Questions about apostille and legalization

During the spring and summer period there are a lot of requests to put the apostille and to legalize the documents: preparation of the documents to enter to the universities, preparation and official registration of the documents to get visa, to register marriage with a foreigner etc. To facilitate the process of information search, the employees of Glebov translation bureau summarized all the questions about apostille, received most often from our customers, and we prepared simple and understandable answers.

What is apostille and legalization of the documents?

Legalization of the documents and apostille – this is the process to certify the authenticity of the Both apostille and legalization certify the truth of the signature of a person who certified the document. At the same time neither apostille, nor legalization doe not certify the content of the document and do not mean that the government in any way certifies the content of the document or is against any information in the certified document.

When the apostille or consular legalization is used?

Apostille is attached to the documents just in case if the document will be used abroad. Apostille can not be used in a country where it was issued.  Apostille is attached to the documents that will be used in the countries that signed the Hague Convention in 1961 and that came into force in 2003 on the territory of Ukraine: Albania, Andorra, Antigua, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Barbados, Barbuda,  Belgium, Belize, Belorussia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brunei, Bulgaria, Cape Verde, Checz Republic, Chroatia, Colombia,  Cook Islands, Cyprus, Darussalam, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, Fiji Islands, Finland, Former Republic of Yugoslavia, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korean Republic, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Macedonia, Malawi, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldavia, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Namibia, New Zeland, Niue, Norway, Panama, People’s Republic of China, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Kitsey Nevis, Saint Lucia, Salvador, Samoa Islands, San Marino, São Tome and Principe, Serbia, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, St. Vincent and Grenadines, Surinam, Swaziland, Swiss, Switzerland, the Marshall Islands, the Netherlands, the United States of America, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago,  Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Vanuatu, Venezuela.

If the country is not in the list of the participants of Hague Convention, the process of consular legalization should be used.

In what cases there is no need to put an apostille?

Legalization and apostille are not needed if there is an international agreement that foresees the cancellation or simplification of these procedures. The agreements foresee that the documents, that were issued on the territory of one of the countries that are the part of the agreement, are issued or registered by the institution or body empowered for that and are sealed with an appropriate stamp. Such documents should not be apostilled or legalized to be used on the territory of another country. The countries are the following: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kirghizia, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Poland, Czech Republic.

Please note, that there is an interesting situation with Czech Republic and Poland: in Ukraine we can use these documents without apostille, but if you want to use the documents, issued in Ukraine, on the territory of European Union, you need to put apostille on them.

It is also should be noted that the documents issued by diplomatic or consular representatives or the documents that cover the trading and customs issues are free from certification of the authenticity, so there is no need in apostille or legalization.

What documents are usually apostilled or legalized?

Any official document issued on the territory of Ukraine can be apostilled or legalized. Before this procedure it is necessary to be sure that the document is issued in an appropriate way: there is legible signature of the official person, issuing the document, there should be position, name and signature of this person. There also should be a date on the document.

The apostille is attached to: documents about education (apostille of the diploma, school leaving certificate etc.); personal documents (apostille of the birth certificate, of marriage certificate, death certificate etc.); documents, issued by the notary (apostille on the power of attorney, of permission to take a child, affidavit etc.); documents issued by court bodies (apostille on the court decision);  statutory documents (apostille for articles of association, memorandum, decision about the appointment of the first director etc.) other documents that are official documents.

How does the apostille look and how is it attached to the document?

Apostille – it is a kind of tap or seal, where there should be 10 obligatory points: country and place of issue, place where apostille was issued, number and date when the apostille was issued, signature of the person issuing the apostille.

The right to put the apostille have just government bodies: Ministry of justice, Ministry of education, Ministry of foreign affairs. You can bring the documents to these bodies yourself or you can hire the intermediary – qualified translation bureau. The best solution – to order the apostillisation at the translation agency as when the document was apostilled it should be translated  ans the translation should be certified by the notary. If you work with the translation agency on issues of apostille you will get the complex service and will have the guarantee that all the documents were done in a correct way.

What shall be done with the document after it was legalized / apostilled?

As a rule after the documents were apostilled or legalized they should be translated. After that the translation is certified by the notary. Then the document can be used abroad. Somitimes it is necessary to put the second apostille on the translation certified by the notary. Such a procedure is called the double apostille.

How long does it take to make an apostille?

Depending on the type of document the procedure of apostilisation / legalization can take from 1 working day up to 40 working days. Everything depends on the availability of the sample of signature at the profile ministry. If there is no such sample, the ministry will send the inquiry to get the sample and only after that the document will be apostilled or legalized.

Are there any peculiarities for the apostilisation of documents for the Italian embassy?

To prepare the documents for the Italian embassy the double apostille is used. When you give the documents to get the visa you need to put the apostille just on the permission to take a child. First the original is apostilled, then the document is translated and certified by notary, and then the certified translation is apostilled.

If you have any other additional questions, feel free to contact our employees.

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