Applying for a spouse visa to Switzerland (family reunification visa) from India seems to require:

Original marriage certificate issued by the Registrar of Marriages of the concerned State, duly legalized by the competent State Home Ministry and further legalized by the Ministry of External Affairs New Delhi and 2 copies of the same to be provided to the Embassy;

Please note, that no Marriage Deed will be accepted by the Embassy

How does one go about getting the marriage certificate legalised by the State Home Ministry (Kerala) and the Ministry of External Affairs (New Delhi)? Are there any official channels or does one necessarily need an agent?

  • 1
    This link on website of MEA gives all the information you need – RedBaron Feb 6 '17 at 12:18

The Government of India Ministry of External Affairs web site gives full details of how, and where (and with all credit to RedBaron).

The Ministry of External Affairs attests original documents//true copies of documents for use abroad. Attestation done by the Ministry of External Affairs is of two types:

1. Apostille:

India, since 2005, is a member of the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961 that abolished the requirement of legalization of foreign public documents. Apostille is acceptable in 105 member-countries of the Convention (For more info please visit the website: www.hcch.net). Apostille is done for personal documents like birth/death/marriage certificates, Affidavits, Power of Attorney, etc. and educational documents like degree, diploma, matriculation and secondary level certificates etc. Any document Apostilled in one member country is acceptable in all the other 104 member-countries, signatory to the referred convention of 1961 thus greatly simplifying the process of attestation by making it needless to get the documents attested in each or for each of the countries separately.

2. Normal Attestation:

This is done for all the countries which are not a member of Hague Convention and where Apostille is not accepted.

Procedure for Attestation/Apostille

A. E-sanad: E-Sanad is a project aimed at online submission/verification of documents. CBSE Documents of years 2014 and onwards would be accepted through e-sanad only. The link for e-Sanad portal is : http://esanad.nic.in. Physical copy of CBSE documents of years 2014 and onwards would not be accepted for attestation / apostille after 5 June 2017.Further information can be obtained at this link:.pdf

B. Attestation/apostille of documents not covered under E-sanad:

Step 1 - Authentication of documents: All original documents/copies requiring attestation or Apostille should be first authenticated by the designated authorities of the State/Union Territory from where the document has been issued. In case of personal documents, Home/General Administration Department of the concerned State Government/Union Territory are the designated authorities. In case of educational documents, the documents should first be authenticated by the Education Department of the concerned State Government/Union Territory. Commercial Documents are to be pre-authenticated by the respective Chambers of Commerce. The details of the Regional Authentication Centres (RACs) in the States/Union Territories from where the documents should first be authenticated are given below*.

  • What follows on the linked page is a comprehensive list of Regional Authentication Centres (RACs) for States/Union Territories, including twelve in Kerala, and five in Delhi.

What is the Marriage Certificate Apostille?

Marriage Certificate Apostille is one of the significant procedures of legalization in which an apostille stamp from the Ministry of External Affairs is procured. It needs to be done from the certificate issued country e.g. India.

Marriage Certificate Apostille proves that you are legally married and generally useful in getting a family residence visa or sponsorship for the spouse. Specified documents need to submit to the issuing authorities i.e., MEA for further processing. MEA is the extension of the Indian government that renders the MEA stamp on the marriage certificate.

However, the MEA has regionalized the legalization process from January 01, 2019. The process was distributed to Branch Secretariats and RPOs in 15 cities being: Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Chennai, Chandigarh, Cochin, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Panaji, Raipur, & Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala).

Procedure for Marriage Certificate Apostille

Regional Level - This the very first step for your marriage certificate verification process. In this step, you have to get verified your certificate by the Kerala State Registrar of Marriages where the certificate was issued.

State Government Level - At the next step, the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Department legalize your Marriage Certificate. SDM is independent of the State Home Ministry (Kerala), yet the verification performed by this authority is considered on the state level.

Apostille - At this stage, the Ministry of External Affairs (New Delhi) which comes under the central government provides an apostille sticker that contains your (applicant’s) name and information.

Why choose Professional agents?

Certificate apostille has several levels of verification and validation before final legalization by the central government. This makes the legalization process more complicated and not possible for any individual to carry out. So, it is always better to go with official channels or agents who can be done this procedure for you as they are authorized by the government and also have the experience of attending the legalization procedure.

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