Legalization of Foreign-Issued Documents

Before the Philippines became a party to the Apostille Convention, any foreign-issued document intended for use in the Philippines had to be brought first to the Philippine Embassy or Consulate General which had jurisdiction over the place that issued the document so that this could be authenticated.


Since the Apostille Convention entered into force in the Philippines on 14 May 2019, documents executed and apostillized in Apostille Convention countries (except for Austria, Finland, Germany, and Greece) may already be considered valid and legal for use in the Philippines and shall no longer require authentication by a Philippine Embassy or Consulate in the issuing country or jurisdiction.


An Apostille is a certificate issued with regard to the origin of a public document, i.e., it certifies the authenticity of the signature or seal of the person or authority that signed or sealed the public document and the capacity in which this was done.


An Apostille does not certify the content of the public document for which it was issued, but rather it confirms the authenticity and authority of the signature or seal affixed to it by a person or office in the issuing country that is a party to the Apostille Convention. It is this apostillization that grants legitimacy to the foreign document for use in another country that is also party to the Apostille Convention.


Within the jurisdiction of this Consulate General, only Guam and CNMI (as U.S. territories), and the Republic of the Marshall Islands are parties to the Apostille Convention. Thus, public documents issued in Guam, CNMI, and the Marshall Islands will only require the Apostille Certificate issued by their respective authorized offices.


The following agencies issue the Apostille Certificate for public documents issued within their respective jurisdictions:


Guam: Department of Administration

CNMI: Office of the Attorney General

Marshall Islands: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Once the public document has been apostillized by these agencies, there is NO LONGER ANY NEED for the Consulate General to authenticate this document.


Documents from non-Apostille countries, namely Palau and Micronesia, will STILL REQUIRE the old process of authentication from the authorized office of the issuing government (i.e., Supreme Court of Palau, or Supreme Court of Micronesia or Clerk of Court of the concerned state in Micronesia) before the Consulate General or duly appointed Honorary Consul authenticates the document for use in the Philippines.


For Apostilles issued in the U.S. and other member countries, recipients may contact the Competent Authority identified on the Apostille and ask whether the information on the Apostille corresponds with the information in the register. Contact information for the Competent Authorities, including phone numbers and website information, is available in the Apostille Section of the Hague Conference website.


Foreign Apostilles issued before 14 May 2019 shall be recognized in the Philippines on and from said date of entry into force of the Convention for the Philippines pursuant to Sections 99 and 320 of the Apostille Handbook.


Affidavits and other legal documents may be notarized by a local notary public and then have these issued an apostille certification by the Guam Department of Administration (2nd Floor, ITC Building). This is already sufficient to make your documents legally acceptable in the Philippines because it is now a State Party to the Apostille Convention.