For the longest time, we, Filipinos, have been used to doing certain procedures when it comes to filing our documents at the Philippine Embassy, especially for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who need these documents for overseas matters.
However, this year, there will be a change when it comes to legalising our documents at the Philippine Embassy from Hong Kong and other countries. In this post, we will share some basic information regarding this update and what you need to know about the Apostille Convention and its implications to our document processing.
No More ‘Red Ribbon’: Get Documents Legalised with ‘Apostille’ Stamp
Upon becoming a party to the Apostille Convention as of May 14, 2019, the Philippines will no longer issue authentication certificates (red ribbon). Instead, it will affix an “Apostille,” as proof of authentication on the Philippine documents for overseas use, as shared in an update by the Philippine Consul General in Hong Kong.
In line with this, effective June 17, 2019, the Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong will no longer use satin red ribbons on notarial and authentication certificates. For this purpose, a rubber stamp or dry seal will confirm the issuance of these certificates.
What is an “Apostille”?
An Apostille is a certificate that authenticates the origin of a public document issued by government offices (both local and foreign), exactly just what a “red ribbon” does. However, an apostille is issued by a country that is party to the Apostille Convention to be used in another country which is also affiliated to the Convention.
Through this update, foreign public documents from Apostille-contracting countries no longer require authentication abroad by Philippine Embassies and Consulates General in order to be recognized and accepted in the Philippines.
In the same manner, Philippine public documents do not need to undergo diplomatic or consular authentication in order to be used abroad in fellow Apostille-contracting countries.
What this Means for OFWs
Where two contracting parties to the Apostille Convention have a need for public documents, they will no longer be required to undergo verification or authentication of these documents, thus simplifying their acquisition and use for travel purposes resulting to more convenience, less cost, and processing time for the applicants.
With the Apostille, documents will no longer require legalization by the Foreign Embassy if the country or territory of destination is already a member of the Apostille Convention. Once Apostillized, by the DFA, the Philippine document can be validly used in any and all Apostille-contracting countries included below:
GOODBYE RED RIBBON, HELLO APOSTILLE!
Effective today, the DFA will no longer issue Authentication Certificates with “red ribbon”, and will instead affix an Apostille to documents for use abroad.
— DFA Philippines (@DFAPHL) May 14, 2019
Aside from countries that are not yet covered by the Apostille Convention, the Philippine Apostille will also not apply to Austria, Finland, Germany and Greece. As per guidelines, documents from and to such countries will still require legalization by their Embassy or Consulate in the Philippines.
The DFA Office of Consular Affairs shall be the primary authority responsible for the implementation of the Apostille Convention. In line with this, the Supreme Court will also play an important role in this transition since the Convention would require some changes to certain provisions of the Rules of Court regarding the use of foreign public documents.
Watch this short video shared by the DFA via their YouTube Channel to explain the new change in the document processing for travel overseas: