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Old 10.09.2014, 08:08
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Indian birth certificate: Does it need to be legalized?

Hello, can someone with a recent experience please help me on this matter (only previous threads I could find were quite dated):

I am an American who was born in India. I need to provide my birth certificate to the authorities for registering a marriage in canton of Zurich. Is it enough to provide a < 6 month old copy of the birth certificate obtained from the Indian birth registrar or does it also need to be "legalized" through the Ministry of External Affairs etc.? If so, does anyone have a clue on how I would go about doing it?

Also, who would the proper authorities to ask about this question? The lady I talked to had no clue about the matter.

Thanks.
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Old 10.09.2014, 09:19
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Re: Indian birth certificate: Does it need to be legalized?

It will need to be translated into a Swiss language I believe or English at least if it isn't in that language.

Edit: This thread, though a bit old now, may help.

Legalization in India - need help

Last edited by Medea Fleecestealer; 10.09.2014 at 09:24. Reason: Added thread link
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Old 10.09.2014, 10:39
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Re: Indian birth certificate: Does it need to be legalized?

Yes they do not except documents like marriage certificate, birth certificate etc without legalization. Sometime they also need less than 6 month old certificate. But AFAIK they except document issued in English at least in Zurich. Legalization is a two step process:

1. Document need to be attested by state home department.
2. Then Ministry of External Affairs will need to attest(apostille) this.

Some hint how apostille looks like can be seen here:
Dependent visa, Permit B for spouses wanting to reunite with family in Switzerland

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Hello, can someone with a recent experience please help me on this matter (only previous threads I could find were quite dated):

I am an American who was born in India. I need to provide my birth certificate to the authorities for registering a marriage in canton of Zurich. Is it enough to provide a < 6 month old copy of the birth certificate obtained from the Indian birth registrar or does it also need to be "legalized" through the Ministry of External Affairs etc.? If so, does anyone have a clue on how I would go about doing it?

Also, who would the proper authorities to ask about this question? The lady I talked to had no clue about the matter.

Thanks.
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Old 10.09.2014, 11:05
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Re: Indian birth certificate: Does it need to be legalized?

Thanks. So, I do have it in English and it is < 6 months old. However, I have no idea how to get this legalization process done as I don't have any contacts in India.

I read in one of the threads from 2010 that the zivilstandsamt offers to do the verification for you (but it costs). Is this true?
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Old 10.09.2014, 11:21
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Re: Indian birth certificate: Does it need to be legalized?

I guess this is quite canton specific. When our kids were born in lausanne, Vaud, we had to provide various documents like our birth certificates, marriage certificate etc to register them here. All our (Indian) documents were originally in English and had been accepted without any question. However I have heard stories from friends in zurich that they had to go through the process of legalizing all their certificates before the authorities agreed to accept them.

I was quite confused with the legalizing things at that moment and no-one in the hospital had a clue when i started asking about it. So I took the copy of the asked documents and asked the concerned person if its sufficient and she said yes. And it was indeed sufficient.
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Old 10.09.2014, 11:26
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Re: Indian birth certificate: Does it need to be legalized?

Wander-Thirst: Thanks for sharing your experience. I am already having a massive headache figuring this one out.
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Old 10.09.2014, 11:35
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Re: Indian birth certificate: Does it need to be legalized?

To which state in INDIA do you belong.I can help you in this process if you belong to my State
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Old 10.09.2014, 11:51
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Re: Indian birth certificate: Does it need to be legalized?

I sent you a PM.
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Old 10.09.2014, 13:15
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Re: Indian birth certificate: Does it need to be legalized?

I have contact detail of someone who can help in getting MEA attestation (apostille) once state attestation is done.

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Thanks. So, I do have it in English and it is < 6 months old. However, I have no idea how to get this legalization process done as I don't have any contacts in India.

I read in one of the threads from 2010 that the zivilstandsamt offers to do the verification for you (but it costs). Is this true?
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Old 10.09.2014, 13:25
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Re: Indian birth certificate: Does it need to be legalized?

You need to send all your original certificates-birth and marriage certificates for legalization
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Old 10.09.2014, 13:34
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Re: Indian birth certificate: Does it need to be legalized?

This year one of my Indian friend gave birth to a child in Zurich. To get birth certificate of the child they had to provide parents birth certificate and marriage certificate not older than 6 months and duly legalized(Step 1 and step 2 which I mentioned earlier). After that they had to go through manual verification of documents which cost them around CHF 1000 and many months.

So you should feel lucky if they can register marriage by just providing legalized birth certificate.

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Thanks. So, I do have it in English and it is < 6 months old. However, I have no idea how to get this legalization process done as I don't have any contacts in India.

I read in one of the threads from 2010 that the zivilstandsamt offers to do the verification for you (but it costs). Is this true?

Last edited by simple_person; 10.09.2014 at 15:21.
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Old 10.09.2014, 13:55
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Re: Indian birth certificate: Does it need to be legalized?

Thanks for all the information. Just a minor correction: I am planning on getting married here with my Swiss partner and not registering an existing one. Assuming I can figure out the birth certificate issue.
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Old 10.09.2014, 15:29
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Re: Indian birth certificate: Does it need to be legalized?

I would also recommend giving a call to Indian embassy in Bern. May be they can also do this legalization:

http://www.indembassybern.ch/eoi.php?id=Contact

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Thanks for all the information. Just a minor correction: I am planning on getting married here with my Swiss partner and not registering an existing one. Assuming I can figure out the birth certificate issue.
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Old 14.09.2014, 13:36
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Re: Indian birth certificate: Does it need to be legalized?

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Hello, can someone with a recent experience please help me on this matter (only previous threads I could find were quite dated):

I am an American who was born in India. I need to provide my birth certificate to the authorities for registering a marriage in canton of Zurich. Is it enough to provide a < 6 month old copy of the birth certificate obtained from the Indian birth registrar or does it also need to be "legalized" through the Ministry of External Affairs etc.? If so, does anyone have a clue on how I would go about doing it?

Also, who would the proper authorities to ask about this question? The lady I talked to had no clue about the matter.

Thanks.
Legalization (as others may have pointed out) refers to the application of an "apostille" to an official, or sometimes a notarised, document to prove that it is legitimate and has been properly created and attested. There are obvious reasons for this: the varying levels of security in the issuance of such documents and the striking differences in appearance and methods of certification (in the USA they needed a "raised seal" but computerisation has meant that a raised engraved (printed) seal now suffices). Also there have been cases of massive fraud followed by invalidation (the Swiss 6-month rule helps in this regard: http://prfaa.pr.gov/birthcertificate...ookieSupport=1 (cancellation of all pre-2010 Puerto Rican birth certificates).

There is a Hague Convention that abolishes the apostille between and among signatory countries, of which Switzerland and India are two: http://www.hcch.net/index_en.php?act....status&cid=41 However that doesn't mean that legalisation isn't required for certain purposes. (My Ph.D. mentor was the head of notarial studies (i.e. family and property law, as in Switzerland) at the Belgian university where I studied, and he explained all this to me once. But I forgot much of what he taught me on that. What I know is what I have done professionally over many years, and this might be useful to the OP and others.)

Legalisation can happen two ways: Let's say you have a document you had notarised in New York City by a notary whose signature is on file in Manhattan. You can go to the County Clerk's office at 60 Centre Street and have the Clerk attest to the notary's signature. You can then take that paper through a chain that certifies the County Clerk's seal through to the State Department in Washington or a Consul of the country in which the document is to be used as the case may be. California has a Web page that explains its state procedure: http://www.sos.ca.gov/business/notar...entication.htm

For a birth certificate to be used in Switzerland the most common method is to present it to a consular officer in the Swiss diplomatic or consular post having responsibility for the geographic area in which the document was created. That's because only that office knows the form and style and authorised signatories for that document. If you present a birth or death certificate (or marriage certificate or divorce decree, etc.) to a different consular office (assuming that the second office has responsibility for the proceeding, as in a facilitated naturalisation case or an announcement of birth or death of a Swiss citizen) the document will be sent to the correct one. Swiss consuls have blank forms for translating the documents they use (thus the Swiss Consulate General in New York covers New York, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Wisconsin, Bermuda, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands).

Notwithstanding the fact that the USA, India and Switzerland have all ratified The Hague Convention, legalisation is still demanded for such documents in many cases. And the alternative route for legalisation (certification by the State Department in Washington (or for Bermuda the FCO in London?)) apparently won't work in this sort of case. I think the notorious fraud and recent cancellation of Puerto Rican birth certificates explains it all. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10444151 The kerfuffle over Barack Obama's "full" birth certificate tells you even more, in terms of (selective) public doubt and chain of custody. Especially in a jurisdiction where, as in New York City, all birth records have now been computerised and the original documents retired to archives.

I was once a notary public in New York (lawyers can freely register as notaries there) and I have had my signature (and the signature of other notaries) certified at 60 Centre Street. I was once a United States vice consul and for all I know my signature remains on file in the State Department for anyone wanting to certify something I signed at an Embassy in the late 1970s. And I have handled naturalisation cases. Your mileage may vary for other purposes where I have not had personal experience. And remember the distinction between private documents "notarised", often for judicial purposes, in a country where that procedure exists, and a public document issued by a court or authenticated by a Régie de l'état civil in a civil-law country, a Vital Statistics Office in America, a Register Office in England, and so on.

So to answer the OP: the "normal" way is to present the birth certificate to a Swiss consular officer responsible for the city or town in which it was issued, who probably (definitely in the case of naturalisations but I haven't experience for other purposes) will provide a stock translation, and that will suffice for every purpose in Switzerland. It may be possible to bypass the procedure through an Indian consular officer at the Embassy in Bern. You have to ask.

When my UK-born daughter, a UK (and soon to be Swiss) citizen needed a legalised, translated copy of her English birth certificate for her residence registration in France as a student, I translated it (I have no "qualifications" for that purpose but I did it anyway) and presented the original and my translation to a French consular officer in London who happily certified both the original and my translation for his usual consular fee. (The system seems to have been simplified since then: http://www.ambafrance-uk.org/Documen...ed-to-stay-and Another daughter who worked in France for some years needed to show only her British passport at the Préfecture.)

But hey: you could marry by proxy in a U.S. state that allows it, and maybe avoid the India part completely: http://www.uniset.ca/other/art/32HarvLRev473.html
and
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proxy_marriage

Last edited by Potrzebie; 14.09.2014 at 13:47.
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Old 15.02.2021, 14:47
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Re: Indian birth certificate: Does it need to be legalized?

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Hello, can someone with a recent experience please help me on this matter (only previous threads I could find were quite dated):

I am an American who was born in India. I need to provide my birth certificate to the authorities for registering a marriage in canton of Zurich. Is it enough to provide a < 6 month old copy of the birth certificate obtained from the Indian birth registrar or does it also need to be "legalized" through the Ministry of External Affairs etc.? If so, does anyone have a clue on how I would go about doing it?

Also, who would the proper authorities to ask about this question? The lady I talked to had no clue about the matter.

Thanks.
I am going through the same issue now. I have been asked to re-issue birth certificate. Can you advise how you proceeded?
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Old 15.02.2021, 14:56
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Re: Indian birth certificate: Does it need to be legalized?

Its simple process. Legalisation means state government attestation and mea apostile on top of it. There are lots of agency for this. Maximum they charge 4k for both services.if we do in person, its like some 1k only.you can google about these agencies
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Old 15.02.2021, 23:17
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Re: Indian birth certificate: Does it need to be legalized?

I know someone form India who got this done recently. Essentially you need to go (back) to the Registrar of Births and Deaths in the city you were born and ask them to reissue it. Depending on the city and its state of digitization as well as how old you are your record may be easy to find (or not). For legalization as @klrnew notes there are professional agencies who are able to handle this well. Beware there are apparently some bad ones too, as I heard. Good luck !

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I am going through the same issue now. I have been asked to re-issue birth certificate. Can you advise how you proceeded?
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Old 16.02.2021, 00:40
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Re: Indian birth certificate: Does it need to be legalized?

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I am going through the same issue now. I have been asked to re-issue birth certificate. Can you advise how you proceeded?
Here the information from the Indian goverment itself:
https://mea.gov.in/apostille.htm
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