e-Sanad: Online Attestation and Apostille of Documents

e-Sanad aims to create a contactless, cashless, faceless, and paperless document attestation service for apostille purposes as well as regular attestation for applicants in India. It will be introduced to applicants abroad gradually. It has been designed and developed by the National Informatic Centre (NIC). This article answers some fundamental questions about eSanad. 


Which Documents are Authenticated/Apostilled?

Using e-Sanad, any document—personal, educational, or commercial—can be authenticated or apostilled. For attestation/apostille through e-Sanad, the document must be accessible in the digital repository.

How Many Offices Offer this Service?

Five passport offices as well as the Attestation Section of the CPV Division of the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi are currently using e-Sanad. It will soon be implemented throughout the entire nation due to the continued dispersion of attestation-related activity to other regions.

Does this Involve States and Union Territories as well?

Starting in 2014 and beyond, the e-Sanad will commence with the CBSE depository, and online verification of the CBSE papers will be conducted. Regarding its implementation or integration with States or UTs, Telengana State is being approached about it as a pilot project, and others will be added gradually.

How is the e-Sanad Project Being Put Into Practice?

Phased implementation of the project is being carried out by NIC in conjunction with CBSE, States/UTs, and the Ministry of External Affairs. Only those Document Issuing Authorities (DIAs) that have a digital repository for their documents, like CBSE, are initially accepted. Other DIAs will gradually receive this service as soon as they are able to offer digital repositories for documents they have issued.

What is an Apostille and When is it Needed?

Apostilles are certificates that confirm a public document’s lineage (e.g., a birth, marriage or death certificate, a judgment, an extract of a register or a notarial attestation). This brochure’s introduction includes a reproduction of the Model Apostille Certificate. Only documents issued in one nation that is a signatory to the Apostille Convention and intended for use in another nation that is a signatory to the Convention are eligible for an apostille.

If all of the following apply, you will require an apostille:

  • The Apostille Convention has been ratified by the country where the document was issued, the country in which it is to be used, the law of the country where the document was issued considers it to be a public document, and the country in which the document is to be used needs an apostille to recognise it as a foreign public document.
  • Apostilles are only permitted for the use of public documents outside of the country in which they were issued, and may never be used for the recognition of a document in the country in which it was issued.
  • If the laws, rules, or customs in effect in the nation where the public document is to be used have eliminated, simplified, or exempted the document from any legalisation requirements, then an Apostille may not be necessary. A treaty or other agreement that is in effect between the nation where the public document is to be used and the nation that issued it may also have the effect of simplifying or exempting certain matters (e.g., some other Hague Conventions exempt documents from legalisation or any analogous formality, including an Apostille).

If you are unsure, you should confirm with the person who will be receiving your document whether an Apostille is required in your specific circumstance.

Which Countries Recognize Apostilles?

Only if both the nation where the public document was issued and the country where the public document is to be used are party to the Apostille Convention does the Convention take effect. The Apostille Section of the Hague Conference website has a thorough and up-to-date list of the nations to whom the Apostille Convention currently applies or soon will. Look for the link labelled Status table of the Apostille Convention.

The Hague Conference, the organisation that developed the Apostille Convention, is listed in the first part of the Apostille Convention’s Status table, which also includes a list of countries that have joined the convention. The second part of the table lists countries that have joined the convention but are not members of the Hague Conference. In other words, a nation can ratify the Apostille Convention without being a member of the Hague Conference.

Always bear the following in mind when looking at the Apostille Convention’s Status table:

  • Verify that either component of the Status table lists both the country where the public document was issued and the country where it is intended to be utilised.
  • The Convention applies equally to Members and Non-Members of the Organization, regardless of whether a country is included in the first or second part of the Status table.
  • Look up the dates for both countries’ Convention entry into effect. Look for the “EIF” column; only after that date may the appropriate nation issue and accept apostille documents.
  • The Convention may be ratified, acceded to, succeeded by, or continued by various countries; nevertheless, such modifications shall not affect the operation of the Convention in any single country.

Where Can I Get an Apostille?

Applicants can submit and collect documents directly at the four below-mentioned Branch Secretariats of the Ministry of External Affairs. They also Attest/ Apostille documents in addition to the MEA


Ministry of External Affairs Branch Secretariat,

68, College Road, E.V.K. Sampath Maaligai,

7th Floor, Numgambakkam,

Chennai -600006.

Phone : 044-28252200044-28252200, 28251323

Email :[email protected]


Ministry of External Affairs Branch Secretariat

House No. 307, Beltola, Basistha Road,


Phone : 0361-22291550361-2229155, 2229156,

Fax : 0361-2229157

Email :[email protected]


Ministry of External Affairs Branch Secretariat

B-Block, Room No. 310-312,

Andhra Pradesh Secretariat,


Phone : 040-23456051040-23456051, Fax : 040-23451244

Email :[email protected]


Ministry of External Affairs Branch Secretariat

2, Ballygunge, Park Road,


Phone : 033-22879701033-22879701, 22802686,

Fax : 033-22879703,

Email :[email protected]

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What is the Price of an Apostille?

MEA: Each document must be apostille for a charge of Rs. 50. (As of December 21, 2016, payments made with postal orders are no longer accepted.) Typical attestations are free of charge.

Outsourced agencies: All documents must be sent to and collected from the four specified outsourced agencies because the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) does not accept documents directly from applicants or individuals. The outsourced agencies would charge Rs. 22 for personal documents, Rs. 18 for educational documents, and Rs. 16 for other documents for collection and delivery for Apostille/normal attestation by MEA (Commercial document).

How are Apostilles Attached to Public Documents?

The public document must have an Apostille attached to it directly or on a separate page (called an allonge). Rubber stamps, self-adhesive stickers, impressed seals, and other methods can all be used to attach an apostille. An allonge can be affixed to the underlying public document by a number of techniques, such as glue, grommets, staples, ribbons, wax seals, etc., if an apostille is placed on it. All of these procedures are permitted under the Convention, but in order to protect the validity of the Apostille, Competent Authorities are urged to employ more secure ones.

An Apostille cannot be rejected because it was not affixed in a specific way.

Is Anything Else Apart from the Apostille Required to Show the Signature or Seal is Authentic?

No, all that is necessary to prove the veracity of a signature or seal on a public document and to confirm the authority of the individual or authority who signed or sealed the public document is an apostille issued by the applicable Competent Authority.

How about electronic Apostilles and Electronic Registers of Apostilles?

The Convention does permit Competent Authorities to keep electronic Apostilles registers and issue Apostilles in electronic form (e-Apostilles) (e-Registers). E-Apostilles are being developed and put into use by the Ministry of External Affairs. However, the e-Register of Apostille can be found at e-Register on the e-Sanad page.

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