Friday, June 1, 2012

Getting apostille(only) is one of the simplest procedures

Getting the final apostille sticker for a document was so much easier than I had anticipated. An apostille is an authorization by the Central Govt that a document is signed by a person they can verify; it is used for documents which have to be presented to another country, for instance a 'police clearance certificate', birth certificates and degree certificates.

While certificates not issued by the central govt, such as birth certificates, need multiple round of attestations at local and state levels, others like the police clearance certificate, normally issued at the Passport Office, can be presented directly for apostille.

The website of the Ministry of External Affairs, which handles the apostille, gives the nitty gritty, but I will simplify it for someone who wants to get it from the Chennai office.

How to get Apostille for police clearance certificate from Chennai MEA office:

The office building is located on the DPI campus on the 7th floor of the EVK Sampath Building on Nungambakkam's College Road. 17D and 17E series of the MTC pass by that stop, which is also called DPI, making it well connected to Chennai Central and Chennai Egmore.

It opens around 10.30am; but before that you need either a DD or a Postal Order (in the name of Pay & Accounts Officer (PAO), Ministry of External Affairs payable at New Delhi) for Rs. 50 (for 1 document). You can get that at one of three places:
a) The Indian Bank just next to the EVK Sampath building
b) The State Bank of India opposite the campus, just across the road (It's a personal banking branch, so there isn't usually a big crowd and the staff are very courteous)
c) The post office on the same campus.

You take the police clearance certificate issued by the passport office, a xerox copy of it and a copy of the page on the passport which is endorsed by the passport office, along with the DD or the Postal Order to the 7th floor between 10.30am and 1pm.

Fill in a short form, hand over the originals and the copies and give it to the officials at the counter, which is towards the end of the MEA office corridor. There will probably be no queue of any sort. The officials there will be very nice, the head official was very nice and had a nice chat with me and a couple of others who had come.

Then you leave and come back between 4.30pm and 5pm the same day and collect the apostilled document.

That's it: no queues, big fees, big headaches... Various agents (I enquired because I had no idea about the time/effort involved) quoted rates varying from Rs. 1500 to Rs. 2500 to Rs. 8000, per document, which is an exorbitant rate, disproportional to the work involved.