May 14, 2019, was a significant day concerning Philippine history because it was the day when the Philippines officially becomes a party to the Apostille Convention. Henceforth, the Department of Foreign Affairs will no longer issue certificates of authentication (popularly known as “red ribbon”) for all Philippine documents to be used in all Country members starting May 14, 2019.
The United States is a long-time member of the Apostille Convention since October 15, 1981, so an Apostille will now be the acceptable document when you transact business with the County Clerk in the U.S. in transferring ownership of real estate property. With this development, the DFA will now issue an Apostille Certificate, and once this is issued, there is no more need for further legalization of the document in the U.S. Embassy Manila.
For instance,  when we notarize documents such as Deeds of Sale, Grant Deeds, Specific/Durable or Special Power of Attorney, or Mortgage documents for use in the United States, these documents have to be submitted for Apostille at the Department of Foreign Affairs so they can be used legally in the United States. The document is ready for use in the United States once an Apostille certificate is issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs. There is no more need for further legalization of the documents at the US Embassy, Manila because it is no longer required under the Hague Apostille Convention.
In the past, the US Embassy in Manila used to accept the Notarial Seal of Philippine accredited notaries, and during that time Atty. Alex Acain Jr. is a US Embassy Manila authorized notary. It was that point in time when the documents that we notarize have to be legalized by the US Embassy so that it can be used and accepted in the United States for whatever legal purposes it may serve. But all these procedures have to change now given the formal accession of the Philippines to the Apostille Convention.
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The parties may also get an appointment with the US Embassy Manila and have their documents notarized there. This also another option if the parties do not want to get their documents notarized in our Office and Apostilled in the DFA.
This is an Article related to US Embassy Manila Notary. If you have questions regarding notary of documents for use in the United States, please email us at gtalaw@gtalawphil.com and we shall be glad to assist you.