ISLAMABAD: Relief for overseas Pakistanis and those intend to go abroad for employment, education and other purposes as the lengthy procedure of authentication of documents required outside the country is being made swift and easy.
Under the new mechanism, special centres and notaries are being established in all major cities of the country for quick authentication of documents.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is officiating notaries across Pakistan for enabling authentication, legalisation and attestation of documents. The process shall be completed in six months,” Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Strategic Initiatives Salman Sufi said.
The instrument of accession to Apostille Convention, drafted by the Hague Conference on Private International Law, has been approved by President Dr Arif Alvi and will take effect in six months.
The accession, he said, would facilitate millions of overseas Pakistanis. “As of December 2019, more than 11 million Pakistanis moved abroad to around 50 countries for the sake of employment. Pakistan is one of the largest labour-exporting countries in the region. All documents of these overseas Pakistanis, be it birth certificates, marriage certificates, professional or educational documents or other documents associated with civil registration have to undergo bureaucratic red tape before they can be accepted abroad,” he added.
Mr Sufi said that accession to Apostille Convention would relax authentication and legalisation requirements between ratifying states. It allows a document, duly authenticated in one contracting country of origin, to be used in the country of residence, avoiding the process of taking documents to diplomatic and consular missions.
“In a few cases, third party service providers cannot be used; therefore, power of attorney (POA) has to be provided which again requires a POA document to go through a similar process. With Pakistan’s accession to Apostille Convention, any public document duly authenticated by a member state may be used in Pakistan and vice versa without the need for following a lengthy legislation process involving multiple departments and steps,” the SAPM said.