Attestation of power of attorney is NOT same as registration of power of attorney. These are two separate things and attestation is a pre-requisite to registration, if you are outside India i.e. you are an NRI (non-resident Indian).
Attestation process has 3-4 steps if you are holding Indian passport or have become US citizen, now having US passport for giving power of attorney from USA to India:
1. Create PoA.
2. Notarize PoA by local Notary in USA.
3. Apostile PoA – Check if you need Apostile?
4. Attestation by Indian Embassy (New York, Washington DC, Houston, San Francisco, Atlanta, Chicago) in USA – By post or in-person.
The process of registering the POA does NOT require ‘attestation’ if you are still in India and planning to leave soon. i.e. you are about to leave and want to give power of attorney to someone in your family or a friend.
The steps are applicable even if you are NOT an NRI yet i.e. have not completed 180 days outside India.
All this is based on my own experience with Consulate General of India in New York for Power of Attorney Attestation in-person walk-in.
1. Create Power of Attorney for property Management in India
Write down POA (2 Copies) or write 1 and then photocopy it later for 2nd version:
Take a plain piece of A4 size white paper (No Indian Stamp paper required) and write down the POA terms and conditions about powers you want to share with the POA holder.
This sample POA template was used for taking the possession of my apartment in Gurgaon, India with clauses to share apartment possession and rental rights from USA.
You can replace the placeholders with your own case and you are good to go.
2. Notarization of Power of Attorney
2 witness signatures required for attestation of Power of attorney.
Witness can be anyone holding a valid US ID proof with an address and photo. Witness should preferably be other than immediate family members.
Witnesses CAN go to Indian Consulate with you – YES?
There is NO need to get the notarization.
Witnesses CAN go to Indian Consulate with you – NO?
Take signatures of 2 witnesses on this POA in the presence of Notary.
Free notary is available in most town’s library, banks like Bank of America (Free if you have an account with them) and your own office would have one.
Paid notaries are available at USPS offices/shops too.
You should NOT sign the POA yet. It is to be done in front of Indian consulate. If the notary insists on your sign, then you can sign.
You will be required to sign once again in Indian Embassy.
You may or may not need Apostile. It depends on how you are applying and to which Indian Embassy. Check if you need apostile here.
If you need one, contact your secretary of state office and get your document Apostiled before proceeding further.
4. Attestation of ‘Power of Attorney’ at Indian Consulate / Embassy
Collect documents required for Attestation of Power of Attorney
- Original Passport + Copies of all non-blank pages including first and last page.
- Copy of Address proof in USA – 1 address proof is required. It could be bank statement, driving license, utility bill, Home lease agreement etc.
- Valid Visa copy – H1, H4, L1 etc – Remember B1/B2 is not considered valid for creating POA.
- Original visa petition approval notice.
- Original i94 + Copies – In case of electronic i94, just take the print-out with you.
- 2 passport size photograph to be affixed against your name on POA.
NOTE: It is advised to carry the original version of the documents with you for verification, in case consulate asks for it.
- You should either have 2 witness travel with you to embassy or have the notarized POA, as explained above.
- Reach the Indian consulate and fill up the Miscellaneous services form. Each Indian embassy their own format: New York, Washington DC, Houston, San Francisco, Atlanta, Chicago .
- There is a specific window of time at each embassy office within which they accept the application. It is normally between 9 AM to 11 AM. Check you location’s timings before visiting.
Also, if both you and your spouse have been named as executant in POA, then both of you need to be present in Embassy physically with original passports.
- Your original POA, a photocopy and original passport would be taken up by the consulate officer after making you sign in front of him. Deposit the fees and you will most probably be asked to come back after 12 PM (afternoon) to collect the documents.
In New York embassy, they do ask to collect documents later.
- Show the receipt and collect the attested POA and your passport. You are all set.
- You need to get all the signatures (2 witness + your own) notarized.
- Get the fees cashier check or money order. The return shipping check has to be made separately. The amount differs by each embassy. No need to send the return shipping envelope. They take care of it with the return shipping fees that you send.
- Send the documentary proof (only photocopies) with an exception of original passport to the Indian consulate. The consulate will attest and return the documents back to you within a week.
Registration of ‘Attested Power of Attorney’ in India
- Send the original attested POA to India: Registration of ‘attested POA’ can only be done in India. You have to send the POA to your Indian counterpart i.e. the person whom you have selected to represent you in POA.
I am sure you would like to send it by registered, track-able and reliable mail service!
- The complete steps to register this POA are explained in this separate article here..
- Once registered, the POA can now be termed as ‘Registered Power Of Attorney’. Take a deep breath. You are done!
Is the fee of $20 per attestation per signature applicable individually for each page of the POA document
If I have 5 page document with 2 executants then 5*2*$20 = $200)?
No, the signature cost is applicable for whole POA irrespective of number of pages and number of executants.
So, for your example – you would be charged: (1 * 1 * 20 = $20).
Indian consulate also charges $3 for Indian development fund with each service they offer.
Hence, the final cost comes to around 20+3 = $23 here.
Here is the receipt of my own POA. In my case, we had 2 executants with 1 page of POA.
The sample POA with 2 signatures (me and my wife) was attested by Indian consulate New York with fees of $23.
Update 29 Apr 2015:
As per one of our guest’s experience with Indian Embassy at Washington, they charge the fees per signature attestation. This is different than how New York Embassy charges.
This means that if you have 2 Executants in the POA, you have to pay 23*2 = $46.
Is it mandatory to leave blank space on top of each page of POA?
No, I don’t think so. I did not leave any blank space on top of the POA page ans still got it attested and registered.
If we do not take witnesses with us to the embassy, then can we get their signature in front of Notary, and then carry the POA to embassy/consulate? In this case only the witnesses should sign the document and we have to leave executant signature space blank, right?
Yes, you understanding is right. Notarization of witness signature would work.
Is the power of attorney document needed to be on a stamp paper or the plain paper?
There is no need to write POA on stamp paper. Plain paper works fine.
Since I plan to apply in person, do I need any documents notarized?
No, there is no need to get the documents notarized except the witness signatures on POA. Read the article above to know more about it.
Do you know if i should take a general power of attorney or the special power of attorney for purchasing a flat in India? I’m giving the power of attorney to my parents.
Normally, the developer/builder would require a special power of attorney for the property dealings specifically meant to serve that particular property/flat.
You can confirm from the developer before-hand or to be on a safer side, create a special power of attorney.
Is Embossing the Power of Attorney same as Notarization and attestation by Indian consulate/Embassy?
Embossing is part of Notarization process. But, Notarization and Attestation by Indian consulate are two different things.While the notarization is also a kind of attestation of you document by Notary itself, the two terms are used differently in the context of Power of Attorney.
Notarization here means to get the POA certified (signed), embossing of paper and stamped.
Embossing is the process of creating raised relief images and designs in the paper to make the original copy tamper proof. This helps in case someone tries to make a photo-copy of the original document. The embossed paper stamp would not be copied over!
Here is a sample of what embossing looks like:
Please note that embossing is not mandatory but, it is always a good idea to have it. Some government departments may or may not ask for it specifically.
Just ask your notary to do this embossing while he is signing the POA.
It has to be done by the same person who is signing the POA in the capacity of notary public.
Can we use ONLY notarized POA in India (No Indian Embassy attestation)?
It depends on the third party (like a bank who needs this POA) to make a decision on what level of attestation is needed.
I know few people who have got their simple notarized POA (in USA) to work for procuring a home loan with a government sector bank in India. In this case, they did not get it attested from Indian Embassy.
In other cases like mine, I had the specific purpose of taking the possession of the apartment and the builder demanded specific ‘registered POA’.
So, the best option is to ask the end user of the POA about the requirements. If they are okay with the simple notarized POA, you can skip the Indian Embassy attestation.