Document authentication (legalisation) and Apostille certification

10.03.2015. 11:35

Certification of document authenticity (legalisation) means verification of signature and seal of a document. Traditionally it is performed by a Consular Officer so that documents drawn up in one country would be legally valid in another one.

The Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs performs the certification of document authenticity (legalisation) in the Republic of Latvia.

  

Public documents issued in Latvia and intended for use in a foreign country

Before going abroad to work, study or get married etc., a person should clarify in advance what kind of documents will be required and whether the authorities of the relevant country accepts public documents issued in Latvia after they have been legalised at the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, or other procedures are in place.

The authentication of document authenticity is regulated by several international conventions and intergovernmental agreements, and also by the Document Legalisation Law and the Regulations for Public Document Legislation of Latvia.

1. If a document is intended for use in a foreign country which has joined the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Documents of 5 October 1961, its authenticity should be certified with an Apostille by the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The document bearing an Apostille is valid for submission in the institutions of the relevant country and is not subject to any other confirmation.

2. If a document is intended for use in a foreign country which has not joined the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Documents, it must be first legalised by the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia  and then by the diplomatic or consular mission of the relevant country or the diplomatic/consular mission of Latvia in the relevant country

3. If a document is intended for use in Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy,  or Estonia public institutions of these countries have to accept without legalization the public documents issued in Latvia, because Latvia applies the Convention Abolishing the Legalization of Documents Between the Member States of the European Communities which provides for a reciprocal exemption from the requirement of legalisation.

 

Foreign public documents intended  for use in Latvia

For the authorities of the Republic of Latvia to accept public documents issued in foreign countries, those documents should be legalised at the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or a diplomatic or consular mission of the Republic of Latvia in the respective country, or their authenticity should be certified with an Apostille in a competent institution of the foreign country, unless other procedures are in place between Latvia and the respective country.

The authentication of document authenticity is regulated by several international conventions and intergovernmental agreements, and also by the Document Legalisation Law and the Regulations for Public Document Legislation of Latvia.

1. If a document is issued in a foreign country which has joined the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Documents of 5 October 1961, its authenticity must be certified with an Apostille by the competent institution of the relevant country, and the document is valid for submission to Latvia’s institutions without any other certification.

2. If a document is issued in a foreign country which has not joined the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Documents of 5 October 1961, it must be legalised by diplomatic/consular mission of Latvia in the relevant country or by the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, after their authentications by the competent institutions of the relevant country (the foreign ministry or a diplomatic/consular mission of the relevant country).

3. If a document is issued in the member states of the European Economic Zone and the Swiss Confederation, it does not required any additional authentications (legalisation or Apostille) for their use in Latvia.

Procedures for Certification of Document Authenticity (Legalisation) at the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

When submitting a document for legalisation, the person presents:

1.  a personal identity document or a document that allows to identify the person;

2.  a filled-in application form and  if you wish to submit additional documents, please  fill this application form;

3.  proof that the state fee has been paid; or pays the fee on the premises of the Consular Deparment by means of non-cash payment.

 

Before submitting documents for authentication, it is highly recommended to consult the mission of the relevant country in advance, in order to find out if it is necessary to certify the authenticity of (legalise):

1.  only the original document/ a copy of the original document certified by a notary;

2.  only the original document;

3.  both the original document/ a copy of the original document certified by a notary, and its translation.

Documents cannot be legalized if the Consular Department of the Foreign Ministry does not have at its disposal a specimen signature of the undersigning official and a sample of the relevant seal or stamp or if they do not comply with the document processing requirements specified in the legislation (for example, translations or copies are not bound together and sealed, the document is laminated etc.)

Documents are submitted for legalisation by completing an application form, which must be filled in accurately and signed by the applicant in person. The application can be completed electronically but, after printing it out, it must be signed by the applicant.

  

Processing time and fees for document authentication (legalisation) at the Consular department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

 Legalisation of the documents is proceeded within 2 working days from the submission and making the payment of the fee.

Fee for document certification  – 14.23 EUR

The Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs accepts payments for consular services only by means of non-cash payment.

Visitors can pay with payment cards (VISA, VISA Electron, Maestro, Master, American Express) or via credit institutions.

When making a payment of fees for authentication (legalisation) of documents, please, indicate in the payment order the following requisites:

Receiver: State Treasury

Registration no: 90000050138

Account no: LV81TREL1060110919100

Receiving Institution: State Treasury

Receiver's BIC: TRELLV22