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Document Legalisation & Apostille


Legalisation of a document is the implementation of a certain number of formal procedures in order to make a document legal in the territory of another state. The ultimate goal of the document legalisation procedure issued on the territory of one State is to successfully submit it to the authorities of another State.

Document legalization is almost always required when a document needs to be submitted to the authorities of another State. This means that a document issued, for example, in Ireland, is legal only in the territory of Ireland, where it can be fully used. However, for its submission to the authorities of another country legalisation will be required.

The exceptions to this rule are certain types of documents that cannot be legalised, as well as in certain countries which have a bilateral agreement that abolishes the requirement of legalisation.

Legalization of a document is always carried out in the country in which it was issued and / or completed. Our translation agency Docsbase.com provides legalisation services for documents issued and/or executed worldwide.


Document legalization is not needed in three cases:

  • When the institution where you submit the document does not require its legalisation.
  • When there is a bilateral agreement between the origin State and the State in which you plan to use the document.
  • When the legalisation of the document cannot be performed because of the nature of the document.

In all other cases, the legalisation of the document for sending it abroad is required.


There are two basic types of document legalisation - Apostille seal and Consular legalisation. Choice of the type of legalization in each case depends on the destination country, in other words, the country where the document will subsequently be submitted.

The issuance of an Apostille stamp (sometimes this procedure is called “simplified legalization” or “Apostillisation ") is used for sending documents to the countries which have signed to the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961. This convention abolishes the requirement of consular legalization, effectively simplifying the procedure of legalization It is in force in all member States of the European Union and 10 members of the Hague Conference on Private International Law.

If you would like addition information regarding the apostille process, please contact us and we will be happy to help.

It is a more complicated procedure when document certification is required by Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of a State or in a consular office of the respective country. Consular legalization makes your document valid only in the territory of the state which issued the apostille.

Also, the required legalisation procedure can differ based on document type because there are a number of documents that are subject to neither consular legalization nor Apostille legalisation. Mostly, these are commercial documents: contracts, invoices, bills of lading, and various product action documents and other documents connected with outward trade activities. For these, there is a separate procedure: the legalisation of documents in the Trade and Commerce Chamber and then in a consular office of the respective country.

Additionally, please note the following conditions:

Many countries are not participants of the Hague Convention, however, in some cases they accept documents that contain the Apostille seal; Sometimes, in the case of new country members signing to the Hague Convention, a number of participating countries may not recognize their inclusion, and thus, will not accept their documents

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