Legalization is confirmation of the powers, authenticity of a signature and in some cases a seal or a stamp of the officer who issued the document. The document must go through the procedure of legalization at the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, or a consulate of the destination country.
Apostille is a special stamp affixed on the official documents issued by the authorities of the countries members of The Hague Convention of 1961. The Apostille certifies the signature and the stamp affixed on the document.
Apostille is a certification by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Education of a signature of the officer who signed or officially certified any official document drawn up within the territory of this country.
Apostillization is a procedure replacing the legalization in those countries that joined The Hague Convention that abolished the requirement of legalization of foreign official documents. In the countries members of this Convention the documents are not legalized. The Apostille is affixed to documents drawn up in a country that is a member of the Convention.
If a document already has an Apostille, it does not need to be additionally legalized.
Apostille is affixed for all countries except for Germany, Denmark, the United Arab Emirates, Libya, Canada, Brazil and some other countries. The procedure of legalization is applied for these countries instead.
Note that in our country an Apostille should be affixed on the following documents:
- the documents issued by the judicial authorities of Ukraine;
- the documents issued by prosecutor’s offices of Ukraine and the bodies of justice;
- the administrative documents;
- the documents on education and academic degrees;
- the documents drawn by the state and private notaries;
The apostille cannot be affixed on the documents issued by foreign diplomatic institutions or the administrative documents on commercial or customs operations. Also apostille is not affixed on the originals, copies and photocopies of passports, military record cards, labor books, permits for carrying weapons, certificates of vehicles registration (technical passports), identity cards, laws and regulations, explanations and legal opinions concerning their application, and documents in form of correspondence.
The Ministry of Education and Science affixes the apostille on the official documents issued by the educational institutions, state authorities, enterprises, establishments and organizations relating to education and science. These documents are: diplomas on education, certificates on awarding academic degrees, certificates, curricula and others.
The Ministry of Justice of Ukraine affixes the apostille on the documents issued by the authorities of justice and courts, in particular, judicial decisions and certificates, as well as the documents drawn by the notaries of Ukraine, and also certificates and references issued by civil registry offices.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs affixes the apostille on the certificates issued by the archival institutions of Ukraine, health certificates, certificates issued by the authorities of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, etc.
The officers of the competent authorities must have samples of signatures of the officials who issue or can issue official documents and also samples of the seal and stamp prints which are affixed or can be affixed on the relevant documents.
|Nota bene: *the countries Ukraine has multilateral agreements with, which contain provisions on the recognition of the official documents without their additional certification
*The Federal Republic of Germany expressed its objection to Ukraine’s accession to the Convention therefore the requirement of consular legalization is applied to the official documents