication Unit in Wellington. 

3. Pay the fee

The detailed information is here. Please, check it out.

What happens next?

When you find out about your application

Getting a document apostilled or authenticated usually takes up to 7 working days. Authentications are then sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Category B authentications are also sent to embassies overseas.

The Authentication Unit will contact you if they need more information.

How long does it take?

Getting a document apostilled or authenticated usually takes up to 7 working days. Authentications are then sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Category B authentications are also sent to embassies overseas.

There is no urgent service. If you need your documents processed quickly, write ‘urgent’ in the box at the end of the form and explain why.

Who can verify the documents?

Overseas organisations can check that the apostille they have received matches the information that is held in the Authentication Unit database.

You can get your documents verified here.

Read about Quick and Useful Guide on Immigrating to New Zealand

Reference:

www.govt.nz


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