Do you need to provide evidence of your health, medical treatment or prescription medicine in another country? Generally, medical records and other documents obtained in Australia must be attested/verified, notarised before they can be used in other countries. Depending on the intended destination country, those documents might also need to be stamped with an apostille or authenticated and legalised.
What kinds of Australian medical records and documents?
As a leading provider of notary public services in Sydney, we can attest and notarise different documents relating to your health, medical treatment, and prescription medicines. For example, some of your medical documents may include:
- Medical Certificates
- Doctor’s Letters
- Health Reports
- Pathology Reports
- Medicine Prescriptions
We don’t decide what medical records and documents must be notarised. Generally, this depends on who you’re dealing with in the intended destination country (ie, the recipient) and what they ask you to provide.
For example, visa applications to some countries must be accompanied by a medical report that has been signed by an Australian doctor and notarised. That notarised report must then also be legalised by the foreign representative office of the intended destination country. When travelling to, or even through (ie, stopover), some countries with prescription medicine, you must carry a notarised prescription to avoid contravening their laws for possessing or even importing prohibited substances. Not having a notarised prescription could result in serious legal consequences for that country! If you’re claiming a benefit from another country that requires evidence of your health or medical treatment, often you’ll be asked to provide evidence in the form of medical documents or records which have been notarised.
If you’re not sure about the specific requirements of the intended destination country or the recipient, then you must check with them – not with us.
This notary public service only applies to medical records and documents issued in Australia (ie, by Australian doctors or hospitals etc). If your medical record or document was issued from another country, you must seek assistance from within that country (not Australia).
What’s involved in attestation and notarisation?
We must verify your medical documents with the issuing organisation before we can attest or notarise them. This means we’ll send a copy to your doctor, the medical centre, or hospital (usually by email) and ask them to verify that they issued them and that the contents are consistent with their records.
Once we’ve verified your medical documents, we’re able to attest and notarise them by:
- Certifying a copy of the documents stating that they’re a true copy of the original documents; and
- Confirming that we’ve verified the information in the documents with your doctor, medical centre, or hospital etc.
We’ll attach our notary certificate containing those statements to either the original or a certified copy of your medical documents. Whether you attest the original or a certified copy depends on your preference and the intended destination country’s requirements. If required, we can also arrange for the apostille or authentication by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
How long does it take?
The turnaround time for us to attest and notarise your medical documents depends on your doctor, medical centre, or hospital. We will ask them to verify your medical documents before we attest and notarise them. Unfortunately, some doctors, medical centres or hospitals can take a while to verify your medical documents. We recommend asking them to expect our request for verification. This usually speeds up the turnaround time for verification, attestation and notarisation.
You should allow for a longer processing time if you also need us to handle the apostille or DFAT authentication. We’ll be able to confirm the timeline and turnaround time once we’ve verified your medical documents.
Why do I need an apostille or authentication from DFAT?
Different countries around the world have different requirements when it comes to notarised documents. Some countries may require notarised documents to be stamped with an apostille while others require notarised documents to be authenticated. This is part of a larger legal process called ‘legalisation’. You must check the specific requirements of the intended destination country as well as the intended recipient. This will avoid any unnecessary delay or costs incurred by following the wrong process or not following the right process.
You can make your own arrangements with DFAT to have your documents stamped with an apostille or authenticated. You can only do this after we’ve attested and notarised your documents. Alternatively, we can handle this on your behalf because we frequently help many clients with the same requirements.
Other country-specific processes
In addition to attestation, notarisation, apostille or authentication and legalisation, some countries (and recipients) have their own specific requirements. You should always check with the intended destination country or your intended recipients so that you follow their specific requirements. We help clients send their documents all over the world and we can help you with country-specific requirements too.
Do you have any questions?
Sending documents from Australia to other countries can be complicated. We make it simple.
If your documents must be stamped with an apostille or authenticated and then legalised, we can help with that too. We’ve also created a flowchart to explain the process.
So, what’s next?
Why choose Phang Legal for your notary public services?
We’re a leading provider of notary public services in Sydney. We’re known for:
- Our experience and expertise in notarising documents for other countries;
- Our low-cost fixed fees and service offerings; and
- Our availability to help on short notice.
This website is maintained by Phang Legal, a boutique law firm in Parramatta and a leading provider of quality notary public services to satisfied clients across Sydney and beyond.
Ern Phang is a director of Phang Legal and a notary public (since 2005). Ern regularly writes about his experiences as a notary public and the issues faced by his clients in sending documents to countries all over the world.