Under most circumstances, birth certificate is considered to be a private document. This private document is required by many authorities as a one solid way of confirming a given individual’s identity, age, gender, nationality, country of origin etc. Because of the value of the information a birth certificate carry, it is considered as a mandatory document during many important occasions. When it comes to local affairs, if you are asked to present your birth certificate, you can simply present it ‘as it is’. However, taking into account of foreign affairs, the birth certificate needs some sort of an international validation; apostille birth certificate is considered to be the most convenient, legally accepted and standardized option.
In the UK, two birth certificates are offered upon the birth of a child. One birth certificate will carry the basic (or the shortened) information; name of the child, place of birth and the date of birth are the information mentioned in this certificate. The other certificate carries information liken names of the parents in addition to the information contains in the previously mentioned version. These two birth certificates are called ‘short version’ and ‘long version’ respectively. In terms of apostille birth certificate, both the long version and short version can be certified. However, it is highly recommended to opt for the loner version unless there are specific exemptions. In most of the occasions where birth certificate is required outside of the UK, the longer version is accepted without any questions.
How to apostille birth certificate
Giving an international validation to a personal document like birth certificate was a pretty hard task before 1960. Thanks to The Hague Convention held in 1961, most of the nations agreed upon a simplified but internationally accepted document authentication process called apostille. Apostille birth certificate can be obtained only via authorized agents; you have to submit the original document (the birth certificate) to the agent. The document will reach you within a couple of days (maximum) with an apostille stamp. Once this apostille stamp is applied, your birth certificate is valid to use before the foreign principal. The apostille stamp defines that the birth certificate is an original one. However, photocopies or scanned copies cannot be apostilled as per the regulations; you need to send the original copy.
What happens if you don’t want to send the original birth certificate?
Due to various reasons, people are reluctant to handover their original birth certificate to a third party. If you are among such segment and don’t wish to send the original birth certificate, you can still obtain an apostille birth certificate simply by purchasing an official copy first place. This is a good option for those who have already lost their original birth certificates. Such certified copy has the same legal recognition within the UK and when it is accompanied with the apostille stamp, it will be accepted by the foreign principals as well. This particular copy can be acquired from the local registry office or General Registry Office (GRO).