Has COVID-19 separated your family? Legalise your documents before you reunite

If you’re planning on moving overseas as soon as COVID-19 travel and border restrictions ease, now is the time to ensure you and your family have your essential documents legalised.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, governments around the world have taken action by closing their borders and restricting international travel.

One significant impact of this has been the separation of families. Australians who were set to travel to be with a family member already living overseas have been prevented from doing so. And, in Australia, caps on the number of Australians allowed to return home have made it challenging for families to be reunited.

If you’re planning on moving overseas as soon as travel and border restrictions ease, now is the time to ensure you and your family have your essential documents ready. The most common documents required by families living overseas include:

  • Education certificates, such as university degrees
  • Marriage certificate
  • Children’s birth certificates.

Foreign governments or businesses usually require proof that the documents are genuine. This means they need to be legalised in the country of origin before they’re accepted. It’s also much easier, and less costly, to have Australian documents legalised in Australia, rather than the host country.

How to legalise your documents before you move overseas

  • Step 1: To get your documents legalised in Australia, you’ll need a Notarial Certificate. A Notarial Certificate is a written, signed and sealed statement from an Australian Notary Public, enabling copies of the documents to be used overseas.
  • Step 2: Depending on the requirements of your host country, the Notarial Certificate may need to be sent to the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (DFAT) to be authenticated.
  • Step 3: Once the documents have been authenticated by DFAT, they may also require legalisation by the foreign embassy located in Australia. For the UAE, for example, this means the documents need to be sent to the UAE Embassy in Canberra.
  • Step 4: Make sure you scan and save your legalised documents once you receive them. In some cases, you may be able to use your scanned copies to support your application for work or education, but it’s a good idea to have online copies available anyway.
  • Step 5: If you’re using Authentifier to manage this process, we’ll share electronic copies with you via Dropbox. That way, you have a secured means of accessing copies of your documents while you wait for the originals to be delivered.

Need help with the document legalisation process?

Document legalisation is a complex and time-consuming process, so we’re happy to manage it for you. For a fixed fee, we can take the headache out of getting your documents in order before you head overseas.

Our process includes:

  • Online document inspection – If you’ve got your original documents with you, we can sight them online (e.g. via Zoom or Skype)
  • Notarisation of copies of inspected documents – We’ll draft and issue a Notarial Certificate which certifies the copies of the documents for use overseas
  • DFAT authentication – If your documents need to be authenticated by DFAT, we’ll take care of the application process for you
  • Embassy legalisation – We’ll liaise with the Australian-based embassy of the host country to get your documents legalised
  • Provision of documents – Your legalised documents will be sent to you via Express Post and you’ll also receive access to electronic versions via Dropbox. If required, we can send your original documents overseas via FedEx (additional fees apply).

Generally, this process is conducted online, and we can liaise with both the family member located overseas, as well as in Australia. Our fixed fee for this service covers DFAT authentication fees, embassy legalisation fees and Express Post costs (Australian addresses).

Ready for us to help? Get started here.

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Legalise documents before moving overseas

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