since many of my friends are going abroad for employment/resident permit, i thought it will be very useful if I explain how to get your marriage certificate or birth certificate attested. you can get legalized your marriage/birth certificate only if it is been issued either by the municipality, panchayath or corporation or any other govt. officials. certificates issued by religious organizations cannot be attested.
There are many third parties who will do this for you if you have money to pay for. In my case i approached some agents and they were asking about Rs.2000/- to Rs.4500/- per document and i found this is really big amount and you have to wait the same duration if you do it by yourself ( only adv. is that you can avoid traveling)
Now to do this you ( or you can send some one with an authorization letter from you please remember to sign it) have to travel to the Home Attestation Department in The Secretariat at Thiruvananthapuram (you can ask the police men in front of the gate and they will guide you) with the Original, three copies of both sides of the original and Rs.10/- Court Fee stamp (Rs.10/- in 2009) for each document you want to get legalized (buy the stamp in advance as it is very difficult get one near by). You have to be there between 10.30 am and 1.00 pm
At the department you have to tell the person that you want to get your documents attested. Make sure that you tell them ATTESTATION WITH VERIFICATION (other wise they will just attest with a a seal that there is no validity for the content of the certificate).
Now you have to write an application and affix the court fee stamp on it. The application format is as follows.
The principal Secretary,
Home attestation Dept,
I would like to get the following certificates attested with verification for submission at ………………. Embassy.
1. Marriage Certificate…
2. Birth Certificate…
Date : Sign.
Please make sure NOT to hand over the Originals to the office. ( it is a govt. office and they are not responsible if they misplace it). Now they will give you a File Number which you need to note down and to do a followup after 4 weeks. Now you can return and do the followup by calling at 0471-2517107 and telling the file number. ( in my case it took nearly 40 days). if they say the documents are ready on your followup, then you can go there again with the originals and submit for attestation. On submission they will say that it will be ready by around 3.30 pm, but most of the time it will be ready by 1.30pm ( i submitted by 11.00 am and collected by 1.40 pm), if it is attested you can collect the attested original and return.
Now the second step starts, you have to get these certificates attested by Ministry of External Affairs ( MEA ), New Delhi. Earlier you need to travel to Delhi for this, but from Aug, 2008 onwards it can be done at Chennai. this will be done on the same day itself . Make sure to reach the MEA office by at least 11.30 am ( i travelled from here on Chennai mail, reached Chennai Central by around 7 am, took a room near the station to get fresh, went to MEA office by 9.00am, reached MEA office by 10.00 am, returned to room by 01.00 pm, did some dress shopping, and returned home by 8.00 pm TVM Mail. Just 1 day business). The time required at the MEA office will be less if you go prepared with the below listed documents. By reaching there only i know about the passport and DD. There is a bank in the same bldg. so you can get the DD from there but for the passport copy no xerox center near by.
To do this attestation you have to go to
Ministry of External Affairs,
7th Foor, EVK Sampath Maligai,
68 College Road,
Chennai – 600006,
Tel: 044-28272200 / 28251323.
to reach there you can either use bus or auto. By bus the charge will be Rs.5/- and for auto maximum Rs.60/- from chennai central ( for reaching there i used auto and bus no 17D for return).
there you have to submit
01. Original Certificates ( HRD attested)
02. An application form which MEA will provide
03. A copy of the certificates to be attested (take both side xerox)
04. Copy of your Passport’s first & last page ( if you have certificates other than yours for (eg. your kid’s birth certificate) then their passport copy also required).
05. (you can skip this if you don’t require Appostle sticker on your document ) Rs.50/- Demand Draft for each certificate. The DD has to be taken in favor of PAO MEA, New Delhi.
Now wait there for hardly 1 hour, they will return original certificate with attestation. Now the Certificate with you is attested by Govt of India.
Now the work is finished and you can return Home.
UPDATE on Feb, 2012 : Mr. Kumar wrote a comment that now a days MEA attestation takes nearly 10 days due to lack of manpower at Chennai…Please call the office and confirm how many days it will take to get the Attestation.
This may look like a tedious process, but i will say that it takes some time with the Kerala Govt. Home dept as they need to verify the document. so instead of waiting for the last minute work, do this in advance if you think there will be a chance for you to travel abroad.
if any of you require assistance on this please inform & have your comments