Authentication of Documents
Instructions and Guidelines
for the Public who need to attest documents
We cordially welcome all of you who have visited the Consular Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The main responsibility of the Authentication Section of the Consular Affairs Division is to attest the certificates and documents presented by you as true and genuine documents on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka issued under statutory authorities by duly authorized officers appointed by the Government of Sri Lanka. Documents presented by you will be attested only after duly ascertaining the genuineness and the credibility of such documents.
Strict adherence to the following instructions and guidelines will facilitate efficient and effective service that is anticipated by the Division. Please note that the documents which are not in keeping with the requirements will not be accepted for Attestation.
- Those who hand over documents for Attestation should produce a valid identification document. Only the following documents of identity will be accepted by this
- The National Identity Card issued by Department of Registration of Persons, Sri Lanka
- Valid Passport issued by the Department of Immigration and Emigration of Sri Lanka
- Valid Driving License issued by the Department of Motor Traffic of Sri Lanka
- Foreign applicants needed to produce the valid Passport issued by the authorized agency of his/her own country. (Fees charged for Foreign applicants will apply)
N.B.- Sri Lankan Citizens who hold dual citizenship in another country should produce any of above valid Sri Lankan Identification document to obtain services under the Sri Lankan fee category.
2.The holders of certificates who need to get their certificates attested are expected to hand over such certificates to the Authentication Section of the Consular Division inHowever, if the holder of the certificate is unable to present in person, a close relative may be sent with a letter of authorization from the certificate holder indicating,
- Name in full
- National Identity Card number, and
- The Residential Address
of the person who brings the certificates. The person who presents at the Division to get the documents authenticated should bring a copy of the passport of the certificate holder together with the letter of request. In the event of the certificate holder does not possess a valid passport, the letter of request should be signed in the presence of Grama Niladhari of the Division concerned and counter signed by the Divisional Secretary concerned. Please note that the final decision regarding the Attestation of such certificates will be taken by the Director General of the Consular Division.
3.For the attestation of certificates of children under 18 years of age, the legitimate guardian of the child concernedbe present or a letter of authority from the guardian and his/her passport should be produced by the person who comes for the purpose on behalf of the child. (Instructions in number 2 above are applicable) Documents should also be produced to prove the parenthood /guardianship. Children need not to be brought for the purpose.
4.Production of forge documents for Attestation is an offence punishable by law.
5.You are strongly advised NOT to pay any money to any party either to get forged documents attested or to attest documents expeditiously. Security surveillance cameras cover every area of this building. Please be informed that action will be taken to produce before law enforcement institutions if anyone is involved in illegal activities.
6.The appointment counter for issuing appointments will be closed at 1.30 p.m. Please avoid making requests from officers to issue appointments after the closure of the counter.
7.The charge for the Attestation of each document
- Rs. 500/= for a Sri Lankan citizen
- Rs.1,000/= for a foreigner.
- Rs 250/= will be charged for the certificates issued by the Department of Examination. (The Department of Examination may charge their service cost in addition to the above payment.)
- Rs 5000/= will be charged for attestation of a set of export documents which are certified by approved Chamber of Commerce approved by this office.
All the payments should be made only by cash or credit / debit cards only at the payments counters. A receipt will be issued in respect of each payment. It is your responsibility to check the receipt before leaving the payment counter to ascertain whether the correct amount was paid by you as per the receipt.
8.Any photocopied document will NOT be accepted for attestation. Every document will be scanned and therefore kindly refrain from producing damaged or decayed documents.
9.Letters addressed to particular Institutions or Embassies will not be accepted for Attestation.
10.Only the original documents issued by Institutions of the Government of Sri Lanka in Sinhala, Tamil or English Language will accepted for attestation.
11.The following procedure should be followed in attesting translated documents:-
11.1. The original document, the translation of which is to be attested should be produced with the translation. Contents of the translated document should be similar to the original document.
11.2. A translated document will be attested only if it has been translated by a Sworn Translator registered at the Ministry of Justice. The sworn translator should indicate clearly in his/her letter head or the official stamp the languages in which he/she is authorized to translate. Details of sworn translators registered in the Ministry of Justice can be checked with the same Ministry’s web site.
11.3. When a Sinhala, Tamil or an English document is translated into another foreign language, the contents of the original document should be indicated in the translated copy in English in the summary form.
11.4. A document translated into another foreign language in the manner set out above will be accepted for attestation only if the relevant document had been translated by a sworn translator registered at the Ministry of Justice as a translator competent to translate in that particular foreign language.
11.5. If no sworn translators in a particular foreign language have been registered at the Ministry of Justice, action should be taken to get the translation certified as true and correct by the Embassy of a country in which the relevant foreign language is treated as an official language. If such an Embassy is not available in Sri Lanka, the same should be done from the Embassy of the nearest country accredited to represent the concerned country in Sri Lanka. In such cases, the translated document should be certified by the Embassy of Sri Lanka in particular nearest country.
11.6. Applicants are encouraged to get the documents that are issued by the Registrar General’s Department translated by sworn translators of that department itself.
12.Inconveniences that may be caused to you as well as the members of the staff can be minimized by informing the relevant officers clearly and precisely the documents that are needed to be attested at the time of handing over the documents. It is your responsibility to note your Name, Mobile Phone Number and e-Mail address correctly at the time of obtaining appointment and re-confirm that information by checking it at the computer monitor. Please note that this information cannot be corrected after attestation.
13.An identical number issued for each document attested under the Electronic Document Attestation System and all embassies will download all attested documents through a secured electronic channel for their onward actions. It is needed to produce your original documents along with the electronically attested document to the Embassies
14.Any document issued by a foreign authority of agency will accept for attestation ONLY IF such document is attested by the Sri Lanka Diplomatic Mission of that particular country or by the Diplomatic Mission representing that country in Sri(Please refer the figure)
15.Inconveniences caused to you and to the institution can be minimized by checking your copy of the attested documents, original documents and paying receipts at the time of collecting the
Please note that the following categories of documents will be accepted only if the required criteria indicated under each category of documents have been fulfilled. Documents which are not in keeping with such criteria will be rejected.
NO documents other than those coming under the following categories will be accepted for Attestation. You are kindly requested NOT to make claims for the Attestation of documents which cannot be accepted for Attestation.
Certificates of births, marriages and deaths
- The Birth, Marriages and Death certificates issued prior to 01.01.2008 will be accepted to attestation only if the the original document obtained from the original registry or the data system of the District Registrar’s Office of the Divisional Secretariat and certified by the District Registrar either on 01.01.2008 or thereafter. It is necessary to note that the meaning of ‘Original Copy’ is NOT the document handed over to the applicant by the Registrar who registers the Birth, Marriage or Death at the time of the incident occurred. BUT the Certified true copy issued by the district registrar which is obtained from the Data Base or Official Registry after the Birth, Marriage or Death registered at the office of the District Registrar. (The document issued at the time of registering Birth, Marriage or Death, could be considered for attestation if, the document has been re-certified by the District Registrar as a true copy.)
- Documents pertaining to ‘Nil Results’ of search will be accepted for attestation only after ascertaining that such data had not been recorded in a register in any District Registrar’s Office or in the Central Record Room of the Registrar General’s Department at Maligawatte in Colombo. It should be certified that the second copy of the document also not available.
- Muslim Divorce Certificates should be certified by an authorized officer of the Divisional Secretariat relevant to the Quasi Court which the divorce order issued.
2.Certificate for Confirmation of the unmarried status
- An affidavit for unmarried status can be presented only by the prospective applicant who intends to get married, his/her mother or father and brothers and sisters of the same family. It is essential to indicate the passport number of the prospective applicant in the affidavit. (Unmarried certificates for foreign nationals are not accepted for attestation)
- Only the facts that the prospective applicant for marriage has remained unmarried in Sri Lanka, no legal obstacles to getting married and the family relationships of the prospective applicant for marriage should be included in this affidavit. This affidavit should declare in front of an Attorney at Law or Justice of Peace.
- The affidavit should be certified by the registrar of the Supreme Court if it signed by an Attorney-at-Law or by an authorized officer of the Justice of Peace branch of the Ministry of Justice if a Justice of Peace has signed it.
- A true copy of the valid passport belonging to the prospective applicant for marriage should be presented with the affidavit.
- The Sri Lankan citizens who are living in abroad could declare this affidavit at the Sri Lankan Diplomatic Mission of such country, in front of an authorized officer under the Consular Act.
- Specimen of such affidavit could be downloaded from the web site of this office or could be copied from the Notice Board of this office.
3.Police Clearance Reports issued by the Police Head Quarters
- All the Police Clearance reports should be made on the format of Police Head Quarters and any other documents in letter heads will NOT be accepted.
- Applicant’s name, National Identity Card number, Date, mailing address, the period covered by the Police Clearance report, signature of the authorized officer of the Police Head Quarters and his official seal should be clearly and correctly indicated in the Police Clearance Report.
4.Police Reports issued by Police Stations
- All the Police reports should be made on form ‘Police 423’ and any other documents in letter heads will NOT be accepted.
- Original copy of the receipt on form ‘General 172’ issued in respect of the payment made to the Police Station to collect the Police Report should be presented.
- Applicant’s name, National Identity Card number, Date, mailing address, the period covered by the Police report, signature of the officer-in-charge of the police and his official seal should be clearly and correctly indicated in the Police Report.
5.Police Reports issued by Foreign Countries
- Foreign Police Reports obtained under the intervention of the Consular Division of this Ministry will be accepted for attestation only if such report attested by the Sri Lankan Diplomatic Mission of that country or under the certification of a staff officer of the Consular Division.
- Foreign Police Reports obtained by the applicants personally will accept for attestation ONLY IF those documents attested by the Sri Lankan Diplomatic Mission of that country or attested by the Diplomatic Mission representing such country in Sri Lanka. Documents which not satisfy this criterion will send back to the Sri Lankan Diplomatic Mission of the issuing country for verification and certification prior to attestation. Please note that the duration for this effort is beyond the control of the Consular Division.
- ONLY the Photo and information page, Alterations and Observations pages of the Passports issued by the Department of Immigration and Emigration are accepted for certify as a True Copy.
- Original Passport must produce along with this document and if original passport not available, a copy certified by the Department of Immigration and Emigration should produce for certification.
7.Attestation of Police Reports on missing passports
- Police reports on missing passports will be attested only if the relevant endorsement regarding the missing passport has been made in the new passport by the Department of Immigration and Emigration.
- Original copy of the receipt on form ‘General 172’ issued in respect of the payment made to the Police station to collect the relevant report should be presented.
A certified true copy obtained from the Department of Immigration and Emigration within three months period should produce along with the original Citizenship Certificate issued by that Department.
- Only the extract of information issued by the Commissioner General of Motor Traffic will be attested.
- Relevant driving license should also be produced together with this extract.
- Documents issued by Ceylon Auto Mobile Association should be certified by the Commissioner General of Motor Traffic before attestation.
10.National Identity Cards
- Only the original letter issued by the Commissioner for the Registration of Persons will be attested.
- Relevant National identity card should be presented with this letter.
- Medical Certificates will be attested only if they have been certified by the Sri Lanka Medical Council.
- Ayurvedic Medical certificates are accepted only if they have been certified by the Sri Lanka Ayurvedic Medical Council.
12.Certificates issued by Chartered or Professional Institutions.
- True copies of certificates issued by Chartered or Professional institutions incorporated by an Act of Parliament will be attested on being certified by the institution concerned.
- Certificates issued by Chartered or Professional Institutions established abroad have to be certified as true copies by the authorized local office established in Sri Lanka on behalf of the institution concerned or by the Embassy in Sri Lanka representing that country, for attestation.
13.Certificates issued by the Institutions established for TechnicalVocational Training
- Original certificate should be produced along with the certified true copy of the certificate certified by the institution in which the course was conducted.
- A true copy of the relevant certificate certified by the institution which has conducted the training course should be produced together with a letter issued by the Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission (TVEC) to the effect that the institution was a registered organization when the training course was conducted.
- The name of the training course indicated in the certificate should be identical with the name given in the letter issued by the Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission.
14.Certificates issued by the Department of Examinations
- Applications for the Attestation of G.C.E. (O/L) and G.C.E. (A/L) certificates and other examinations conducted by the Department of Examinations should be referred to the Examination Department of Sri Lanka at Battaramulla and those certificates which are forwarded directly to the Consular Division by that Department will be attested.
- The card issued by the Department of Examinations should be produced to the Division. Rs. 500/- will be charged by the Consular Division for the Attestation of each document. Service charges of the Department of Examinations may have to be paid in addition to the above charges.
15.School Leaving Certificates
- Certificates issued by the Heads of Government schools and their translated copies can be attested if necessary, provided the original copy and the translated copy are presented to this division duly certified by the Zonal Director of Education of the relevant Education Zone to which the school belongs.
16.Certificates issued by Private/ International Schools
- For the Attestation of certificates issued by Private / International Schools registered in the Ministry of Education, true copies of documents certified by heads of such schools should be submitted. The documents will be accepted for attestation only if they are certified by the Private Schools Branch of the Ministry of Education or the Zonal Education Office.
- Documents issued by Private / International Schools which are not registered in the Ministry of Education can be authorized only as certified copies. For this purpose original copies of the certificates issued by heads of schools should be submitted together with Photocopies of relevant documents certified by the heads of schools and a certified true copy of the Business Registration of the School.
17.Certificates issued by religious or cultural institutions
- Any certificate issued by religious or cultural institution will accept for attestation ONLY if such certificate issued by the Government Department for particular subject or such institution registered at the relevant Government Department and certified such information by the Department concerned.
18.Certificates issued in respect of Foreign Examinations recognized locally and internationally.
- Certificates issued by Foreign Agencies authorized to conduct foreign examinations which are recognized locally and internationally will be attested only when they have been certified as true copies by the local authorized office established in Sri Lanka or the Embassy in Sri Lanka representing the country in which the institution is located.
- However, true copies certified by the British Council in respect of certificates issued by institutions in the United Kingdom and true copies certified by the US Fulbright Commission in respect of certificates issued by institutions in U.S.A, will be considered for Attestation.
19.Service Certificates of Private Institutions
- Service Certificate issued by a Private sector institution in respect of employment in the Private Sector can be authenticated only as a true copy of a service certificate and for that purpose a Photocopy certified by the head of the institution concerned should be submitted with the original document.
- Original document of the letter of appointment to the position held, original documents to prove promotions and salary reports of the last three months of employment or documents relating to the contribution to Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Employees Trust Fund (ETF) should also be submitted.
- In the event of the failure to submit the formal letter of appointment or other documents, original copy of the Service Certificate along with the true copy of the service certificate certified by the head of the institution and a true copy of the Business Registration of the organization, certified by the Divisional Secretary of the area or the issuing authority should be submitted.
20.Degree certificates awarded by Local Universities
- Original Degree Certificate together with the required number of true copies certified by the Registrar of the relevant University should be submitted and the degree certificate will be attested only after the confirmation of the documents through the University
- The period that will be taken by the relevant University is a matter which is out of control of this institution and inquiries in this regard could be made from the University concerned.
21.Degree Certificates awarded by Foreign Universities
- For the attestation of degree certificates obtained from a foreign University, the original document together with the required number of copies certified correct either by the Sri Lanka embassy in the country concerned or the Embassy of the country concerned established in Sri Lanka should be presented.
- However, true copies certified by the British Council in respect of certificates issued by Universities in the United Kingdom and true copies certified by the US Fulbright Commission in respect of certificates issued by Universities in the U.S.A. will be considered for attestation.
22.Affidavits or Power of Attorney
- ONLY Affidavit or Power of Attorney declared or signed by Sri Lankan citizen or Sri Lanka Corporate Citizen will accept for attestation. Sri Lanka Corporate citizen should produce supporting documents to prove such information. (Eg: Form 20 document certified by the Registrar of Companies etc.)
- An Affidavit or a Power of Attorney if prepared by an Attorney-at-Law, the Registrar of the Supreme Court should certify. If affidavit signed by a Justice of Peace, it should be countersigned by the J.P. division of Ministry of Justice.
- Relevant official documents should be produced to substantiate the facts given in an Affidavit or a Power of Attorney. In the event of relevant official documents not being produced to substantiate the facts contained in an Affidavit or a Power of Attorney such an Affidavit or a Power of Attorney will not be considered for Attestation.
- Affidavits produced to substantiate the alterations made in identification documents issued by the Government such as Birth Certificates, Marriage Certificates, Death Certificates, Passports, Driving Licenses, National Identity Cards etc. will be attested only if the alterations have been made in the original documents and certified by the issuing authority.
- Affidavits prepared for under age child to travel abroad through a third party except parents or legal guardians will be accept for attest ONLY IF the permission granted to such third party by a Civil Court or Commissioner of Probation and Child Care to travel such child with the said third party.
- Any Sri Lankan citizen who is living in abroad could declare or sign Affidavits or Power of Attorney at the Sri Lankan Embassy of that country, in front of an authorized officer under the Consular Act.
- For the Attestation of Judicial documents original copies of the documents should be produced, all of which should be certified by the registrar of the relevant judiciary. Attestation will be effected only after the facts contained in the document are substantiated by the relevant judiciary.
- Divorce certificates will be attested only on Decree Absolute if the Decree Absolute is issued. However, Decree Nisi also should be produced to this office. Please note that only Decree Nisi will NOT be accepted for attestation.
N.B. - Time taken by the relevant judiciary is out of control of this institution and hence inquiries regarding the delay may be made from the judiciary concerned.
24.Child Adoption Certificates
Child Adoption documents will accept for attestation only if following documents produced together
- Adoption order issued by the District Court Judge (Form 4)
- Document prepared by the Attorney which declare to the court, the willingness of the natural parents / guardians of the child (Form 2) (This should certified by the Registrar of the Supreme Court)
- Letter issued by the Commissioner of Probation and Childcare to the adopted parents
- Letter issued by the Commissioner of Probation and Childcare to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Birth Certificate of the child
- Adoption certificate issued by the Registrar General
- Conformity certificate issued under the article 23 of Hague Convention (This is not required if both adopted parents are Sri Lankans)
25.Grama Niladhari Certificates
- Only the information regarding the residence and dependents can be substantiated through certificates issued by Grama Niladharis.
- The information provided by Grama Niladhari on form ‘DS 4’ and counter signed by the Divisional Secretary will be considered for Attestation. Grama Niladhari certificates, which are not counter signed by the Divisional Secretary will not be accepted for Attestation.
- Training Certificates issued by SLBFE will accept for attestation ONLY IF produce a certified copy from the SLBFE along with the original certificate.
27.Licenses or documents issued by various Public Institutions under certain statutory
- Original copy of a document or a license issued by a Public Institution under statutory authority vested in it should be presented for attestation together with a true copy certified by the issuing authority.
- Such documents or licenses will be attested only after getting the contents confirmed by the authority concerned.
N.B.- The time that will be taken by the Public Institution is out of control of this institution. Inquiries regarding the delay may be made from the Public Institution concerned.
- Export Documents are accepted for attestation if the Certificate of Origin (CO) issued and stamped by a Chamber of Commerce which registered at this Ministry.
- Rs 5000/= will be charged for attestation of a set of Export Documents. Each set of separate Certificate of Origin will be charged separately. Following documents may include to a set of Export Document for each CO.
- oCertificate of Origin (CO)
- oInvoice / Commercial Invoice
- oBill of Lading
- oHealth Certificates
- oLaboratory Certificates
- oAnalysis Reports
- oPhytosanitary Certificates
- oQuarantine Certificates
In addition, following documents will accept for attestation separately without a Certificate of Origin and Rs 500/= will be charged for each document attested separately.
- oHealth Certificates
- oLaboratory Certificates
- oAnalysis Reports
- oPhytosanitary Certificates
- oQuarantine Certificates
- oFree Sale Certificates
- oQuality and Standard Certificates
- oAffidavits and Power of Attorneys (Must certified by the Supreme Court)
29. Documents related to Business / Companies
a. Certificate of Registration of a Company
Originals with a certified true copy taken recently from Registrar of Companies or a photo copy with recently paid tax receipt with the original documents should produce for attestation. Form-20 certified by the Company registrar is also needed as supporting document to verify the signatory authority of the company.
b. Certificate of Individual Business Registration
To attest the Certificate of Individual Business Registration, applicants needed to submit the original with the certified copy issued by the Divisional Secretariat along with the recently paid cash receipts.
c. Article of Association or Board Resolutions
To Attest the Article of Association of a Company or Board Resolutions of a Company, following two options could be followed by the applicants;
- Article of Association of a Company or Board Resolutions of a Company should register /record at the Registrar of the Companies and certified True Copy of the registered/ recorded document should produce for attestation.
- Applicants are needed to submit the Original Article of Association or Board Resolution signed by the members of the Board in front of the Legal Officer of the Company/Company Secretary (an Attorney-at-Law) along with the certification of the Supreme Court.
Note: Company Registration Certificate and the Form 20 should be submitted as supporting documents for both options.
d. Form 20
To attest the Form 20 of a Company, applicants are needed to submit a Certified True copy of the Form 20 document issued by the Registrar of Companies.
Note: Company Registration Certificate should be submitted as supporting documents
e. Audited Accounts Reports
Audited Accounts Reports of a Company should signed by a Chartered Accountant and his/her authenticity must be certified by his/her licensing authority. (e.g. Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka etc)