china Apostille Convention

As of November 7, 2023, the People’s Republic of China will become a Party to the Apostille Convention Facilitating the Use of Documents from Foreign Authorities.

As it is known, the birth certificates and marriage certificates of the applicant and his/her family, if any, must be submitted with the citizenship application documents in Turkey.

In order for the documents received from foreign authorities to be valid in another country, either a seal will be obtain from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country where the document is received and then a seal will be obtained from the consulate in the foreign country or an apostille will be obtained. Apostille is a document approval system that allows a document to be used legally in another country by certifying its authenticity. Prepared within the framework of the Hague Conference on Private International Law, Turkey signed the “Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents” (Hereinafter “Apostille Convention”) on 08/05/1962 and entered into force on 29/09/1985.  The apostille attestation of a document is accepted as a valid document in all states party to the convention. The countries party to the convention have the documents attested by the competent authority they have determined. For Turkey, the document brought from a foreign country is attested by the District Governorate.

The Apostille Convention is one of the conventions with the most members in the world. It aims to minimize the bureaucracy between countries and speed up the process. The People’s Republic of China officially acceded to the 1961 Hauge Convention on March 8, 2022. The Apostille Convention will enter into force on November 7, 2023. Until now, documents obrained from China had to be certified by a notary public and local authorities (Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and then attested by the Chinese Embassy or Consulate in country where the document would be used. This was a costly and time-consuming process for applicants. However, as of November 7, 2023, documents to be brought from China can be used Turkey by having them approved by the Districts Governorate. 

With the People’s Republic of China’s decision to accede to the Convention, the Apostille Convention now has 124 parties.

Which documents does the Apostille Convention apply to?

The Apostille Convention does not apply to all types of documents. According to the La Hague Conference on Private International Law, the Convention generally applies to the following documents:

  • Administrative documents, including birth, marriage, death and single status certificates
  • Documents from a court or court-affiliated authority
  • Trade registers
  • Patents
  • Notarial acts and notarial attestations (acknowledgments) of signatures; and 
  • School, university and other academic diplomas issued by public institutions