Apostille & Document Certification

The literal meaning of apostille is certification.  The apostille is a result of the Hague Convention, a treaty between over 100 countries which allows documents issued in one country to be accepted in another.  The Convention provides for the simplified certification of public documents to be used in countries that have joined the convention. Under the Hague Convention, signatory countries have agreed to recognize public documents issued by other signatory countries if those public documents are authenticated by the attachment of an internationally recognized form of authentication known as an Apostille.  The Apostille ensures that public documents issued in one signatory country will be recognized as valid in another signatory country.  Apostille only pertains to public documents.  Primary example of public instruments are marriage, birth and death certificates, court documents, patents and transcripts, diplomas or certificates. 

You should first confirm that the country to which you are forwarding the document is a party to the Hague Convention Treaty.  This can be done by requesting the requirements for acceptance of foreign documents by the receiving country (the country to which you are sending your documents).  If that is not possible, you may check the list of countries by going to http://riga.usembassy.gov/hague_list.html

Canisius University (formerly Canisius College) transcripts, diplomas or certificates must be certified by the Registrar's office as official records of Canisius University.  The registrar's signature must be notarized. 

How to obtain an Apostille

  • Bring in original diploma so a copy can be made of it.  If bringing in the original diploma is not an option, you can mail us the original and it will be returned to you when the process complete, or you can request another diploma and we will use that one for the authentication process. The form titled replacement diploma will need to be filled out and returned with all the required payments.  If you wish to pay with a credit card for the replacement, please contact the office at 716-888-2600.
  • The document(s) will be notarized here in the Student Records & Financial Services Center.
  • The document(s) will be sent to the Erie County Clerk’s office to be certified for the Notary.  Cost is $3.00.  Must be a Money Order (no personal checks),  made payable to Erie County Clerk.
  • We will need to know what country the document is being sent to for the NYS Apostille form.
  • Once it is received back from the clerk’s office it will be sent to NYS Department of State to be authenticated.  Cost is $10.00.  Must be a Money Order (no personal checks), made payable to NYS Department of State.
  • The entire process takes approximately 3-4 weeks.
  • You will receive notification via email or phone call (please provide both) from the office when the process is complete.

New York State Apostille Link:  Apostille or Certificate of Authentication | Department of State (ny.gov)

Erie County Apostille FAQ Link:   FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) | Erie County Clerk Michael P. Kearns