What is an apostille?

Apostille is a special stamp, which gives validity to a document that was issued in another state. Usually affixing such stamp is required if you want to:

  • Obtain a residence permit;
  • Apply for jobs abroad;
  • Enrolling in a foreign educational institution;
  • Make a legal entity abroad.

The”Apostille” stamp is unified for all countries that have signed the Hague Convention. It contains 10 items and the title in the language of the issuing country as well as in French: «APPOSTILLE (convention de la Haye du Octobre 1961).” The items and their order are strictly regulated:

  1. Name of the country issuing the apostille.
  2. Name of the person that signed the document which is being apostilled.
  3. Position of the person that signed the document which is being apostilled.
  4. Name of institution that put the seal on the document.
  5. Name of the city where apostille is being put.
  6. Date of the apostille.
  7. Name of the authority that certifies the document with the apostille
  8. Identification number of the apostille.
  9. Stamp of the authority that  put the a postille.
  10. Signature of the authority that  put the a postille.

Which countries require the apostille?
Apostille is necessary in the countries that adopted the Hague Convention. In Ukraine, the Hague Convention is valid from December 22, 2003. This international agreement has waived the requirement of consular legalization of foreign documents, which operated since 1961.

What documents may be apostilled?

The apostille can be affixed only to the documents that have been issued by official authorities, namely:

Private documents:

  • diplomas, archival information, training programs, certificates;
  • certificates/references (criminal records, statement of residence, health certificates);
  • documents issued by registration authorities (marriage certificate, birth certificate, divorce certificate, etc.);
  • documents issued by a notary public (statements, powers of attorney, affidavits, etc.).

Legal documents:

  • certificate of registration
  • power of attorney
  • statutes, etc..

The documents issued by the Ukrainian Medical Council, in some cases, must also be apostilled. Apostille fees are charged separately and are not part of the fees charges for issuance of the document itself.

Double apostille
There are certain cases when documents that need to be presented in some countries should have the so-called double apostille. This means that the first apostille is affixed on the original or a notarized copy of the document. Then it is necessary to performed a notarized translation of this apostilled document. The second apostille is affixed on a notarised translation.
Countries that require double apostille: Austria, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Portugal, Switzerland, Netherlands, Italy.

Apostille of documents with subsequent consular legalization of the translation

There are a number of states, for which there are two possible ways of legalization:
• Apostilled document + notarized translation + second apostille .
• Apostilled document + accredited translation with a consular stamp.
The countries which require consular legalization are Italy, Spain, France.