Apostille and legalization of documents

by the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, the Ministry of Education of Ukraine, and embassies and consulates located in Ukraine

Legalization of a document is required to confer its legal validity in another country. Thus, in order to send abroad a document issued in Ukraine, you must legalize it.

The purpose of legalization is to certify powers, authenticate a signature, and sometimes, a seal or a stamp of an official who issued a document.

According to the Minsk Convention of January 22, 1993 (as amended on 28.03.1997) neither legalization nor Apostille is required, when foreign documents are submitted within the CIS territory.

There are two types of document execution:

  1. Affixing an Apostille stamp
  2. Legalization (the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a consulate)

Apostille is a special stamp that is affixed to official documents issued by the authorities of member countries of the Hague Convention of 1961. Apostille certifies a signature of a person who signed a document and authenticity of a seal affixed to a document.

In other cases, a document must undergo legalization procedure in the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and a consulate of a destination country.

The order of affixing a special Apostille stamp (hereinafter referred to as Apostille) to Ukrainian documents to be used in foreign countries

Apostilization is a procedure replacing legalization in countries that joined the Hague Convention abolishing the requirement of legalization for foreign public documents. Documents are not legalized in member countries of the Convention. Documents drawn up in member countries of the Convention are affixed with Apostille.

Apostille is authentication by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Education of a signature of an official who signed or officially certified any public document drawn up in this country.

Documents that already contain an Apostille do not require legalization.

Apostille is affixed for all countries, except for Germany, Denmark, the United Arab Emirates, Libya, Canada, Brazil and some other countries. These countries apply legalization procedure.

Note that in our country Apostille is affixed to the following documents:

– documents issued by judicial authorities of Ukraine;

– documents issued by prosecutor’s offices of Ukraine and agencies of justice;

– administrative documents;

– documents on education and academic titles;

– documents issued by public and private notaries.

Herewith, Apostille cannot be affixed to documents issued by foreign diplomatic institutions of Ukraine, and to administrative documents directly related to commercial or customs operations.

Also, Apostille is not affixed to originals, copies and photocopies of passports, military identity cards, employment record books, weapon licenses, vehicle registration certificates (technical passports), identity cards, legal acts, explanations and legal opinions on their application and correspondence documents.

Original public documents issued by institutions of the former Soviet republics within the USSR cannot be accepted in Ukraine for affixing an Apostille. Apostille may be affixed to copies of these documents, certified in Ukraine according to the established procedure.

Pursuant to the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 61 “On Granting the Authority to Affix the Apostille under the Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents”, dated January 18, 2003, Apostille is affixed by:

The Ministry of Education and Science to public documents issued by educational institutions, government agencies, enterprises, institutions and organizations operating in the field of education and science. Such documents include: diplomas, certificates of awarding academic degrees, graduation certificates, verification letters issued by educational institutions, curricula and others.

The Ministry of Justice of Ukraine to documents issued by agencies of justice and courts, as well as to documents executed by notaries of Ukraine. They include: certificates and verification letters issued by civil registry offices, documents issued or certified by notaries, court decisions and references.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs to verification letters issued by archival institutions of Ukraine, medical certificates (provided that they are certified with an official seal of a regional health department), certificates issued by the authorities of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, as well as to other official documents.

Write to Us