The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents (the Apostille Convention) came into force in Chile on August 30 2016, following its publication in the Official Gazette on March 24 2016 (for further details please see "Apostille Convention promulgated").
The competent authorities for issuing apostilles are:
- the sub-secretary of justice (and the Ministry of Justice's regional offices) for documents issued by notary publics, judicial files, property registers and documents relating to public services contingent on the Ministry of Justice, with the exception of Civil Registration and Identification Service documents, sentences and other justice court resolutions;
- the Ministry of Education (and its regional offices) for elementary, primary and secondary education certificates and other related certificates, such as grades, attendance records, personality and conduct reports and university selection test scores;
- the Ministry of Health (and its regional offices) for prescriptions and documents signed by ministry authorities;
- the Civil Registration and Identification Service's national director and regional directors for documents issued under this service; and
- the General Directorate of Consular Affairs and Immigration for documents issued by any authority and authenticated by the unitary apostille electronic system.
An apostille application must be filed with the competent authority. The original public document to be apostilled must be filed at the same time. The official in charge of the apostille will add the public document to the unitary apostille electronic system. Once it has been verified that the document can be apostilled, the system will generate an electronic apostille with:
- a unique reference number;
- the date on which it was granted;
- the signatory's name and position; and
- the competent authority's electronic signature.
The electronic apostille and the digital copy of the public document will be filed in the unitary apostille electronic system.
An apostille application can be rejected if the document is not a public document according to the law or the Apostille Convention, or the following cannot be verified:
- the authenticity of the signature;
- the signatory's credentials; or
- the identity of the document's stamp or seal (if applicable).
Once a public document has been added to the unitary apostille electronic system, a paper copy will be issued with a unique reference number which can be used to verify the document online along with the issue date, official signature and corresponding image.
The competent authority may issue apostilles regarding certificates granted by its respective public services through an online system. In this case, both documents will be generated simultaneously and provided to the applicant.
The Apostille Convention and domestic law have not abolished the previous legalisation process under Article 345 of the Civil Procedure Code regarding public documents issued by states that are not parties to the convention. Further, in the case of private instruments, the previous legalisation process must also be applied.
However, if these documents have been officially certified by a state party, the certification can be apostilled. In this case, the apostille will confirm the authenticity of the certification.
Under Article 420 of the Organic Code of Courts, foreign documents that have been legalised must be filed with a notary public in order to be effective in Chile. Article 2 of Law 20,711 – published in the Official Gazette on January 2 2014 – amended Article 420 so that foreign documents which have been apostilled do not need to be filed in a notary's protocol.
For further information on this topic please contact Santiago Montt Vicuña at Montt y Cia SA by telephone (+56 22 233 8266) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). The Montt y Cia SA website can be accessed at www.monttcia.cl.
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