Apostille is a certification which serves as a proof that the public document is authentic. It is issued by the country where the document originated. Here in the Philippines, the Department of Foreign Affairs- Office of the Consular Affairs (DFA-OCA) can only authenticate documents originating here in the Philippines that will be used abroad.
Apostille confirms the authenticity of the signature or seal of the person that signed or sealed the document and the signing person’s capacity to do so.
Apostillization is done by the host government where the documents were issued. Thus, DFA can only Apostille documents issued in the Philippines, not foreign documents.
What are considered Local (Philippine) Documents?
These are documents issued in the Philippines e.g. documents issued by the Philippine government and those notarized by a Philippine notary public.
When do I need an Apostille?
Apostille certification is needed if you need to present or submit a document abroad.
DFA cannot Apostille documents that will be used in the Philippines.
Obtaining an Apostille vs. Red Ribbon
Starting May 14, 2019, the DFA-OCA no longer issues Authentication Certificates (or “red ribbon”) and instead has begun issuing Apostille certificates for documents to be used abroad that are party to the Apostille Convention. Apostille has replaced the Red Ribbon way of authenticating a document.
Apostille is a faster and more convenient way of authentication. Apostille only requires two steps: (1) Certification by the relevant government agency or office; and (2) Authentication by the DFA. It no longer requires
the third step, the Legalization by the Embassy or Consulate of the country where the documents will be used, as long as the said country is a party to the Apostille Convention (also known as The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents).
Which countries accept Apostille from Philippines?
The following countries accept Apostille certification from the Philippines:
The list of all countries party to the Apostille are on this link: https://www.hcch.net/en/instruments/conventions/status-table/?cid=41
Which countries do not accept Apostille from the Philippines?
Apostille certification from the Philippines is not accepted in non-Apostille countries, and in the four Apostille countries that objected to the Philippine accession: Austria, Finland, Germany and Greece. This means that Legalization by the Embassy or Consulate of those countries is still required. To be sure, contact the Embassy or Consulate of the destination country and ask for their requirements so that the red ribbon can be issued instead of the Apostille Certificate.
What documents can be apostilled?
- NBI Clearance/Sundry
- Birth/Marriage/Death Certificate, Certificate of No Marriage Record (CENOMAR, Advisory on Marriage and/or Negative Records)
- School Documents (such as Form-137, TOR, Diploma, and National Certificate)
- Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) documents
- Medical Certificates
- Certificate of Employment/ Trainings/ Seminars/ Baptismal Certificates and other documents issued by a private entity
- Special Power of Attorney/Memorandum of Agreement Memorandum of Understanding/ any other form of Contract, Affidavit of Consent/Advice, Joint Affidavit, etc.
- Court Documents (Decision, Resolution/Order)
- Immigration Records
- DSWD Clearance
- Police Clearance/Sundry
- Business Registration and Other Documents issued by a Government Agency (e.g. SEC, DTI, BIR, SSS, Municipal Business Permit & Licensing Office, etc.)
- Barangay Clearance/Certificate
What are the requirements for Apostille?
The documentary requirements depend on the documents that will be submitted. You may check the requirements per document here: https://consular.dfa.gov.ph/services/authentication/authentication-requirements/requirements-of-documents-for-authentication
Where can I process documents for Apostille authentication?
You may get your documents apostilled in the following DFA offices:
- DFA Consular Office (CO) NCR Northeast (Level 2, Government Center, Ali Mall Cubao)
- DFA CO NCR East (7th floor, Building C, SM Megamall)
- DFA CO NCR West (5th floor, SM Manila)
- DFA CO San Fernando, Pampanga (2nd floor, Robinsons StarMills)
- DFA CO Davao (3rd floor, SM Davao)
- DFA CO Cebu (4th level, Pacific Mall-Metro Mandaue City, Cebu)
How long does the process take? How much is the processing fee?
The payment for Apostille is Php 100.00 for Regular Processing, which is released after four working days, and Php 200.0 for Expedited Processing which is released the following business day. However, expedited processing is currently suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
What is the process for the Apostille application?
First: You need to set up an appointment with the DFA CO branch of your choice. Note that with the COVID-19 pandemics, DFA CO does not allow walk-ins. Go to to book an appointment in DFA Aseana, CO NCR Northeast, CO NCR West, CO NCR East, CO NCR South, CO Pampanga, CO Cebu, and CO Iloilo. For CO Davao, you must email firstname.lastname@example.org to book an appointment.
Second: Once your appointment is confirmed, you need to go to your chosen DFA branch. Fill out the Authentication Application Form, present your confirmed appointment letter to the Appointment Verification Counter, present your valid government-issued ID (original and photocopy), submit your documents, and pay at the cashier. Remember not to lose your official receipt.
Third: Send an email to your chosen DFA branch to set an appointment before claiming your Apostille. Wait for the email instructions and the scheduled date of release. Afterwards, go back to the said DFA branch to pick up your document. You need to present the official receipt along with your valid government-issued ID.
- DFA Aseana: appointment for claiming an Apostille is not required.
- DFA CO NCR Northeast: email@example.com
- DFA CO NCR East: firstname.lastname@example.org
- DFA CO NCR West: email@example.com
- DFA CO NCR South: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
- DFA CO Pampanga: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
- DFA CO Davao: firstname.lastname@example.org
- DFA CO Cebu: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
- DFA CO Iloilo: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
You can claim your Apostille within three months of the scheduled date of release. Unclaimed Apostilles will be disposed of after three months.
How do I verify my Apostille certification?
You may verify your Apostille certificate via this link: www.dfa.qov.ph/verify-apostille.
There is also a QR Code in the Apostille which you can easily scan for the verification link.
I am abroad. How do I apostille my documents?
You may also avail of FILEDOCSPHIL services in obtaining your Apostille for a hassle free transaction. CLICK HERE for a free quote.
While you can do it manually, it will save you time if you are assisted by an expert. The following are usual setbacks that you may encounter if you do this on your own:
1. If you do not have proof of the Notarial Certification or an appointment with the Notary Public that notarized your document, it will be difficult for you to get your Certificate of Authority for a Notarial Act (CANA) from the Regional Trial Court. CANA is needed for the apostilization of your notarized documents
2. The DFA online Apostille application and appointment system is not always working. So, you will need to manually request for an appointment.
3. You will incur multiple trips to complete the application, e.g. CANA processing (payment and pick up) and Apostille processing (payment and pick up). You need to allot at least four days of leaves from your end. Not to mention that the documents could be unavailable when you try to pick them up. Your time is best utilized if you let FileDocsPhil assist you.
I am abroad. How do I get my original documents without going back to the Philippines?
You may ask a representative in the Philippines to obtain your original documents. Your representative needs to sign the Special Power of Attorney (SPA) form. Ask for a signed copy of the SPA form so you can
have the SPA consularized at the Philippine Consular Office. Note that it is best to call the embassy first to get the list of required documents and the instructions on how to proceed.
After getting your Consularized SPA, send it back to your representative in the Philippines so he/she can now be authorized to obtain your original documents on your behalf.
We at FILEDOCSPHIL can help obtain your original documents. CLICK HERE for a free quote.