All the important questions about apostille stamp in Nigeria, authentication and legalization of documents are answered here. Key aspects of our document authentication services are also clarified here.
What is Apostille Stamp?
Apostille stamp is a form of authentication or certification seal appended on documents to prove that such documents are legally issued by the originating authority, genuine, and valid for use in the destination country (i.e. the foreign country where you intend to use such a document). It is typically issued by a country's ministry of foreign affairs or its equivalent.
Can I Get Apostille Stamp on my document in Nigeria?
Technically, no. Because Nigeria is not a member-country of the Hague Apostille Convention. What you get in Nigeria is authentication, issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abuja, which is equivalent to apostille stamp internationally.
Is Authentication the same thing as Apostille?
Absolutely, yes. In countries like Nigeria that are not members of the Hague Apostille Convention, authentication serves the same purpose and carries the same authority as the apostille stamp, worldwide. People use different terms to describe authentication - including attestation. Generally, to apostille a document in Nigeria is the same thing as to authenticate, attest, or certify the document.
How can you help me with authentication of documents and certificates in Nigeria?
Generally, you either scan a soft copy of the document and send to our email (which we will print out in colour, on premium quality paper) or you send the original hard-copy document to us in Abuja. Afterwards, we assist you with the entire process - paying the official authentication fees, submitting the document to the relevant certifying offices, and ensuring that the officials act on it quickly. Thereafter, we send the authenticated document down to your location in Nigeria or abroad, via waybill, post or courier.
Do I have to authenticate the original document or a copy of it?
Most embassies and destination countries accept authenticated copies )though you may have to also tender the original, just for confirmatory or 'sighting' purposes.. However, some countries / embassies (e.g. UAE, Poland, India, Russia, Czech Republic, etc) often require you to authenticate the original document.
It is advisable for you to first find out from the embassy or relevant authority of your destination country whether the original or a copy should be authenticated, before contacting us for assistance with the authentication process.
How long does the authentication process take?
When you use our authentication assistance services, it typically takes between 24-48 hours to complete the process and dispatch the authenticated document to you. Thanks to the expedited action due to our extensive contacts and in-depth understanding of how the process works.
However, if you choose to follow the official procedure to get your document authenticated in Nigeria, it may take weeks to finalize and get your document out. This is in addition to the immense stress, inconvenience and frustration you would likely face when dealing with the government bureaucracy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Ministry of Education as the case may be.
How much does it cost to help me authenticate my document?
It depends. The costs vary depending on the nature of the document and the total number of pages and documents you want to authenticate. However, costs are quoted on a per-page or per-document basis. We would give you the appropriate cost for the service when you contact us with accurate information about your authentication requirements.
Why is your price significantly higher than the official authentication cost?
Well, we give onto Caesar, that which belongs to Caesar. The government's fees are paid accordingly for each document, but it unofficially costs a lot more to bypass the sluggish bureaucratic bottlenecks and get the authentication done swiftly. In any case, the significant cost markup reflects the convenience, speed, and peace of mind premium you enjoy when using our services for your document authentication and legalization.
I want to authenticate my academic certificates, is it necessary to do both Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Education authentication?
Yes. If the document you wish to authenticate is an academic certificate such as degree, diploma, transcripts, WAEC, and other similar certifications issued by a Nigerian institution, then it is compulsory to certify it first at the Ministry of Education, followed by Ministry of Foreign Affairs authentication. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will not accept your academic document for authentication unless it has already been certified by the Ministry of Education.
Do I need to notarize my document before submitting it for authentication?
Not always. It depends on the requirement of your destination country embassy. Most countries/embassies don;t explicitly require a notary public stamp (notarization) along with authentication. However, countries like China (Chinese Embassy) require notarization along with authentication. You may inquire from the embassy of your destination country about this requirement if you're not sure.