Legalization of documents


We shall assist you in apostillation (legalization) of documents.

Apostille is only affixed to official documents and authenticates the signature, position of the signatory, and, if appropriate, the seal or stamp used to seal the document. Apostille is put onto the document itself or onto a separate sheet attached to the document.
A properly affixed apostille does not require any additional certification. Each contracting state appoints the authorities having the power to affix apostille. In Russia the authority to affix apostille rests, in particular, with territorial bodies of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation in the constituent entities of the Russian Federation, offices of civil registration of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation, and Office of Public Prosecutor of the Russian Federation.

Legalization of documents

Documents outbound from official authorities of the Russian Federation to foreign states are not legally valid. In order for such documents to be accepted abroad, they must be legalized. Legalization of documents means affirmation of their conformity to legislation and represents a certificate of authenticity of the signature of the official, as well as of the seal of the state agency, on the documents.
The basic rule of document legalization is as follows: legalization of Russian documents made by various entities on the territory of the Russian Federation to be presented to foreign authorities is effected at the Department for Consular Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, and legalization of foreign documents made by foreign entities and intended for presentation on the territory of the Russian Federation is made by Russian consular foreign offices in these respective countries. Ignorance of, or failure to adhere to these rules leads to non-legalized foreign documents finding their way onto the territory of the Russian Federation. Such documents are not considered valid and are not accepted by Russian authorities.
The legalization procedure may be abolished by the provisions of international treaties. Thus, in 1992 Russia joined the Hague treaty dated October 5, 1961, which abolishes the requirement of consular legalization of official documents outbound to one of the participating countries for the same. In accordance with this convention, official documents outbound from organizations and authorities of the Russian Federation and intended for presentation to the official bodies of another country participating in the convention are authenticated in a special procedure: the documents are apostilled.


At present, there are two methods of document authentication:

  • consular legalization
  • apostillation

The proper method depends on the document’s country of destination.

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