Apostillation is a simplified form of document legalization used in the countries which have joined the Hague Convention of 1961. Currently they number 135 countries and territories, including practically all developed countries. USSR joined the Convention in 1991. On 31 May 1992 the Russian Federation as the successor of USSR automatically became a member of the Hague Convention and has remained it until now..
Apostille can be signed on any nationally recognized document, drafted on the territory of a country which is a member of the Hague Convention. Including:
- Notarized copies of any private papers (passport, driving license, any other documents issued by the Ministry of the Interior, Civil Registry Office, statements from international passports);
- Notarized copies of certificates (certificates from schools and military commissariats, bank certificates and statements, etc.);
- Notarized copies of documents confirming education;
- Translated documents;
- Notarial documents (testimonial letter, last will, purchase/sale agreement, etc.)
Apostille is signed by the Ministry of Justice or any other justice institution. Justice institutions in their turn can delegate the authority to apostillize documents to notaries by granting them state licenses. Various methods of apostillation are used in different countries, such as wax seals, self-adhesive stickers and rubber stamps. In the Russian Federation a special stamp is used in most cases.
Apostillation is required for translated documents because otherwise they do not have any legal power. It should be noted that a translation can only be certified in the presence of a translator with an official state diploma confirming his qualification, whose signature is also required. This is due to the fact that notaries generally do not have sufficient knowledge of the language of the original and cannot certify that the text is identical to the original. For this reason it is the translator’s signature which is certified.
It is important to know that some documents cannot be apostillized and require other forms of legalization such as consular certification of legalization in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation.
UniTra translation agency performs the translation of documents of any kind with apostillation and other forms of document legalization. Standard apostillation term is 5 working days. However, we always make maximum efforts to satisfy our customers and provide our help in emergency cases when apostille is needed urgently. You can learn more about the urgent apostillation cervice in the relevant section of our website..