Legalization of documents in Ukraine

Legalization of documents is the process of giving legal force to documents received in Ukraine for use on the territory of another state. Thanks to this procedure, you will be able to submit any Ukrainian official papers to the government agencies of the country that you need. The main purpose of legalization is to confirm the authority, authenticity of the signature, seal or stamp of the civil servant who issued the document.
Легализация документов в Украине 1

When do you need to legalize documents in Ukraine?

Consular legalization is required if you need to use documents in a country with which Ukraine does not have bilateral agreements on the mutual recognition of documents. At the same time, this procedure is not required for most of the CIS countries, in which the Minsk Convention of 22.01.1993 is in force (as amended on 28.03.1997). These countries include:

  • Azerbaijan;
  • Armenia;
  • Belarus;
  • Georgia;
  • Kazakhstan;
  • Kyrgyzstan;
  • Moldova;
  • Russia;
  • Tajikistan;
  • Turkmenistan;

Also, you will not need to legalize documents for countries with which Ukraine has signed an agreement on mutual legal assistance in civil matters:

  • Hungary;
  • Vietnam;
  • China;
  • Latvia;
  • Lithuania;
  • Moldova;
  • Mongolia;
  • Poland;
  • Czech;
  • Estonia.

If you are going to use documents in states that are not included in these lists, you will need to go through one of two types of legalization:

  • Apostilization;
  • Consular legalization.

What is the difference between legalization and apostille?

Apostilization of documents is a simplified legalization procedure adopted by the member states of the 1961 Hague Convention. It involves affixing a special stamp “Apostille”, thanks to which documents are endowed with legal force abroad. Apostille is allowed for more than one hundred states or certain regions of some states. You can view the full list of participating countries here. Moreover, depending on the type of document being legalized, a different apostille may be required:

  • The documents issued by the justice authorities, judicial institutions, notaries are apostilled by the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine (since 20.11.2015, the “electronic apostille” is used in the departments of the Civil Registry Office of Ukraine).
  • Apostille of the Ministry of Education is affixed to the official documentation issued by educational institutions, government agencies, enterprises, institutions and organizations that work in the scientific and educational field.
  • Certificates issued by the Civil Registry Office, extracts from the register and other documents are apostilled by the State Registration Service.
  • Apostille in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine is placed on all other types of documents.

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The difference between apostilization and consular legalization lies in the complexity of the legalization procedure itself. If in the first case it is envisaged to impose only one stamp, then in the second it is the affixing of several stamps, which are put in a mandatory sequence in the country of issue of the document with the certification of the document by the consul of the country for which the document is being prepared.

The procedure for legalizing documents in Ukraine

Consular legalization of documents takes place in several stages, while depending on the country of destination, the procedure may vary:

  • The first stage is obtaining the seal of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine;
  • The second stage is obtaining the seal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine;
  • The third stage is translation and subsequent certification by a notary;
  • The fourth stage is getting the stamp of the embassy of the country of destination.

The time for passing each of the instances depends on the specific document and the country of destination. Usually, the procedure for passing each institution takes about 2-10 rubles. etc.