Do I really need to have my document signed by VFS/Consulate?

Following our previous article about our clients having their documents rejected by VFS, our clients often ask us whether their documents must be signed by VFS.

VFS provides consular services on behalf of the Indian Consulate to Indian citizens in Australia. For example, if you need assistance with applying for visas, change of personal details (appearance, name or address), renewing your passport, applying for Overseas Citizenship of India, converting your Indian drivers licence, registering or issuing a birth certificate or marriage certificate, or renouncing your Indian citizenship.

If you have been asked to have your documents countersigned by the Indian Consulate, then the process you must follow involves:

Notarise your documents

As a leading provider of notary public services in Sydney, we are regularly asked to notarise documents such as special powers of attorney or general powers of attorney, affidavits and other sworn documents, authorisation letters or copies of public documents.

Stamp your notarised documents with an apostille

An apostille is a type of stamp issued in accordance with the international convention known as the 'Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents'. Countries that are signatories to the convention will recognise documents stamped with an apostille without any further involvement by their foreign office (called legalisation) - which makes the process adopted by VFS/Indian Consulate as a little unusual.

Stamp your documents at VFS

Technically, as India is a signatory to the convention, documents that have been stamped with an apostille by DFAT should be recognised in India without requiring legalisation through the Indian Consulate or VFS. Despite this, if you have been asked to have your documents countersigned by the Indian Consulate, then you must submit your documents to VFS - and depending on the type of document, VFS may require your documents to be stamped with an apostille before they will stamp your documents.

Sending notarised documents without apostille or VFS/Consulate stamps

The clear majority of our clients only need to have their documents notarised. They do not need to have their documents stamped with an apostille and they do not need to have their documents stamped by VFS or the Indian Consulate. It seems that having their documents notarised and stamped by a notary public is sufficient. Obviously, this would be the quickest and least expensive process to return your documents to India as it bypasses DFAT and VFS processing times and fees.

To obtain a quote on our notary public services for India, please visit http://www.notary-parramatta.com.au/notary-fees/.

Notary Fees

Acknowledgements

This blog is supported and maintained by . Phang Legal is a leading provider of notary public services in Sydney. With offices conveniently located in Parramatta, Phang Legal supports and services the Indian community across Sydney with readily available and easily accessible notary public services at highly competitive rates.

For more information regarding notary public services for documents going to India, view our notary publications at http://www.notary-parramatta.com.au/jurisdiction/india-notary/.

Frequently asked questions regarding our notary public services can also be found at http://www.notary-parramatta.com.au/faqs/.

For Hindi to English translation services by NAATI accredited translators, see http://hindi-naati-translation.blogspot.com.au/.

Ern Phang
Notary Public

Ern Phang is the solicitor director of Phang Legal and a notary public. Ern regularly writes about his experiences as a notary public, including the kinds of problems and solutions that his clients face when sending documents to India.

IMPORTANT: the information in this article is correct at the time of publication, however the law constantly changes. This means you should always refer to the most recent articles because we try to update this blog on a regular basis with the most current information.

VFS has rejected your notarised document?

Recently, some of our clients have encountered problems when submitting their notarised documents to VFS.​

Unfortunately, you'll need to make your own enquiries with VFS as to what their requirements are when processing your documents regardless of whether those documents are notarised or not, and (as experience and history and taught us) be aware that their requirements can change without warning. Another challenge that you'll face is that documents prepared for you in India (even if they're prepared by your lawyer) and are formatted in a certain way could be rejected by VFS for no other reason than "not enough room" - which is the latest issue that our clients have faced.

This is the unfortunate reality of dealing with VFS. Our clients have had their documents rejected by VFS because after all the signing, witnessing and stamping has been done there is limited space at the end of the document for VFS to attach their stamp or seal. But is this reasonable? Should VFS reject the document simply because there is limited room on the page?

While we, and every other notary, official or consular office face exactly the same challenge on a daily basis, we do not simply reject documents or refuse to help our clients because there is "not enough room" at the bottom of the page. Instead, we address the issue by either 'squeezing' our stamps, seal and signature into the available space at the bottom or in the margins or we attach a separate certificate to the document.

If you've had to have your documents notarised or stamped with an apostille by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, you'll know that a notary certificate can be attached to the document or if you bind your documents then the apostille will be attached to the notary certificate or as a separate bound certificate. Maybe you'll be charged an additional fee for the binding or separate document, but at least your document won't be rejected.

Despite our clients' protests and complaints, VFS have refused to process their documents forcing them to 're-do' (ie, sign, notarise and stamp with an apostille) their documents and incur additional costs. We think it's a questionable attitude and approach especially when VFS (on behalf of the Consulate General of India) is primarily responsible for providing service to and assisting Indian nationals in Australia, but in reality it seems to make 'things more difficult' whether it's due to the bureaucratic model or by choice or design. We're also unsure whether this is a an official requirement, or a new requirement as it's never been raised previously, or whether it's going to be an ongoing issue. Perhaps it could be just the official who happened to process the documents.

Fortunately, not every document needs to be countersigned by VFS or the Consulate, which means if it can be avoided - then probably you should. However, if it's required, then even before considering what you need to be doing, you should ask whoever you're sending the document to whether VFS or Consulate stamps are required. Unfortunately, if you need to have your document stamped by VFS/Consulate, we're unable to control or determine what they will or won't do. This means we're also unable to guarantee whether your documents will be accepted or not - and that's the reason for this article. When it comes to our notary public services in this regard, our fees for services apply regardless and so you should make your enquiries with VFS before booking an appointment with our office.

To obtain a quote on our notary public services for India, please visit http://www.notary-parramatta.com.au/notary-fees/.

Notary Fees

Acknowledgements

This blog is supported and maintained by . Phang Legal is a leading provider of notary public services in Sydney. With offices conveniently located in Parramatta, Phang Legal supports and services the Indian community across Sydney with readily available and easily accessible notary public services at highly competitive rates.

For more information regarding notary public services for documents going to India, view our notary publications at http://www.notary-parramatta.com.au/jurisdiction/india-notary/.

Frequently asked questions regarding our notary public services can also be found at http://www.notary-parramatta.com.au/faqs/.

For Hindi to English translation services by NAATI accredited translators, see http://hindi-naati-translation.blogspot.com.au/.

Ern Phang
Notary Public

Ern Phang is the solicitor director of Phang Legal and a notary public. Ern regularly writes about his experiences as a notary public, including the kinds of problems and solutions that his clients face when sending documents to India.

IMPORTANT: the information in this article is correct at the time of publication, however the law constantly changes. This means you should always refer to the most recent articles because we try to update this blog on a regular basis with the most current information.

Help by a Notary Public - Signing an Affidavit for India

India Affidavit

If you have received an affidavit to submit to a government office or court in India (or to submit to VFS in Australia), it is likely that you will need to sign that affidavit in front of a notary public if you live in Australia.

If the affidavit has been prepared by your lawyer in India, your lawyer should have provided you with instructions as to how the affidavit should be signed and sworn. You should also clarify any other formalities such as:

  • Does the affidavit need to be printed on bonded paper of stamped paper? If it does, you will need to have the affidavit prepared in India because you cannot buy bonded paper or stamped paper from Australia.
  • Does the affidavit need to include your photograph? If so, you need to bring your own photograph and we will put a notary seal over your photograph once it has been attached to the affidavit.
  • Does the affidavit need to include your finger prints or thumb prints? If so, we can assist you in terms of witnessing you placing your prints on the affidavit.
  • Does the affidavit need to be signed in front of witnesses in addition to the notary public? If so, you will need to arrange for your own witnesses as we cannot guarantee or provide witnesses.
  • Does the affidavit need to be countersigned by the Indian Consulate or follow any other process? If so, there is a process after having the affidavit notarised that may involve the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and VFS.

Following these instructions is important otherwise your affidavit may be rejected and you would need to do it again. Aside from a cost, you need to be aware that the delay caused by not 'doing it right' in the first place may result in more complications depending on the purpose and the deadline for your affidavit.

It is also important to remember that the government office or court in India may not recognise the signature by a justice of the peace, and so the process that you will need to follow is to have your affidavit notarised by a notary public.

If you need to submit your affidavit to the Indian Consulate, you should check the requirements listed on the VFS website and they process all documents on behalf of the Consulate. You may also need to have your affidavit stamped with an apostille from DFAT. DFAT will not recognise the signature of a Justice of the Peace which means IF you need to have your affidavit stamped with an apostille, then you must have your affidavit notarised.

As a leading provider of notary public services in Sydney, we provide assistance to many clients who need to send affidavits to India. If that includes you, then please contact us to see how we can assist you.

To obtain a quote on our notary public services for India, please visit http://www.notary-parramatta.com.au/notary-fees/.

Notary Fees

Acknowledgements

This blog is supported and maintained by . Phang Legal is a leading provider of notary public services in Sydney. With offices conveniently located in Parramatta, Phang Legal supports and services the Indian community across Sydney with readily available and easily accessible notary public services at highly competitive rates.

For more information regarding notary public services for documents going to India, view our notary publications at http://www.notary-parramatta.com.au/jurisdiction/india-notary/.

Frequently asked questions regarding our notary public services can also be found at http://www.notary-parramatta.com.au/faqs/.

For Hindi to English translation services by NAATI accredited translators, see http://hindi-naati-translation.blogspot.com.au/.

Ern Phang
Notary Public

Ern Phang is the solicitor director of Phang Legal and a notary public. Ern regularly writes about his experiences as a notary public, including the kinds of problems and solutions that his clients face when sending documents to India.

IMPORTANT: the information in this article is correct at the time of publication, however the law constantly changes. This means you should always refer to the most recent articles because we try to update this blog on a regular basis with the most current information.

Know the process - Indian Driver's Licence Verification


If you have found this article because you are looking for ways to convert your Indian Drivers Licence to a NSW Drivers Licence, please visit the VFS website for their most up to date checklist for the Indian Drivers Licence Verification (IDLV).

The checklist provides you with clear instructions as to what you need to submit to VFS. Only VFS can verify your driving history in India for you to qualify for the equivalent drivers licence in NSW.

The checklist also provides you with guidance if your name on your Indian Passport and your Indian Drivers Licence are different. Variations such as missing names or replacing specific names with initials, suffixes like 'ben' and 'bhai', or 'son of/wife of/daughter of' and others maybe common place and widely accepted in India, but in Australia naming conventions are applied strictly meaning that if different names appear on different documents then those documents relate to different people. In Australia, as an Indian national your primary form of identification would be your Indian passport and so the name that would also appear on your drivers licence would be the same that appears on your passport. If that name is different to the name that appears on your Indian Drivers Licence, then the IDLV process around obtaining a notary certificate and an apostille is relevant to you.

As a leading provider of notary public services in Sydney, we receive many requests for assistance in providing the IDLV, however our role is largely limited to providing a notary certificate to verify that you are the one and the same person and to certify copies of your Indian Drivers Licence and your Indian Passport and helping you to arrange for the apostille.

If you are not familiar with the VFS checklist, then you will not be aware of or understand this requirement or the need for our notary public services. Accordingly, familiarise yourself with the checklist and the IDLV process before contacting our office - at least this way, when we discuss the process with you, you will have a better understanding of what is required and why it is required.

To obtain a quote on our notary public services for India, please visit http://www.notary-parramatta.com.au/notary-fees/.

Notary Fees

Acknowledgements

This blog is supported and maintained by . Phang Legal is a leading provider of notary public services in Sydney. With offices conveniently located in Parramatta, Phang Legal supports and services the Indian community across Sydney with readily available and easily accessible notary public services at highly competitive rates.

For more information regarding notary public services for documents going to India, view our notary publications at http://www.notary-parramatta.com.au/jurisdiction/india-notary/.

Frequently asked questions regarding our notary public services can also be found at http://www.notary-parramatta.com.au/faqs/.

For Hindi to English translation services by NAATI accredited translators, see http://hindi-naati-translation.blogspot.com.au/.

Ern Phang
Notary Public

Ern Phang is the solicitor director of Phang Legal and a notary public. Ern regularly writes about his experiences as a notary public, including the kinds of problems and solutions that his clients face when sending documents to India.

IMPORTANT: the information in this article is correct at the time of publication, however the law constantly changes. This means you should always refer to the most recent articles because we try to update this blog on a regular basis with the most current information.

Form V - Lost or Damaged Indian Passport

Sydney Notary Public Parramatta

Have you recently lost your your passport? Or your passport was stolen? Or perhaps your passport has been damaged?

An invalid travel document may create serious problems and inconvenience for you if and when you need to travel. To avoid those issues and hassles, you should apply for a NEW passport as soon as practically possible - but before doing that you need to submit an application to VFS.

The application for a NEW (or replacement) passport requires you to complete Form V, which includes a declaration as to what happened to your passport, and submit that application to VFS. However, before you can submit the application to VFS, you must sign and declare the contents of your declaration before a notary public.

As a leading provider of notary public services in Sydney, we are commonly asked to help Indian nationals who have their passports lost, stolen or damaged by witnessing, signing and sealing Form V. Our low cost fixed fees and prompt services avoid any hassles or delays when you are on a limited budget and timeframe. It is our pleasure to accomodate urgent requests for assistance whenever we can.

To obtain a quote on our notary public services for India, please visit http://www.notary-parramatta.com.au/notary-fees/.

Notary Fees

Acknowledgements

This blog is supported and maintained by . Phang Legal is a leading provider of notary public services in Sydney. With offices conveniently located in Parramatta, Phang Legal supports and services the Indian community across Sydney with readily available and easily accessible notary public services at highly competitive rates.

For more information regarding notary public services for documents going to India, view our notary publications at http://www.notary-parramatta.com.au/jurisdiction/india-notary/.

Frequently asked questions regarding our notary public services can also be found at http://www.notary-parramatta.com.au/faqs/.

For Hindi to English translation services by NAATI accredited translators, see http://hindi-naati-translation.blogspot.com.au/.

Ern Phang
Notary Public

Ern Phang is the solicitor director of Phang Legal and a notary public. Ern regularly writes about his experiences as a notary public, including the kinds of problems and solutions that his clients face when sending documents to India.

IMPORTANT: the information in this article is correct at the time of publication, however the law constantly changes. This means you should always refer to the most recent articles because we try to update this blog on a regular basis with the most current information.