Apostille of documents

Apostilization or placing apostille stamp

Apostille is a specially designed and approved stamp placed on a document that confirms its authenticity.

Apostille is placed by the following state authorities: Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine (MFA), Ministry of Education of Ukraine,

Apostille can be placed on the following personal documents:

  • documents issued by department of civil registry offices (birth certificate, marriage certificate, divorce certificate, etc.)
  • notary certified documents: applications, powers of attorney, affidavits, etc.
  • certificates (certificate of good conduct, from place of residence, on state of health, etc.)
  • educational documents: diplomas, archive references, study programs, high school diplomas

On legal documents (certificates of registration, powers of attorney, Articles of Association, etc.)

Depending on the jurisdiction of the document, an apostille stamp is placed at the relevant ministries.

For example, an apostille on certificates of good conduct, medical certificates, certificates from the place of residence, etc. is places at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine (MFA), an apostille on the documents from civil registration agencies – at the State Registration Service, on notarial documents – at the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, on the educational documents – at the Ministry of Education of Ukraine.

On the apostille in Ukraine

Starting from 22 December 2003, Ukraine has officially joined The Hague Convention dated 05 October 1961, that cancelled the requirement of consulate legalization of foreign documents. As a result, placing of seal of a specific standard form is used for legalization of documents that significantly eased the process of legalization. This order is applied regarding the countries-members of The Hague Convention from Ukraine as well. After an apostille is placed on the documents, only its notary certified translation is needed.

Countries that signed The Hague Convention:

Albania* FRG (consulate legalization is applied)** Niue
Andorra Georgia* Norway
Antigua and Barbuda Greece Panama
Argentina Grenada Poland*
Armenia* Honduras Portugal
Australia Hong Kong Portugal
Austria Hungary Romania*
Azerbaijan* Iceland Russian Federation*
Bahamas India Saint Kitts and Nevis
Barbados Ireland Saint Lucia
Belgium (in relations with Ukraine the Convention acting from 05/07/2004) Israel Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Belize Japan Samoa
Belorussia* Kazakhstan* San Marino
Bosnia and Herzegovina* Korea Serbia*
Botswana Latvia* Seychelles
Brazil Lesotho Slovak Republic*
Brunei Liberia Slovenia
Bulgaria* Liechtenstein South Africa
China, Macao Lithuania* Spain
Columbia Luxembourg Surinam
Cook Islands Macedonia* Swaziland
Croatia Malawi Sweden
Cyprus Malta Switzerland
Czech Republic* Marshall Islands Tonga
Denmark Mauritius Trinidad and Tobago
Dominican Republic Mexico Turkey
Ecuador Moldova* Ukraine
EL Salvador Monaco United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Estonia* Montenegro*
Fiji Namibia United States of America
Finland Netherlands Venezuela
France New Zealand  

Notes:* Countries that signed an agreement on legal support with Ukraine that cancels the requirement to certify the documents by legalization.

** Federal Republic of Germany rose objections regarding accession of Ukraine to the Convention, therefore the requirement of consular legalization is applied to official documents.

Last accession to the countries of convention

During the last 3 years, the Convention was accepted by the following countries:

  • Bahrein.
  • Nicaragua.
  • Tajikistan (the parliament approved the ratification of the convention only in fall 2014).
  • Kosovo – since 14 July 2016

For some countries, e.g. Austria, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Portugal, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Italy, a double apostille is required.

in such cases

  • the first apostille is placed on the original of the document or its certified copy,
  • then certified translation is performed,
  • then the second apostille is placed on the notary certified translation.

For some countries, i.e. Italy, Spain and France, document legalization can be made in two ways:

  • apostille on the document → certified translation → second apostille on translation.
  • apostille on the document → accredited translation → certification with a consular seal

What is accredited translation?

It is translation performed by a translator accredited at the embassy.

For France and Czech Republic, the legalization of documents is as follows:

placing an apostille on the document + translation by a sworn translator at the embassy

How the documents to Spain and Italy shall be drawn up: with a double apostille or apostille + accredited translation with consular seal?

It is the customer who has to answer this question, having previously inquired how they shall be drawn up at the authorities to which they shall be submitted.

For the countries having no accredited translator at the embassy, the procedure of document legalization is as follows:

  • apostille → certified translation → second apostille on translation.