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Legalization and apostille

LEGALIZATION

Legalization is the process of authenticating or certifying a legal document so a foreign country's legal system will recognize it as valid and with full legal effect

CONSULAR LEGALIZATION
Documents executed by a notary are subject to consular legalization:
- original documents (e.g., power of attorney, authorization for a minor to travel, etc.).
- copies of documents (certificates of birth, death, marriage, divorce, school/college/university education, etc., As well as copies of constituent documents of legal entities: articles of association, charters, memoranda, certificates of registration with tax authorities, etc.).

Consular legalization of documents is carried out in several stages:

1. Verification of authenticity of the seal and signature of a notary in the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation.
2. Verification of authenticity of the seal of the Ministry of Justice and an official’s signature in the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia.
3. Verification of authenticity of the signature and seal of an authorized employee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia in the consulate of the country where the document will be used.

Consular legalization of documents is carried out after its translation into a foreign language and notarial verification of the translator's signature in such translation.

Terms of paperwork by consulates and consular service cost vary greatly depending on the country.

Legalization of documents is not required only in the following cases:

- when the institution to which you submit documents does not require its legalization;
- when Russia and the state in which territory you plan to use the document sign a bilateral treaty abolishing the requirement of legalization;
- when legalization of the document can not be performed due to its kind/type/nature.

 

LEGALIZATION AT THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION

The documents are subject to legalization in the Chamber of Commerce of the Russian Federation in two cases:
1. when it is required by the organization to which the document will then be submitted
2. when the document is not subject to any consular legalization or apostillation. In the case of documents of a commercial nature: contracts, bills of lading, certificates of origin and other documents related to foreign economic activities.

This kind of legalization is carried out in two stages:

Identity document RCCI;

Certification of a document in the Chamber of Commerce of the Russian Federation;

Certification of a document in the consulate of the destination country.
Attention! In any case, the most important source of reliable information is the organization where the document will eventually be presented.

APOSTILLE

In accordance with the Hague Convention of October 05, 1961 abolishing the Requirement of Legalization of foreign documents which Russia joined on May 31, 1992, the documents for submission to the authorities of Convention States shall be certified by a special simplified procedure. In such cases, the normal procedure for legalization “chain” ending at embassies (consulates) of the states where the documents will be used is not required. Instead, a competent authority of the state in which the document was performed executes a special stamp called apostille.
The apostille authenticates signature, capacity of a signatory officer and identity of a seal.
Signature, seal and stamp on the apostille are exempt from any additional assurance.

The apostille may be placed on:
1. documents executed by a notary:
- original documents (e.g., power of attorney, authorization for a minor to travel, etc.).

- copies of documents (certificates of birth, death, marriage, divorce, school/college/university education, etc., as well as copies of constituent documents of legal entities: articles of association, charters, memoranda, certificates of registration with tax authorities, etc.).

In the above cases, apostillation is made by Russian local justice bodies – the documents issued by notaries of a particular region may be apostilled only by a justice department of such region.

  1. Original documents of civil status.
    Apostillation of original documents issued by civil registry offices is carried out locally – the documents issued by civil registry offices of a given region are apostilled in the combined archive registry office of the region.

  2. Original documents of education.
    Apostillation of original educational documents issued in the territory of the Russian Federation, as well as in the territory of the RSFSR during the existence of the USSR is implemented by the bodies of the Russian Ministry of Education. The territorial basis is not taken into account – the document may be issued in any city/region of the Russian Federation (or RSFSR during the existence of the USSR).
  3. Original certificate of no criminal record.
    Apostillation of an original document issued by the Russian Interior Ministry is carried out by the Russian Interior Ministry.

However, this Convention does not apply to:

- documents executed by diplomatic or consular agents;

- administrative documents dealing directly with commercial or customs operations.
Attention!
Apostillation of a document is always and only performed in the territory of the issuing country.

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