Before your official documents are accepted for use abroad, they must go through the process of notarization, Hague Apostille, and legalization in Singapore.
To legalize your documents, you must first seek the opinion of a notary public or lawyer in Singapore. They will issue a notarial certificate for the original document.
Legalization of Documents in Singapore
Notarization is the act of certifying the authenticity and legality of civil legal acts, legally significant facts, and documents. It must be carried out in the country where the document will be used and the country where the notary resides.
For documents executed in Singapore and intended for use in another country, they must be authenticated by the foreign embassy in Singapore.
Similarly, for documents executed in a foreign country and intended for use in Singapore, they must be legalized by the Singapore embassy in that foreign country.
Types of Documents for Authentication Application
The authentication process at the Chinese Embassy in Singapore is divided into three categories: Official Documents, Unofficial Documents, and Matching Authentication of Original and Copy of Passport from a Third Country.
1. Official Documents:
- Birth certificates, death certificates, citizenship certificates, and Singaporean identity cards issued by the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority.
- Marriage certificates and records of marital status issued by the Registry of Marriages.
- Divorce certificates issued by the court or religious registration departments.
- Various court documents.
- Photocopies of Singaporean passports.
- Certificate of No Criminal Conviction and driving licenses issued by the Central Police Division.
- Diplomas from public universities (such as National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, etc.).
- Medical examination reports from public hospitals.
- Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) issued company registration documents, company memoranda.
- Other documents issued by Singaporean government departments.
2. Unofficial Documents
Affidavits, declarations, power of attorney, contracts, real estate contracts, civil litigation documents, foster care authorization letters, academic certificates from private schools (recognized by Singapore Edutrust), medical examination reports from private hospitals, certification of legal entity representation, board resolutions, company meeting records, signature samples, legal opinions, various certificates and evidence issued in the name of individuals or companies, and adoption documents.
3. Documents from a third country
Generally, documents from a third country are authenticated at the embassy or consulate of that third country and the Chinese embassy in the third country.
For official documents such as passports, marriage certificates, and birth certificates from a third country, after certification by the embassy of the third country in Singapore and authentication by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore, the Chinese Embassy in Singapore may authenticate them as needed (to be submitted through the China Visa Application Service Center).
Notarization and Authentication in Singapore
Notarization involves having a notary public authenticate your documents using their official seal or signature. This process attests that the document has been properly executed in their presence. If you only plan to use your document in Singapore, notarization is usually unnecessary.
Common purposes for processing in Singapore include but are not limited to:
1. Used for local applications in Singapore such as work permits, long-term visas, Singapore Permanent Residency (PR), and citizenship.
Common documents include: academic transcripts, degree certificates, and others.
2. Used for personal matters outside Singapore.
Common documents include: affidavits, power of attorney, and others.
3. Investing in a third country on behalf of a Singaporean company:
Activities such as establishing a foreign-invested company, representative office, bidding, trademark transfer, legal proceedings, or property acquisition, require the relevant documents of the Singaporean company to be authenticated by the embassy of the destination country in Singapore. This authentication is essential for the legal validity and effectiveness of the documents in that country.
Common documents include: Singaporean company authorization letters, company Bizfile, articles of association, company bank statements, tax documents, etc.