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Apostille, Legalization of Documents

Apostille and legalization of documents necessary for the document to have legal effect in other countries.


Legalization or apostille - a confirmation of signatures and seals of the person and body issuing the document.


There are two types of giving legal effect to documents:


- Apostille


- Legalization (the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Embassy)


The apostille is put down on official documents of the countries-participants of The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement for Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents from 1961.

The apostille does not demand the further legalisation of the document and admits all countries-participants of the Hague Convention.


The apostille is necessary for the majority of the countries. Legalisation is necessary for such countries, as the United Arab Emirates, Canada, India, Libya, Brazil, Egypt, Cuba, China, Syria and some other.


The apostille on documents stamped by the various ministries.


Ministry of Justice of Ukraine stamped the apostille on documents such as: the documents which have been given out in a registry office (the birth certificate, the death certificate, about marriage, about surname change, and т.п.), notarial documents (the statement, the power of attorney etc.), and the documents issued by the courts.


NB:  the documents issued by the registrar's office must first be legalized in the regional justice department of the region where the registry office issued the document.


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stamped the apostille on the certificate issued by the archives, a certificate issued by bodies of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.


The Ministry of Education of Ukraine stamped the apostille on documents on education (certificate, diploma, etc.)


NB: the diploma and addition (the certificate and addition) to it are different documents and each of them demands a separate apostille.


The apostille can’t stamped on  the documents which have been given out by foreign organisations of Ukraine, on commercial and customs documents, on originals and copies of passports, military ID, work books, registration certificate, any identity documents.


Also the apostille is not affixed to the original documents issued by that in the USSR. Need to get a duplicate of such a document issued by the authorities of Ukraine.

In some cases, may issue the certificate to a notary certified copies of such documents.


Also the apostille can’t stamp on originals of the documents, issued by the USSR. It is necessary to receive the duplicate of such document issued by authorities of Ukraine.

In some cases, the apostille stamped on notarially verified copies of such documents.


Double and single apostille

Various procedure of stamped the apostille is necessary for the different countries.


For some countries, for example, the USA, Germany, there is enough apostille stamped on the original document then make a notarized translation. Such document has a legal force in territory of these countries.


For other countries, such as Switzerland, Denmark, Belgium and some other the double apostille is necessary. It means that the apostille stamped on the original document then certified translation and then the apostille stamped on the translation document.


NB: such countries as Italy and Spain after stamped the apostille demand in addition legalisation in Consulate of these countries.


NB: the foreign documents used in territory of Ukraine also should have the apostille in that country in which they was issued.


The list of countries which have acceded to the Hague Convention


•          Australia

•          Austria

•          Azerbaijan

•          Albania

•          Andorra

•          Antigua and Barbuda

•          Argentina

•          Bahamas

•          Barbados

•          Belize

•          Belgium

•          Belarus

•          Bulgaria

•          Bosnia and Herzegovina

•          Botswana

•          Brunei

•          Venezuela

•          Armenia

•          Honduras

•          Grenada

•          Greece

•          Georgia

•          Denmark

•          Dominican republic

•          Ecuador

•          El Salvador

•          Estonia

•          Israel

•          India

•          Ireland

•          Iceland

•          Spain

•          Italy

•          Kazakhstan

•          China, Hong Kong

•          China, Macao

•          Cyprus

•          Colombia

•          Korea

•          Latvia

•          Lesotho

•          Lithuania

•          Liberia

•          Liechtenstein

•          Luxembourg

•          Mauritius

•          Macedonia

•          Malawi

•          Malta

•          Marshall Islands

•          Mexico

•          Moldova

•          Monaco

•          Namibia

•          Netherlands

•          Niue

•          New Zealand

•          Norway

•          Cook islands

•          Panama

•          Republic of South Africa

•          Poland

•          Portugal

•          Russian Federation

•          Romania

•          Samoa

•          San Marino

•          Swaziland

•          Seychelles

•          Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

•          Saint Kitts and Nevis

•          Saint Lucia

•          Serbia

•          Slovak Republic

•          Slovenia

•          United Kingdom Great Britain and Northern Ireland

•          United States of America

•          Surinam

•          Tonga

•          Trinidad and Tobago

•          Turkey

•          Hungary

•          Ukraine

•          Germany

•          Fiji

•          Finland

•          France

•          Croatia

•          Czech Republic

•          Montenegro

•          Switzerland

•          Sweden

•          Japan


Legalization of documents applies to countries that have not signed the Hague Convention. Legalization of documents is performed by the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Consulate of the country in which document legalized.


NB: the power of attorney is necessary for legalisation of documents.


NB: according to the Minsk Convention of 22 January 1993 on foreign documents in the CIS, or apostille or legalization is not required. 

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