The process of attestation by the Ministry of External Affairs of the Government of India can be done on all certificates issued by the Indian government. However, when a document gets attested by the Ministry of External Affairs it is important that its gets authenticated by the regional authorities. It needs to be noted here that the Ministry of External Affairs is the apex body that has the sole authority to issue apostille authentication for all the documents issued in India. However, with effect from March 1, 2012, the attestation and apostille work of the Ministry of External Affairs Attestation has been outsourced. As a result of this, no document is directly accepted from individuals by the Ministry of External Affairs. On the contrary, documents are submitted directly to the outsourced companies along with the photocopies of the document and a copy of the passport of the individual.

Once a particular document has been authenticated by the particular state or the Union territory it can go to the Ministry of External Affairs for further validation. The main objective of attesting the documents or certificates by the Ministry of External Affairs is to make the documents usable in various institutions within the Indian sub-continent and also in foreign countries. As all kinds of documents can be attested by the Ministry of External Affairs, there are particular processes depending on the kind of document and its purpose.

The different kinds of documents which are attested by the Ministry of External Affairs include the following:

The Non-Educational Documents: Documents like the birth certificate, marriage certificates, affidavits, licenses, death certificates, and others fall under the category of non-educational documents. When such certificates requires attestation by the Ministry of External Affairs, they first have to be authenticated by the issuing State or the Union Territory. The authentication needs to be done with the name, designation seal along with the seal of the department.

Educational Documents: All educational documents should first be attested by the State Education Department of the issuing State or the Union Territory. Educational documents include all documents that are testimony of passing examinations at different levels. In case of educational documents also require the name, the designation and the seal of the concerned department.

Commercial Documents: All commercial documents that require authentication from the Ministry of External Affairs Attestation should be first validated by the respective Chambers of Commerce. The rubber stamp of the respective Chamber of Commerce must be affixed on each of the documents along with the name and the designation of the authorized signatory.

However, last but not the least, as the attestation process by the Ministry of External Affairs has been outsourced it is important that we choose an agency that has a good track record and commits to deadline. One can take references from friends and family to find out a trustworthy agency. Whenever you finalize on a particular agency make sure that you have all agreements in a written format. This is important to avoid all sorts of confusion at a later stage.

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