Beginning 1 June, 2016, applicants for jobs overseas in Kerala will be able to get their certificates attested within their state itself for eligibility to apply for work visas.
Earlier, people from Kerala wishing to work abroad had to travel to get their certificates attested at either at the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) centre in Delhi or at the Branch Secretariats in Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Kolkata or Guwahati.
The MEA has taken up the task of decentralising this process, and will henceforth authorize the RPOs (Regional Passport Officers) in Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram to provide services including normal attestation and Apostille (a certificate that validates the source of a public document carried out in 105 countries of the Hague convention, precluding the requirement for legalisation of overseas public documents).
The MEA issued a circular in April to the RPOs asking them to state whether they would be able to manage attestation and Apostille services with the manpower and other resources at their disposal. It also sought suggestions on the viability of hiring outsourcing agencies to outsource the collection and return of documents.
An RPO official at Kochi, reacting to this development, said that with this move, Kerala’s overseas job seekers would stand to gain.
The MEA’s circular states in unambiguous terms that the dispensation of attestation requests will continue to be done by the Attestation Cell at Delhi for one month after 1 June, but following that period the entire charge will be handed over to the RPOs.
As of now, the Attestation Cell and the Branch Secretariats handle the responsibility of endorsing educational certificates from the Kerala as an appellate entity once they get attested by the NORKA-Roots designated centres.
Now, the RPOs would be nominated to endorse normal and Apostille documents at a single location, easing the burden of job aspirants.
This certainly will be hailed by Kerala’s overseas job aspirants, who till now had to travel to cities far from their towns.