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Before you apply

Phone scam alert:

We are aware that customers are being targeted by phone scammers posing as the Authentication Unit, requesting payments for documents.

If you receive a call like this:

  • Hang up immediately.
  • Do not disclose your personal or financial information to unknown callers, even if they say they are from the Authentication Unit or the Department of Internal Affairs.
  • Call us immediately on 0800 872 675.

When you need to use a New Zealand document in another country, you might be asked to get the document apostilled or authenticated. Some countries call this legalisation. An apostille or authentication is an official government certificate that proves the signature, stamp or seal on a document is genuine.

Check the country you are using the document in

Whether you need an apostille or an authentication depends on the country your documents will be used in. Check the list of countries:

This is an apostille country.

You can get:

  • a paper apostille, or
  • an electronic apostille, called an e-apostille.

Ask the overseas organisation which type of apostille they want.

For a paper apostille, the Department of Internal Affairs Authentication Unit will put a covering page, called an apostille certificate, on top of your documents. They will be tied together with a ribbon and get an official embossed seal.

An e-apostille is a secure PDF that’s emailed to you.

This is a category A authentication country.

Your documents will be authenticated by the Department of Internal Affairs Authentication Unit, and then sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) for verification.

Your authenticated documents will have a covering page on top with a stamp from MFAT. The documents will be tied together with a ribbon and get an official embossed seal. They are then sent to the address you included on your application form.

This is a category B authentication country.

The process is more complicated for category B countries, so authentication costs more and takes longer.

Some organisations that are in a category B country will let you change to get a category A authentication. It is worth asking the organisation if they will accept a category A authentication as they are quicker and cost less.

If you’re sending documents to a category B country, you should contact their embassy to find out what you need to send them, how you can pay and how you can get your documents sent back to you.

List of embassies (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade website)

Then contact the Authentication Unit so they can check what you will be sending them. This could include:

  • a letter for that country’s embassy, asking them to verify the documents
  • their payment, and
  • some way for them to return your documents to you, like a self-addressed envelope.

Russia is an apostille country.

You can get:

  • a paper apostille, or
  • an electronic apostille, called an e-apostille.

Ask the Russian organisation which type of apostille they want.

For a paper apostille, the Department of Internal Affairs Authentication Unit will put a covering page, called an apostille certificate, on top of your documents. They will be tied together with a ribbon and get an official embossed seal.

An e-apostille is an electronic version of the apostille certificate that is emailed to you as a secure PDF.

If you are giving your document to the Russian Embassy in Wellington and they have asked for an apostille, you must get the apostille certificate translated by the Department of Internal Affairs Translation Service. Write this at the end of the application form where it asks for additional instructions. It costs $50 for each translation.

Check with the overseas organisation

You should also check if the overseas organisation asking for the document has specific requirements. For example, they might:

  • only accept documents that were issued recently
  • want the documents translated
  • accept multiple documents as a set
  • only accept original documents, and not notarised copies
  • accept electronic apostilles or paper apostilles.

 Check what documents the Authentication Unit will accept

The Authentication Unit can only apostille or authenticate documents that match their requirements.

Find out if you need to send the Authentication Unit the original documents or if they will accept copies. You might also need to get your documents notarised or certified before you send them.

Authentication Unit document requirements

How you apply

Complete the application form

This form can only be completed by using Adobe Acrobat for Mac or Windows.

Request a document authentication or apostille (PDF 394KB)

Submit your application form and documents

If the Authentication Unit is sending your documents to an organisation

If you want the Authentication Unit to send your apostilled or authenticated documents to an organisation, you can also include other documents that do not need to be apostilled or authenticated.

Everything you send to the Authentication Unit is sent to the overseas organisation with your apostille or authentication. Make sure you include any extra forms, payments or courier bags, and clearly write which documents need to be apostilled or authenticated.

Send the completed form, your documents and the payment to the Department of Internal Affairs Authentication Unit in Wellington.

You can courier, post or hand deliver the application.

By courier

Authentication Unit
Department of Internal Affairs
Level 2
7 Waterloo Quay
Wellington

Drop off in person

You can deliver your application during office hours to these New Zealand or overseas offices:

By post

Authentication Unit
Department of Internal Affairs
PO Box 805
Wellington 6140
New Zealand

Pay the fee

Apostille Cost (in NZ dollars)
1st certificate (paper or electronic apostille) $32.00
Any extra certificates (paper or electronic apostille) $15.00 each
Authentication category A Cost (in NZ dollars)
1st certificate $65.00
Any extra certificates $31.00 each
Authentication category B Cost (in NZ dollars)
1st certificate $195.00
Any extra certificates $61.00 each
Translations included as part of your application Cost (in NZ dollars)
The Translation Service will tell you if the fee is different for your translation $95.00 each
Courier fee Cost (in NZ dollars)
We use a courier to deliver your documents because it’s more secure

$5 for New Zealand

$15 to Australia and Asia-Pacific countries

$20 to the United States (not Canada)

$25 to European countries (including the UK)

$30 for the rest of the world

Ways you can pay

You can pay by:

  • Credit, debit or prepaid gift card (for example Prezzy card) by adding your payment details to the form.
  • EFTPOS — only available when you visit an office in person.
  • Money order — only available if you are sending your application to Sydney or London.
Invoice

If you are a regular corporate customer who is based in New Zealand, you can pay by invoice.

If you want to be set up, email the Authentication Unit and they will send you a form.

Email: auth.unit@dia.govt.nz

How long it takes

Getting a document apostilled or authenticated usually takes up to 7 working days. Authentications are then sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Category B authentications are also sent to embassies overseas.

There is no urgent service. If you need your documents processed quickly, write ‘urgent’ in the box at the end of the form and explain why.

After you apply

When you find out about your application

Getting a document apostilled or authenticated usually takes up to 7 working days. Authentications are then sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Category B authentications are also sent to embassies overseas.

The Authentication Unit will contact you if they need more information.

Authentication Unit contact details

Freephone: 0800 872 675

Phone: +64 4 460 2221

Email: auth.unit@dia.govt.nz

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