Traveling Abroad: Will You Need An Apostille?

Law Blog

Everybody knows that when you travel abroad you need a passport. What you may not know is that you may need other documents as well, and these documents may require additional documents as proof of authenticity. If you are a little nervous now after finding out that you may need more than a passport, the following information will help. 

Birth Certificates (Especially If You Are Traveling with Minors)

Traveling to Canada used to be so easy. You could cross over with just a nod to the border guards, regardless if you were Canadian or American. Then you had to have a birth certificate to show that you belonged in the country to which you were traveling or from which you came. Now, you need a passport and a birth certificate, and possibly an apostille to accompany the birth certificate. The biggest reason for this has to do with the reduced cost of pharmaceuticals and medications, and the rush in the previous decades to take these medications from Canada into the United States, where the exact same medications cost U.S. citizens hundreds, even thousands, of dollars. To cut down on the transport of low-cost medications coming into the U.S. from Canada, border guards were required to ask for several forms of citizenship documents. 


An apostille is a document that certifies that another document you have is official and certified as real, true, and legitimate. It seems ridiculous that you would need an additional document to prove that your birth certificate or other important government-issued document is real, but there were a number of falsified documents created in the last several decades and legal battles ensued. Essentially, if you are traveling to any country that participated in The Hague Convention of 1961, and agreed to the "simplification" of verified documents, you may need an apostille. 

There are definitely certain circumstances where an apostille is required:

  • You have a document signed by a U.S. Consulary officer
  • You have a document signed by a U.S. military or consulary notary
  • You have a document signed by a U.S. federal official

If you have documents with any of the very high up government signatures, you will absolutely need an apostille. In some countries, an apostille may also be required for entry to that country when that country requires a number of documents to certify your identity and your country of origin. If you are traveling, you will have to consult your travel agent to see exactly which documents you will need. 

For more information, contact companies like Russian Divorce.


22 January 2020