Apostille Certificate: How To Authenticate Documents In DFA Philippines

By Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor March 29th, 2020 Posted in Guide for Filipinos, Travel Blog 120 Comments

Red Ribbon? Apostille? Ano ba yan? Hindi yan yung cake or nasa bible. They are both terms of the Department of Foreign Affairs that validate your documents or its origin. There are some documents that we need to pass abroad. Hindi kasi malalaman ng ibang countries if fake ba yung document, so they trust the government of the Philippines to verify our records. So if may “red ribbon” or “apostille” then the other countries would know it is legit. Here’s a guide on getting an Apostille in Philippines.

Apostille Philippine Document Authentication The New Red Ribbon
Photo by DFA

Before when you want to pass a document abroad “red ribbons” are affixed there to prove it is authentic, so may red na ribbon sa left side ng document at may gold sticker. It is a much longer process than today since kailangan pang i-present ang documents na may “Red Ribbon” sa foreign embassy.

As of May 14, 2019, the Philippines is part of the Apostille Convention, and there are no more “red ribbons”; an Apostille has a gold round sticker and a QR code. We will discuss it later.

Apostille Philippine Document Authentication The New Red Ribbon
Photo by DFA



Apostille vs. Authentication “Red Ribbon”

Apostille Philippine Document Authentication
Infographic from the Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of the Philippines Facebook Page


As said above, the Apostille is a much easier process than Authentication. It has 3 steps from Certification – Apostille – End rather than 4 steps in getting a “red ribbon” since you need to go to the Embassy or Consulate of the country that needs your document for its legalization or authentication.

Countries and Territories where Apostille of the Philippines is accepted

Apostille Philippine Document Authentication1
Infographic from the Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of the Philippines Facebook Page


Please note that in case your document is submitted to a country that is not in this list, you need to go to the country’s Foreign Embassy or Consulate in the Philippines for the legalization.

Here are the countries where Apostille in the Philippines is accepted as per Apostille Convention Website:

Apostille Philippine Document Authentication The New Red Ribbon

Though the following are members of the Apostille Convention, Philippine Apostille is not yet accepted by the following countries, and you need to go to their Embassy or Consulate for legalization:

  • Austria
  • Finland
  • Germany
  • Greece

All other countries not mentioned here, you need to go to their foreign embassies or consulate for legalization.

What are documents that can get Apostille in the Philippines?

Apostille Philippine Document Authentication2
Infographic from the Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of the Philippines Facebook Page


The documents are as stated by the Authentication Form:

1. NBI Clearance /SundryAn original document issued by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) with dry seal Note: Personal copy is not valid.

2. Birth, Marriage, Death Certificate, or Certificate of No Marriage Record (CENOMAR, Advisory on Marriage and/or Negative Records)

  • An original document issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA)/ National Statistics Office (NSO)
  • For newly registered records, the Local Civil Registrar (LCR) copy should be certified by PSA.
    Note: Provide an LCR copy of Birth (Form 1A)/Death (Form 2A)/Marriage (Form 3A) Certificate if the entries from PSA/NSO are UNCLEAR

3. School Documents

For Elementary and High School Level (Form-137 and Diploma)

  • Certified True Copies from the school
  • Certification, Authentication and Verification (CAV) from DepEd Regional Office

For Technical and Vocational Courses (TOR and Diploma/National Certificate)

For State Colleges and Universities (TOR and Diploma)

  • Certified True Copy and Certification, Authentication and Verification (CAV) from the school

For Private/Local Colleges and Universities (TOR and Diploma)

  • Certified True Copies from the school;
  • Certification, Authentication, and Verification (CAV) from Commission on Higher Education (CHED) 

4. Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) document/sCertified True Copies from PRC

5. Medical Certificate/s

  • For employment: DOH stamp per document
  • For other purposes: Certification issued by DOH with attached Medical Certificate

6. Civil Aviation Authority (CAAP) issued document/s – Certified by CAAP

7. Driver’s LicenseCertification from Land Transportation Office (LTO Main Branch only)

8. Certificate of Employment/Invitation Letter/Trainings/ Seminars/ Baptismal Certificates and any other documents issued by a private entity

  • Notarized Affidavit stating necessary factual circumstances and indicating certificate/s as attachment/s
  • Certificate of Authority for a Notarial Act (CANA) signed by the Executive Judge/Vice-Executive Judge/any office authorized signatories (issued by the Regional Trial Court)

9. Special Power of Attorney/Memorandum of Agreement/ Memorandum of Understanding/Any other form of Contract/ Affidavit of Consent or Advice/Joint Affidavit/Other Affidavits

  • Certificate of Authority for a Notarial Act (CANA) signed by the Executive Judge/Vice-Executive Judge/any office authorized signatories (issued by the Regional Trial Court)

10. Court Document/s (Decision, Resolution/Order) – Certified True Copies from the Court

11. Immigration Record/s – Certified by Bureau of Immigration (BI)

12. DSWD Clearance – Original document issued by Department of Social Welfare and Development

13. Police Clearance /Sundry – Original document issued by Philippine National Police (PNP)

14. Business Registration and Other Documents issued by a Government Agency (e.g. SEC, DTI, BIR, SSS, Municipal Business Permit & Licensing Office, etc.)

  • A certified true copy from the issuing office

15. Barangay Clearance/CertificateMayor’s certification/clearance which has jurisdiction over the Barangay

16. Export Document/s – Certified by Philippine Chamber of Commerce (PCCI), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Agriculture (DA) or by the Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD), depending on the nature of the document

Requirements for Apostille or Document Authentication:

Here are the requirements you need when you go to the DFA Office beside the Document you want to Authenticate or Apostillized

  • Original and Photocopy of your ID
    -Government Issued ID with your name and signature
    -Senior Citizen, Solo Parent, PWD, Voter’s, Alumni and Student IDs, Passport, Seaman’s Book and Voter’s Certification is okay
  • If Authorized Representative, Include this:
    -Authorization Letter from the owner
    -If the applicant is minor, Original SPA from Parents
    -Photo Copy of Applicant’s ID
    -Original and Photocopy of representative’s ID

How much is the Document Authentication or Apostille Fee?

  • Php 200.00 per document for Expedite (you’ll get it after one working day)
  • Php 100.00 per document for Regular (you’ll get it after four working days)

Apostille Certificate How To Authenticate Documents In DFA Philippines1

Where to get an Apostille or get a Document Authentication?

As per DFA Website, you go to the following DFA Offices:

DFA Main Consular Office
Macapagal Boulevard, Parañaque City
[email protected]

DFA CO-Northeast
Ali Mall Government Center Level 2
Ali Mall Cubao, Quezon City
[email protected]

7th Floor, Building C, SM Megamall,
EDSA cor. J Vargas Ave., Mandaluyong City
[email protected]  

5th Floor, SM City Manila,
Conception St., Manila
[email protected]

DFA CO-South
4th Floor, Metro Alabang Town Center,
Alabang, Zapote Road, Muntinlupa City
[email protected]

DFA CO Pampanga 
Robinson’s Place,
San Fernando, Pampanga
[email protected]

DFA CO Davao      
3F SM Davao, Davao City
[email protected]

DFA CO Cebu        
4th Level, Pacific Mall,
Mandaue City, Cebu
[email protected]

The DFA’s Consular Offices are open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday to Saturday.

Steps for Document Authentication

1. Go to either office stated above and get a number from the Window. Remember, this is a government office, so try to dress properly; no slippers, sleeveless or shorts.

2. Fill-out Authentication form.

Apostille Philippine Document Authentication3

3. Get your documents ready (the one you want to get authenticated and your ID)

4. Present your ID (Original and Photocopy) with the documents you want to get verified to the processor for the assessment.

5. Go to the cashier to pay your fee (Php 100 per document for Regular and Php 200 per document for Expedite.)

Apostille Philippine Document Authentication The New Red Ribbon2
Photo by DFA

6. Bring your original ID and the official receipt on set release date and time to claim the document.

Apostille Philippine Document Authentication The New Red Ribbon3
Photo by DFA

Please note again that if you are going to submit it to a country not a member of the Apostille Convention or where Philippine Documents with an Apostille are not yet accepted, you need to go to their Embassy or Consulate for Legalization.

So example, Canada needs yung authentication mo for your Birth Certificate, then after getting an Apostille in the DFA, you need to go to the Canadian embassy for your Birth Certificates’ Legalization.

Apostille Documents during the Pandemic

As per DFA, the public is encouraged to have their documents for authentication be delivered through courier services. With that you can avoid going out. On how to send it as well as the payment, you can communicate with the DFA Offices stated above.

If you want to process it yourself, then please make an appointment. For  DFA ASEANA, e-mail, [email protected] We also have the list for other offices above.

For more info, you can contact Department of Foreign Affair’s Facebook page as they reply.

The Features of an Apostille Document:

You can check the authenticity of the document through this website. Alternatively, you can check its features:

  • QR Code (upper left portion)
  • Eight Digit Keycode in the lower part of the certificate
  • Electronic Sign of the Authentication Officer
  • A Round gold sticker

FAQs for Apostille

1. I am based abroad, I want my documents authenticated or Apostilled, what do I do?

You can get an authorized representative to process the Apostillization for you in case you can’t apply personally.

2. Will an Apostille ruin my document?

No, it would not. An Apostille special certificate that is attached to your document and it isn’t a sticker so no worries.

3. I can’t find a country on the list, what do I do?

You need to present the document with Apostille to the country’s Embassy or Consulate in the Philippines for legalization. If there’s no Embassy in the Philippines, you may contact the nearest one for instructions on what to do.

4. Can I authenticate documents from another country?

No, only Philippine public documents are going to be Apostilled or Authenticated.

5. I already have an Authenticated Document with a “red ribbon,” it is still valid?

If you are passing to a country, not a member of the Apostille Convention, then that is okay. However, if it is for a country that is a member of the Apostille Convention then you may need an Apostille.

6. What is needed in case a representative applies on my behalf?

You representative must have an Authorization Letter (if minor, an Original Power of Attorney from Parents), photocopy of applicant’s valid ID (with signature), and original and photocopy of representative’s valid ID.

I hope that this will help you with your applications or requirements abroad. Indeed, an Apostille is better than the Red Ribbon since you can only go to a single place rather than the DFA Office plus the Foreign Embassy. If you need more help in your documents, feel free to browse our website as we have tourist application guides for Philippine Passport Holders and guides for government agencies like NBI, BIR, SSS, etc. Happy Browsing!

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About the Writer

Lyza Paloma

Hey, I’m Lyza! I once was a person who just imagined going to places “one day” but decided to pursue my dreams. My first travel abroad was in Japan, solo, last 2018, and fell in love with the journey since. I’m aiming to visit 10 countries before turning 30 and 2 new places in the Philippines every year. Besides traveling, I love organizing trips, photography, reading, and making new friends. Follow my adventures through my Instagram.​

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120 thoughts on “Apostille Certificate: How To Authenticate Documents In DFA Philippines

  1. I am applying on behalf of my Aunt documents particularly on Birth certificate. I just want to ask.
    What are the details should I include in writing an authorization letter and what are other documents should I attached and where should I submit this papers.? Can I process this document via DHL?

  2. This is such an informative site. Thank you for putting it all together. However, I am still confused on where and how I can get my Birth Cert Apostille. I am getting married in Serbia and the court needs “Original birth certificate from Philippines certified with Apostille stamp and a Certificate of free marriage status from Philippines certified with Apostille stamp.” Where do I start? Please help, I truly appreiciate it.

  3. Hi Lyza, My wife and I are currently in Spain. We need our marriage certificate apostilled urgently to get Spanish residency. This cannot be done online. The DFA suggested we should get a courier such as DFL to process the documents for us. But when I spoke to DFL they said all they can do is deliver a document, then pick it up after it has been apostilled. But they won’t get involved in processing it. Huge problem! How do I pay DFA, and will they do the processing if DFL delivers the document?

    1. Do you have relatives there? You can get your PSA Marriage certificate online and send it to them. Then, they can have an appointment at the DFA and do it on your behalf. Then, it can be sent to Spain through your courier.

  4. Good day, I would like to apostille my birth certificate and NBI clearance. 12 of this month they have available date?

  5. Tanong ko lang po. Need po ba yong original copies ng mga papers na ipapa apostilled? Salamat

  6. My son lives in Fes , Morocco. I need his birth certificate apostilled. Is there any way we could apply online?Unfortunately, I have no one in the Philippines to do it for us. My family is in USA.

  7. Mag email ka muna sa kanila mam .tas may branch silang ibibigay kung san ka malapit . As if tanung kajan sa DFA BACOLOD kung meron man

  8. Hello. Is it ok to claim the apostille document after the date specified by DFA? My document will be released by February 11. Is it ok to get it by Feb 15 onwards. Thank you,

  9. Hello po, tanong ko lang po pano po mag pa authenticate during this pandemic? At nasa bacolod pa po ako. Thank you po.

  10. Hi i am karen torres graf i would ask how can i apostail becuase need in the manila embassy for my husband dead, please reply me asap, thank you

  11. Hello miss Lyza, thank you for your very detailed blog about this. I woul just like to ask about the representatives applying on my behalf, can it be someone i am not related to like a friend?
    Thank you very much

    1. Hi sir/mam, ask ko lng pagfinish ng apostille sa dfa sino pwedeng magsend sa board of nursing sa california.kasi nakalagay sa letter nila na kahit member of the family,school or third party di pwede.can the dfa send that apostilled documents directly.thanks

  12. Paano ko po iprocess yung apostille ng nanay ko. Nasa jordan po sya ngayun at need nya po ng apostille. Paano po ako makkakuha ng apostille para sa kanya? Thank you po

  13. Just to confirm, nag eexpire po ba ang na apostille na documents?

    I am in UAE i brought my apostilled documents here, and upon checking hindi apostille country ang UAE, so does that mean I need to send my documents sa Pinas just to be authenticated directly ng UAE embassy sa pinas, just so then it can be authenticated here sa UAE?

    Or kung may expiry man do i have to repeat the whole process again on going to DFA?

  14. I already have an Authenticated Document with a “red ribbon,” that I used in Saudi Arabia. in 2011 then I went on final exit and again used it in 2018 to enter Saudi Arabia with my Bahrain company. It is still valid or can I use it again? I have a job offer in Saudi Arabia.

    1. Ano Po ung CANA ? Mag papa red ribbon Po sana ako ng mga certificate ko from PSA . Living in abroad ( Japan )

    1. I have same question also,dahil ang pagkakaalam ko yung ordinary CENOMAR copy from PSA ang valid till 6months from the date of issued so kung expired na since last march 2020 pa ito at till now di pa nagagamit,ang question is expired din ba and naka apostillized na CENOMAR?or magpaprocess ulit?I’m living abroad kaya expectation din na matatagalan ulit ang pagkuha at processing. Needpa kSi mg apply ng SPA sa Embassy sa lugar ko then saka ipapasa sa pinas to DFA.

  15. I wasted my time going to an arrogant public attorney Ramil Abing.
    He demanded that all documents be presented all at once without wasting his time and then said was he’s not accepting it after looking at only two papers from a heap of files.

    Wow, why assume a public position and get paid by taxpayers’ money without explaining why you are not accepting it?

    I was treated like my request was too petty for him to handle as a proud lawyer so he has to say ‘no’ na parang nagmemenopause na babae. Kalalaking tao. Is that it? No explanation is needed to someone who is paying taxes that go to the salary he is receiving monthly.

    IMHO, my impression of him was the work was unfamiliar for him to handle. So why handle it if he doesn’t know how?

    It took another public lawyer from the palace of justice (who was accommodating and friendly to provide advice as to where I can get help) and a humble Cebu provincial capitol guard to explain that public lawyers are not allowed to notarize public docs for Apostille.

    So, folks, please go to a private lawyer.

  16. They already send “Authentication Appointment” but can’t open the link on below. They can’t set my appointment because they said i need to give my information first but the problem is.. Why can’t open the link on below

      1. Atty LM Fernandez just made good money out of me. His clerical assistant must have also read from here that it is Php100 per document which is so NOT true! Ang Pilipinong aboagado ay ayaw magpalamang at sobra sobra ang hinging notarial fee;

        I only paid a total of Php200 to the DFA for two sets of documents (Php100 for my school TOR that has a total of 11 pages already certified by CHED plus Php 100 for 15 pages of docs notarized by the lawyer that needed CANA).

        CHED fee as of Oct 2020 did not reach Php300 and CANA was only Php50. But, can you imagine paying Php3300 for the notarization to a private lawyer for the misleading “Php100 per document” fee information?

        1. Kanino po kayo nag request ng CANA? Sabi po sakin ng isang notary na kausap ko 3k daw po ung CANA at notary, mapagsamantala ito

  17. It was not mentioned here that because of the present pandemic, one doesn’t need to go to DFA for the 1st step, but rather submit all docs to DFA via email and wait for the reply indicating schedule (date and time) of submission to DFA. Sayang naman po. I wasted the day of travel and expenses in going there. Hope you can indicate this in your website. Thanks so much

    1. Hi po what kind of docs po? Yung po bang ipapa-apostille or yung authentication form po? ANo po ang email ng DFA Pampanga? Down po kasi ang website ng consular Salamat po

  18. Ang sabi po sa dfa ay mag email para sa appointment for apostille. Paano po kaya/ano po ang mga information na dapat ilagay sa email? Salamat po

    1. You can send in your name, purpose of appointment (e.g. Apostille – Birth Certificate) and date and time na pupunta ka, then wait for confirmation nila

      1. My filipino cousin was married in UAE, she has to apostille her marriage certificate. Ako po yung ino’authorize nya na maging representative dito sa Pinas. So dapat po ba niya ipadala yung orig copy ng marriage cert nya dito sa Pinas para masama sa isusubmit Kong document? And is it possible to go to any branch of dfa like Calaciao, Pangasinan

  19. Hello po Magandang umaga magoa authenticate lng me ng NBI clearance po at dito ako sa cagayan de oro city address ko paano ba kukuha ng schedule

  20. Paano po ba ipasend directly yung apostille Directly sa agency. May option po ba na ganito. Required kasi na DFA mismo ang magsend sa kanila.

  21. Good evening po.

    Inquire lng po kung meron po ba validity ang apostille documents from DFA.

    Ang validity kasi ng authentication is 5 years.

    Salamat po.

  22. Hi im the, representative of my sister in law for doing apostille nbi, i want to know wht is the requirements before i go to dfa. And i want to know if they need an online apointment of the aplicant, it need or not?

    1. Hi,im representative of my friend,kukuha po ako ng apostille ano po requirements ang kailangan dalhin sa dfa,regular po ba ang process dun or online process,thanks

  23. Hi,i’m in korea right now,i need to get Appostille that it means our merriage are legal in the philippines,.so how do i do???did i can get in south korea philippine embassy?

  24. How can I avail of your services? I have court documents for translation into Chinese also court documents for authentication with DFA.

  25. Hi . I am just curious if online appointment is required before visiting any DFA branch mentioned above. I’ll greatly appreciate your response . Thank you!

    1. It’s better to call for an appointment ahead, you can check the contact number of the nearest DFA Branch through google.

  26. I have my certified diploma and Transcript of Record requested from school last 2008 and it was also CAV from CHED. Can I use this documents to Apostille? Or do I need to request a fresh copy of certified diploma and TOR again and have it CAV from CHED? This is for my student visa requirements.

    Appreciate your response.

  27. got my apostille documents, but when i try to verify it, ndi sya maverify sa site ng dfa.. already typed the apostille no and keycode pero ayaw lumabas nung verfified apostille.. what will i do? thanks!

  28. Nandito ako sa France and for my work contract, I need to have my birth certificate legalized/apostilled to get social insurance card. Do I need to send the original document to the Philippines for that? Salamat

  29. Hi po! Do I need to required an SPA from the Embassy if Im applying from abroad thru my Authorized Representative or just an Authorization letter will do?

  30. I am currently out of the country and would like my mother to process my school documents, do i have to send an SPA or an authorization letter is accepted?

  31. hello po

    ask ko lang po ang site ung pag papa appointment para sa TOR claim kailanga pa daw po kasing my appoinment nagyon eh di ko po makita kung san ang nakikita ko lang na may appoinment is ung para sa passport…

    please help po… thank you

  32. Follow up ko lng po appointment ko
    For passport of my son at Apostille ( birth,marriage,delath certificate and advisory on marriage) wala parin po nadating sa email ko thanks po

  33. Hi, I went to Ched already, they gave me an claiming stub with given date.
    to be pick up at DFA ali mall.
    Do still need to make an appointment to dfa again for another process?
    Thank u jl

  34. The letter authority for a representative should be notarized or not? Is it a simple letter authority? Thanks

  35. Hello po. Ang Apostille po b kulay blue? Nakapag red ribbon kase yung friend ko, then ang binigay apostille pero pula po yung boarder.

    Ilang years po valid ang red ribbon apostille po?
    Please response po.

  36. Hi. I’m from Naval Biliran and because of the pandemic I can’t go to cebu for me to have my documents apostille but I know someone who is in Cebu. Can i let someone do it for me? Thanks for the reply. God bless

  37. Hello po sir,Pwede po bang mag pa appoinment para po sa apostile ng documents ko ( birth certificate,marriage certificate,and police clearance)? Or pwedeng walk in na pupunta diyan para ipa apostile sir?

    1. Pwde po ba mag walk-n na kuha ng apostille kahit dina po ako mag pa online ng pila? Ilang days po makuha and my cut off po ba ang pila pag kukuha sa my Marquee mall Angeles? Ang authorization ko po ba na dalhin need paba dpat SPA or kahit hindi na po? Slamat po sa sasagot sana my mkapansin po ng tanung ko

  38. Open na po ba dfa alabang para mag pa apostille at pwede po ba ang walk in lang o mag pa schedule pa para I submit yun documents? Salamat.

  39. Mag walk in na lang ba pag mag pa apostillize ng NBI certificate o mag pa schedule pa para ma I submit yun document? Salamat.

  40. nasa UAE po yung friend ko. need po ba SPA nya ako or authorization letter na naka notaryo o letter lang po? salamat

  41. hello po! ung naka red ribbon po ba last 2018, pwde po ba yun ang dalhin para ipa apostile? thanks po

  42. Greetings!
    Need pa po ba ng SPa to Apostille my cenomar?Nandito po kasi ako sa finland at yong sister ko po sa philippines ang mgproprocess.Anu po ba ang dapat niyang dalhin sa Dfa and need din po ba na palegalised ang cenomar?

    Maraming salamat po.

  43. Hi, I am now in Korea po tapos I need my nbi and diploma apostilled. Not a minor, so do I need to get an SPA pa po or just an authorization letter lng po?

  44. I really like the content of your blog it helps a lot.☺️
    My query is all about business?
    I just want to ask on how does agencies (who process Apostilled documents of there clients abroad) became it legally to process there clients on there behalf? Do you have any idea of my query? I was planning to start my own agency like that but I need to figure out all of those things how to start it and ofcourse I would like to do it legally.
    Thank you so much☺️
    God bless you more and continue making blogs☺️

  45. Hello po! Possible po ba na ang DFA mismo ang mag send ng apostilled diploma sa California Board of Nursing? Yon po kasi ang requirements ng BON. Salamat po sa sasagot.

    1. Yung function po ng DFA is to give you ang apostilled diploma, you can send it using DHL or Fedex po.

  46. Thanks for this informative read. Ask ko lang po kung pde sa dfa tuguegarao magprocess ng apostille?o yung mga nakastate lang sa taas ang pde?thank you

  47. Pwede po ba nmin pa process ang dfa apostille. Ipapadeliver nlng po ito sa designated dfa branch? Kalakip ang lahat ng requirements na need icomply

    1. May brother ako from Alaska. He need his birthcertificate with this validity apostille. Meron po bang pwedeng nag process nito for him.

      1. You can ask a relative or anyone in the Philippines to go to a DFA office po for Apostillation.

  48. Ma’am original copy po ba ng document and ina attach sa apostille?
    Magpapa apostille po kasi ako ng birth and marriage certificate. One vlog mentioned nagpa photocopy siya at un ung nilagay but her original copy of cenomar was attached instead. Naguguluhan lang po

    1. Mas better if original or certified true copy. You can get copies of your birth and marriage certificates at PSA.

  49. I need a warranty deed notarized by an apostille in Cebu City. Is this a service you can provide?

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