Philippine Apostille Authentication
Frequently Asked Questions
The Philippine Apostille Authentication is formally and most commonly known as the “Red Ribbon” Certificate. Since May 14, 2019, the Philippines became a party to the Apostille Convention. Thus, the Department of Foreign Affairs or the DFA Office will be releasing Apostille Certificates instead of the Red Ribbon Certificate. Authentication is still required for all Philippine documents to be used abroad, but this time with an Apostille instead of an Authentication Certificate (“red ribbon”) as proof of authentication.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an Apostille & when do I need one?
An Apostille Certificate is a document that authenticates the origin of a public document. It is issued by a country that is party to the Apostille Convention to be used in another country which is also a party to the Convention.
After authentication (Apostillization) by DFA-OCA as Competent Authority, there is no more need for authentication (legalization) by the Embassies or Consulates except for non-Apostille countries and those that objected to the Philippine accession.
Which countries does the Apostille Convention apply?
The Apostille Convention only applies if both the country where the public document was issued and the country where the public document is to be used are parties to the Convention. For the updated list of all “Apostille Countries,” please visit this link.
Like in non-Apostille countries, the Philippine Apostille cannot be readily used in Austria, Finland, Germany, and Greece (Apostille countries that objected to the Philippine accession). Documents from and to such countries will require legalization by the concerned Embassy or Consulate.
The country where I need to use my document is not an Apostille country, what do I do?
If your public document is to be used in a country where the Apostille Convention does not apply, you should contact the Embassy or Consulate of the country where you intend to use the document in order to find out what your options are. This usually means that you need to present your documents to the said country’s Embassy or Consulate in the Philippines for its authentication/legalization. You may also ask the intended recipient of your document whether an Apostille is necessary in your particular case.
Which documents does the Apostille Convention Apply?
The Philippine Apostille applies to the same types of documents that were subject to authentication by the DFA prior to the effectivity of the Apostille Convention in the Philippines. Moreover, Apostilles are strictly for the use of public documents abroad. Thus, if your document is to be used in the Philippines, it cannot be submitted to the DFA for authentication/Apostillization.
Private documents or those that were executed by the applicants in their private capacity can be authenticated only if they have been notarized and subsequently issued a Certificate of Authority for a Notarial Act (CANA) by the supervising Regional Trial Court.
Where can I get or process documents for Apostille Authentication?
The Apostille is available in all Authenticating Units of the DFA: DFA-Aseana; DFA Consular Office (CO) Northeast (Ali Mall, Cubao); CO East (SM Megamall); CO West (SM Manila); CO South (Metro Gaisano, Alabang); CO San Fernando, Pampanga; CO Davao (SM Davao); CO Iloilo; and CO Cebu (Pacific Mall-Metro Mandaue).
Can I send an authorized representative on my behalf?
According to the Authentication Rules and Regulations (ARR) of the Department of Foreign Affairs, starting 19 July 2019, an authorized representative is only allowed to process and claim documents on behalf of the owner provided that he/she presents the following:
- Authorization letter from the owner; (For Minor Applicants- Original Special Power of Attorney executed by parent/s)
- Photocopy of the owner’s ID (refer to the list of acceptable IDs below) bearing his/her signature
- Photocopy and original copy of representative’s ID
How much is the Apostille Authentication Fee and how long does it take to process?
Payment for DFA-OCA’s Authentication service is Php 100.00 for regular processing (released after three working days) and Php 200.00 for expedited or express processing (to be released the following working day).
NOTE: In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, expedited processing of documents for authentication is temporarily suspended.
What are the benefits of an Apostille and what is the difference from the Authentication Certificate (“Red Ribbon”)?
The Apostille streamlines the whole authentication procedure of documents for use abroad resulting to more convenience, less cost and processing time for the applicants. Before Apostille, a Philippine document to be used abroad needs a Certification by the relevant government agency or office, Authentication by the DFA and Authentication (Legalization) by the Embassy or Consulate of the country of destination.
With the Apostille, the aforementioned document will no longer require legalization by the Foreign Embassy or Consulate if the country of destination is also an Apostille country.