Legalization of documents

Legalization of a document is the commission of a number of certain formal procedures for giving a document legal force in the territory of another state. The ultimate goal of the procedure for legalizing a document issued on the territory of one state is the possibility of submitting it to the official bodies of another state. Simply put: legalization is necessary for your document, designed, for example, in Ukraine, to operate in the territory of another country.
The essence of legalization is to confirm the authority, authenticity of the signature, stamp or seal of the official who issued the document.
In some countries, the legalization of Ukrainian documents is not required.

These countries include:

  • most of the CIS countries in which the Minsk Convention of January 22, 1993 (with amendments of March 28, 1997) is in force – Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan;
  • countries with which Ukraine has concluded a bilateral agreement on legal assistance in civil matters – Hungary, Vietnam, China, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Mongolia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Estonia.
    For submission of documents to countries not included in this list, there are two ways of legalization:
  • embossed with apostil;
  • consular legalization.

Apostille of documents:
To simplify the application in the territory of one state of official documents issued by the authorities of another state, a number of countries adopted the Hague Convention, which abolishes for member states the requirement of diplomatic or consular legalization of official documents sent in one or other of these countries and replaces this procedure with an apostille.
Apostille is a special stamp that is affixed on official documents and does not require further certification in the countries participating in the Hague Convention. It authenticates the signature and credentials of the person who signed the document, and, if necessary, the authenticity of the seal or stamp on which the document is stored.

Apostille affixes:

  • The Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine – for diplomas and attachments to diplomas, certificates and supplements thereto, documents on assignment of scientific degrees, certificates from educational institutions, etc.
  • The Ministry of Justice of Ukraine – in the registry office certificates, certificates issued by the registry offices, documents issued by public and private notaries, court decisions and certificates.
    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine – according to documents issued by the OVIR, documents issued and approved by the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, etc.
    This procedure for the legalization of documents is applied in relations between Ukraine and the States parties to the Hague Convention.

Consular legalization of documents:
To attach consular legalization, documents are first certified by the Ministry of Justice (in some cases, the Ministry of Health or the Ministry of Education), and then the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. And only after that – to the department of legalization of the consulate of the country for which they are legalized.
The purpose of consular legalization is to establish and authenticate the authenticity of signatures on documents and acts, their compliance with the laws of the state of residence of the consul (for example, the laws of Ukraine, if the consulate is in Ukraine). For consular legalization in Ukraine, an original document and a notarized power of attorney from the person in whose name the document was issued (for example, from our employee) is required.

In some countries, consular legalization of Ukrainian documents is not required. These include:

  • Member States of the 1961 Hague Convention. For these countries, enough apostille.
    List of countries parties to the Hague Convention:
State partySigningRatification or accessionEntry into force
Australia07/11/1994 (pr.)01/15/199503/16/1995
Azerbaijan 05.13.200402.03.2005
Albania 09/03/200309.05.2004
Andorra04/15/1996 (s.)11/01/199612/31/1996
Antigua and Barbuda(etc.) 11/01/1981  
(date independent )
Argentina (pr.)05/08/198712.20.198702/18/1988
Armenia11/19/1993 (ex.)06/15/199408/14/1994
Bahamas(etc.) 07/10/1973 
(date independent )
Barbados(etc.) 11/30/1966 
(date independent )
Belarus(etc.) 05/31/1992
Belize07/17/1992 (ex.)02/10/199304.11.1993
Bulgaria08/01/2000 (ex.)02.28.200104/29/2001
Bosnia and Herzegovina  01/24/1965
Botswana(etc.) 09/30/1966 
(date independent )
Brunei Darussalam02/23/1987 (pr.)10/4/198712/03/1987
Hungary04/18/1972 (Ave.)11/19/197201.18.1973
Venezuela07/01/1998 (ex.)01/15/199903/16/1999
Honduras 20.01.200409/30/2004
Grenada(etc.) 02/07/1974 
(date independent )
Georgia 08/21/2006May 14, 2007
Dominica  11/03/1978
Israel11/11/1977 (pr.)06/15/197808/14/1978
India 10.26.2004July 14, 2005
Kazakhstan04/05/2000 (ex.)12/01/200001.30.2001
Cyprus07.27.1972 (pr.)03/01/197304/30/1973
(Hong Kong area)
(district of Macau)
Korea 10.25.200607/14/2007
Colombia04/27/2000 (ex.)12/01/200001.30.2001
Latvia05/11/1995 (ex.)December 199501/30/1996
Lesotho(etc.) 10/4/1966 
(date independent )
Liberia05/24/1995 (ex.)12/10/199502/08/1996
Lithuania11/05/1996 (ex.)05/20/199707.19.1997
Mauritius(etc.) 03/12/1968 
(date independent )
(former Yugoslav rep .)
Malawi02/24/1967 (pr.)10/03/196712/2/1967
Malta06/12/1967 (etc.)01/03/196803/03/1968
Marshall Islands11/18/1991 (ex.)06/15/199208/14/1992
Mexico12/01/1994 (ex.)06/15/199508/14/1995
Monaco 04.24.200212/31/2002
Namibia04/25/2000 (ex.)12/01/200001.30.2001
Niue06/10/1998 (ex.)01/01/199903/02/1999
New Zealand07.02.2001 (ex.)09/23/200111/22/2001
Panama10/30/1990 (pr.)06/05/199108/04/1991
Poland 11/19/2004August 14, 2005
Russian Federation09/04/1991 (pr.)04/01/199205/31/1992
Romania07.06.2000 (ex.)01.15.200103/16/2001
Serbia  01/24/1965
Salvador09/14/1995 (ex.)04/01/199605/31/1996
Samoa01/18/1999 (ex.)07/15/199909/13/1999
San marino05/26/1994 (ex.)12/15/199402.13.1995
Swaziland(etc.) 09/06/1968 
(date independent )
Seychelles06/09/1978 (pr.)01/30/197903/31/1979
Saint Kitts and Nevis  
(former Saint Christopher and Nevis)
02.26.1994 (ex.)10/15/199412/14/1994
Slovakia06.06.2001 (ex.)12/20/2001February 17, 2002
( formerly Yugoslav rep .)
United Kingdom of Great Britain  
and Northern Ireland
USA12/24/1980 (pr.)08.16.198110/15/1981
Suriname (pr.)  11/25/1975 
(date independent )
Tonga(etc.) 06/04/1970 
(date independent )
Trinidad and Tobago10/28/1999 (pr.)05.15.200007.07.2000
Ukraine04.22.2003 12/22/2003
Fiji(etc.) 10.10.1970 
(date independent )
Croatia  01/24/1965
Czech06/23/1998 (ex.)11/25/196403/16/1999
Montenegro  06/03/2006
Estonia12/11/2000 (ex.)08/01/200109/30/2001
Ecuador 07/02/200404/02/2005
South Africa08/03/199403/01/199504/30/1995

– The countries parties to the 1993 Minsk Convention.

List of States Parties to the Minsk Convention :

  •                    The Republic of Azerbaijan
  •                    Republic of Armenia
  •                    Republic of Belarus
  •                    Georgia
  •                    The Republic of Kazakhstan
  •                    Kyrgyz Republic
  •                    Republic of Moldova
  •                    Russian Federation
  •                    Turkmenistan
  •                    The Republic of Tajikistan
  •                    The Republic of Uzbekistan
  •                    Ukraine

– Countries with which Ukraine has concluded a bilateral agreement on legal assistance in civil matters.

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