Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Geneva
Switzerland, Liechtenstein

Notarial Services

COVID-19: Notarial Appointments

The Australian Consulate-General in Geneva is again able to provide passport and notarial services. Appointments are currently only available in Geneva and there is no Zurich outreach day planed in the near future. 

To ensure COVID-19 social distancing requirments, passport and notarial appointments will be limited until further notice.

Our online booking system only allows you to book 2 months in advance - please continue to monitor the online booking system as more slots will become available each day.

If your request is urgent please contact our office [email protected], providing a reason for the urgency.

 

Specific requirements are in place for all visitors to the Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General in Geneva:

  • You must have an appointment to visit our offices.
  • Arrive at the appointment time.  Security arrangements do not allow you to enter the building prior to your appointment time. 
  • Only the person(s) requiring the notarial service may attend appointment.  Other family/friends are not permitted to enter/use waiting areas.
  • All visitors must bring and wear a mask at all times.  We will ask you to remove your mask briefly to confirm your identity.
  • All visitors must use hand sanitiser available on site upon arrival at the Consulate
  • If you are feeling unwell and exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms please cancel and rebook your appointment.
  • Payment is by card only - We accept Visa, MasterCard and Maestro/EC cards. We do not accept Post Finance, Dinners and American Express.

Notarial Services

Please ensure that documents relating to the notarial services you require from the Australian Consulate are presented in the correct form and that you provide the correct instructions for the notarial service you require. If you are unsure of the legislative requirements relating to the notarial service you require, you should seek independent legal advice. Please note that neither the Australian Government nor the Australian Consulate in Geneva guarantees the legal effectiveness of the notarised document or the accuracy of its content. Fees paid for notarial services are non-refundable.

DO I NEED TO COME IN PERSON?

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we ask that all notarial services which can be obtained through the mail are done via mail instead of in person.  Services available by mail are: 

  • Apostilles
  • Certified copies of original documents

All other services must be done in person. 

If the notarial service requires you to attend in person, you can book an appointment by using our online booking system. Please ensure that you make an appointment for the correct Notarial service (see list of services provided below). If you select the wrong service, we may not be able to help at your appointment time.

We provide in person notarial services on Thursdays from 09:30–11:30 and 14:00–16:00. 

APPLYING BY MAIL

To obtain an authentication, certified copy or apostille through the mail, please provide the following:

  1. your original documents
  2. instructions on the service you require, including number of copies and which pages/documents are involved
  3. the country for which the document is required
  4. your email and daytime phone number in case we need to contact you
  5. your delivery address
  6. Credit Card Authorisation Form for payment (please include authorisation for the CHF6.30 postage charge to return your documents, unless you intend to provide a prepaid letter-sized envelope)

Documents that are mailed without instructions and/or the correct payment cannot be processed.  We recommend that you use a courier service that allows you to track delivery of your documents. Documents will be process and return within two business days.

Please address all mail to:

Australian Consulate-General, Geneva
Consular and Passports Section
Case Postale 102
1211 Geneva 19

 

Below is a summary of the services we can provide. For more detailed Notarial information, please visit Smartraveller:
http://smartraveller.gov.au/services/legalising-documents-overseas.html

Affirmations and Oaths (Affidavits, Power of Attorney)
Apostilles and Authentications
Certified Copies
Driver’s Licence Renewal
Marriage in Switzerland and Australia
Land transfer/Sale/Mortgage documents
Statutory Declarations
Witnessing Signatures on other documents

 

Electronic Documents

If your original document is electronic, you must provide your document in its original electronic form. DFAT can only issue an Authentication or Apostille certificate on a copy we have printed ourselves directly from the source. We will ask you to forward the email sent to you by the issuing authority or, if the original electronic document is accessible through a web portal, you will have to log on to this portal using your mobile device or the computer in our waiting area. 

 

*Privacy Policy

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) uses third-party software (Setmore) to manage the Consulate-General's appointments.  Your personal information (including your name and contact details) will be collected by DFAT via Setmore to book your appointment and for related purposes.  By proceeding with this booking, you are consenting to the collection of this information by Setmore on DFAT's behalf for these purposes.  If this information is not collected, DFAT's ability to arrange your appointment will be limited.  Your personal information will be handled by Setmore in accordance with Setmore's Privacy Policy, and by DFAT in accordance with DFAT's Privacy Policy.

 

 

When booking an appointment please ensure you select the correct notarial service to ensure we can help you at the time of your appointment. If you select the wrong service, a Diplomatic Officer may not be available at your appointment time and you may be required to rebook.

 

Affidavit (Affirmations or Oaths)

What is an Affidavit?

An affidavit is a written statement setting out a person's evidence, that is, information that tends to prove or disprove a fact to present evidence in court or other legal proceedings. The person making the affidavit must take an oath (a sworn commitment based on religious belief) or make an affirmation (a secular sworn commitment) that the contents of the affidavit are true and correct. It is generally an offence to swear to or affirm false information.

DFAT's role is to witness the affidavit and administer the oath or affirmation. It does not attest to the authenticity or truth of the content of the evidence or information.

  • Your lawyer must provide clear instructions as to what they need in and on the affidavit. We cannot provide legal information or advice.
  • Before you bring an affidavit to us, contact your lawyer. Get their advice and specific instructions.
  • If an affidavit contains attachments or is multiple pages, we will bind the pages together. Some receiving authorities do not accept bound documents. Ask the receiving authorities if they will accept it.

Preparing for your appointment

  • Before you request our services, always ask the receiving authority who else can witness it for you. You may not need DFAT.
  • Ask the receiving authority in Australia if they also need a DFAT Identify Certificate.
  • Bring your passport to your appointment. We must confirm your identity before we can witness your signature.
  • Make an appointment to apply in person. At the Australian Consulate-General in Geneva, only a Diplomatic Officer can assist with an affidavit. Please ensure that you make an appointment for the correct Notarial service (Affidavit). If you select the wrong service, a Diplomatic Officer may not be available at your appointment time and you may be required to rebook.
  • Bring a credit/debit card for payment (see our Fees page for fees and payment information)

 

Apostilles and Authentications

What is an Apostille?

An Apostille is a statement placed on a public document pursuant to the 1969 Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement for Legalisation of Foreign Public Documents.  An apostille verifies the country of origin of the document, the identity of the signature/seals/stamps that appear on the document and the capacity in which the person signing the document has acted.

Apostille or an Authentication?

You should check with the local authorities requesting the document as to their requirements in order to ensure that the appropriate service is provided for your documents to be accepted. Consulate staff cannot advise clients of foreign requirements.

Documents we can legalise overseas

We can legalise many types of documents for use overseas. Documents must be Australian public documents. This means:

  • originals issued by an Australian government agency or official
  • originals issued by an Australian educational institution
  • copies notarised by an Australian Notary Public

Prepare your documents for legalisation overseas

Follow these steps before you request our documents legalisation services.

  1. Ask the overseas authority which documents they need. Ask them which ones you must also get legalised. Consulate staff cannot advise clients of foreign requirements.
  2. Find out if you will need either an apostille or an authentication for your documents.
  3. Confirm the documents are eligible for legalising by DFAT. If in doubt, contact us first.
  4. If your documents are not eligible as-is, you may need to get them notarised first. Find a Notary Public in Australia. Send your document to them. Once notarised, we can legalise it.
  5. Gather your documents. Check if there are any special requirements for your type of document.
  6. Send by mail or make an appointment to apply in person. Whether you apply in person or send by mail, the processing time is two business days. Your documents can either be mailed to you (postage fees apply) or collected during normal business hours.

Educational Documents

Special rules apply to the legalisation of educational documents. Please see Smartraveller for further information - http://smartraveller.gov.au/services/legalising-documents-overseas.html

 

Certified Copies

We can certify some photographs (driver’s license renewal kit) and true copies of original documents overseas. Consular officer cannot sign photographs for Australian citizenship applications.

We cannot tell you if you need a photograph or true copy certified, or if DFAT must do it. Ask the receiving authority if you need it certified and who can do it for you. In many cases, you can find a local authorised person to do it for you.

True copies of documents and photographs

We can photocopy your original document, and certify it is a true copy.

  • Documents must be Australian, or for use in Australia.
  • We apply the following certification on it: "This is a true copy of the document presented to me". This is DFAT approved wording. We will not alter it.
  • We do not certify or endorse the contents in your document. We only certify the copy is identical.
  • The photograph must be for use in Australia (e.g. driver’s license renewal). If it is for local use, you may need to find a local authority to certify it. Consular officer cannot sign photographs for Australian citizenship applications.
  • When the consular official confirms you are the person in the picture and sights your valid photo identification, they will certify it.

Prepare your documents

Follow these steps before you request our documents services.

  1. Ask the overseas authority which documents they need. Ask them which ones you must also get legalised. Consulate staff cannot advise clients of foreign requirements.
  2. Find out if you will need either an apostille or an authentication for your documents.
  3. Confirm the documents are eligible for legalising by DFAT. If in doubt, contact us first.
  4. If your documents are not eligible as-is, you may need to get them notarised first. Find a Notary Public in Australia. Send your document to them. Once notarised, we can legalise it.
  5. Gather your documents. Check if there are any special requirements for your type of document.
  6. Send by mail or make an appointment to apply in person. Whether you apply in person or send by mail, the processing time is two business days. Your documents can either be mailed to you (postage fees apply) or collected during normal business hours.

 

Getting Married in Switzerland or Australia

Marriage in Switzerland

Australian citizens wishing to get married in Switzerland are requested to contact the local registry office (Zivilstandsamt / l’office de l’état civil / l’ufficio dello stato civile) where they plan to get married to obtain authorisation and a list of documents required.

Expect to provide:

  1. Birth Certificate - Your birth certificate needs to be an original and must not be older than 6 months. A new recent birth certificate can be ordered with the RBDM where you were born (https://info.australia.gov.au/information-and-services/family-and-community/births-deaths-and-marriages-registries). A certified translation is normally required for any documents not in one of the three official Swiss languages (French, German and Italian). An Apostille may also be requested for legalisation purposes.
  2. Divorce/Death certificate (if applicable)
  3. Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage (CNI)

The CNI can be applied for through the Australian Consulate-General, Geneva. If you would like to apply for a CNI please visit the Smartraveller website to download the application form: http://smartraveller.gov.au/services/legalising-documents/form-no-impediment-marriage.pdf

Australian citizens resident in Australia

1. Birth Certificate - Your birth certificate needs to be an original and must not be older than 6 months. A new recent birth certificate can be ordered with the RBDM where you were born.

2. Single Status Declaration - We advise Australians who do not live in Switzerland to contact the RBDM to obtain an Australian single status declaration.

3. Proof of Address - We advise Australians, resident in Australia, to contact the Swiss registry office and ask what they will accept as proof of address. Notarial Officers can only witness Statutory Declarations for use in Australia NOT Switzerland. 

4. Previous marriage/death certificates - If one of the partners has been married before, a divorce certificate or the former partner’s death certificate needs to be provided. If the former marriage was divorced in Australia, the decree absolute of the divorce is requested. All papers have to be originals and translated if applicable.

Please bring the following documents to your appointment:

  1. Completed CNI application form but DO NOT sign before your appointment
  2. Passport or similar photo identification
  3. Birth certificate
  4. Original divorce/death certificate, if applicable.
  5. Credit/debit card for payment (see our Fees page for fees and payment information)

Marriage in Australia

In accordance with the Marriage Act 1961, a marriage cannot be solemnized in Australia unless a notice in writing of the intended marriage is given to the authorised celebrant performing the marriage ceremony at least 1 month (but not more than 18 months) before your wedding.

Please bring the following documents to your appointment:

  1. Completed Notice of Intended Marriage application form but DO NOT sign before your appointment
  2. Passport or similar photo identification

Learn more about getting married in Australia - https://www.ag.gov.au/families-and-marriage/marriage/get-married

 

Driver's Licence

 The Australian Consulate-General, Geneva does not renew driver's licences. Contact the relevant State Government Licence Authority in Australia to obtain the necessary forms to renew your licence while residing overseas, which may need to be witnessed by a Consular Officer. If the Licensing Authority requires this, you will need to attend the Consulate-General in person.

For further information and contact details of all State Government driver’s licence issuing authorities in Australia: https://info.australia.gov.au/information-and-services/transport-and-regional/drivers-licence-renewal

Please bring the following documents to your appointment:

  1. Completed renewal kit form but DO NOT sign before your appointment
  2. Photo identification or whatever other documents the Licensing Authority requires by way of proof of identity (details of which are on the form)
  3. Photos (if applicable)
  4. Credit/debit card for payment (see our Fees page for fees and payment information) - Fees will be charged based on the type and the quantity of services the Consulate are required to do by the Licencing Authority

 

Buying Property in Australia(Land Transfer, Sale, Mortgage)

The Australian Consulate-General, Geneva can witness your signature on some land, mortgage or property documents, certify documents and complete the DFAT Identity Certificate. We cannot provide legal advice or information on documents required.

Things to bring to your appointment:

1.    A letter (or email) from your Australian legal practitioner, law practice licensed conveyancer, or mortgagee (bank etc.) asking the Consulate to witness your mortgage documents, complete a DFAT identity certificate and certify your documents. The letter should list exactly how many copies of each document are required (see step 2).

2.    Your documents for witnessing (DO NOT sign before the appointment),

3.    Photo identification (documents, ID card) and other documents to be certified. You will need to have photo ID that matches the name on the document you are signing.

Identifiers Certificates' or 'Verification of Identity Certificates'
The Consulate can complete the DFAT Identity Certificate for land, property or mortgage transactions.  The Consulate will not sign any other 'Identifiers Certificates' or 'Verification of Identity Certificates'.  Check your requirements with your Australian representative and ask them if you need a DFAT Identity Certificate before visiting the Australian Consulate. 
 

Statutory Declaration

Notarial Officers can only witness Australian Statutory Declarations for use in Australia, not overseas.

Be aware that you may not need DFAT to witness your signature. In many cases, you can find someone else locally to witness it for you. Ask the receiving authority in Australia who else can witness it for you. We do not witness signatures on overseas documents. Ask local authorities who can witness for you or get legal advice.

There are 2 types of statutory declarations (or stat decs):

·         Commonwealth – more information and the form can be found  https://www.ag.gov.au/legal-system/statutory-declarations/you-complete-statutory-declaration

·         State and Territory - To get a statutory declaration for your state or territory, search online for statutory declarations in your state or territory or the Department of Justice or Attorney-General in your state or territory

Things to bring to documents to your appointment:

  1. Completed statutory declaration form but DO NOT sign before your appointment
  2. Photo identification (passport or ID card)
  3. Credit/debit card for payment (see our Fees page for fees and payment information)

 

Witnessing Signatures

The Australian Consulate-General, Geneva can only assist you if you are an Australian national or if the document is for use in Australia, not for use overseas.

Be aware that you may not need DFAT to witness your signature. In many cases, you can find someone else locally to witness it for you. Ask the receiving authority in Australia who else can witness it for you. We do not witness signatures on overseas documents. Ask local authorities who can witness for you or get legal advice.

In order for a Consular Officer to witness your signature please read the forms carefully and verify who can be the witnessing officer. Consular or Diplomatic officers are authorised under the Oaths Act 1900, Consular Fees Act 1955 or Statutory Declarations Act of 1959. If these professions are not listed as authorised officers to witness your signature, you may want to contact the office, which will be receiving your documents and confirm that you are overseas and do not have access to the same range of authorised officers as in Australia.

Please bring the following documents to your appointment:

  1. Completed the form but DO NOT sign before your appointment
  2. Photo identification (passport or ID card)
  3. Credit/debit card for payment (see our Fees page for fees and payment information)

Witnessing the Execution of a Will

On 10 March 2015, Australia acceded to the Convention Providing a Uniform Law on the Form of an International Will 1973 (International Will Convention). All Australian states and territories have passed legislation to give effect to the convention. Australian consular or diplomatic officers cannot witness International Wills. An Australian legal practitioner or Australian Notary Public must witness an International Will drawn up in Australia. To create one overseas, it must be drawn up under the laws of the foreign country. The Australian Consulate-General, Geneva can provide a list of local English speaking lawyers.