Legalization of foreign documents for using in the Russian Federation
Legalization is a legal procedure aimed at confirming confirmation that the document provided by the authorities of a foreign state is in accordance with the laws and regulations of the state. Legalization consists in the authentication of the signature of the official who has signed the document and of the stamp of the authorized state structure.
Foreign documents confirming education intended for use in the Russian Federation are legalized in the Russian Embassies or Consulates abroad after they have been legalized in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or in any other state representative of the state of the origin of the document in the order provided by the legislation of the state.
In accordance with The Hague Convention from October 5, 1961 abolishing the requirements of legalization of foreign documents (which Russia joined on May 31, 1992) documents intended for submission in the official bodies of the state-participants of the Convention are legalized in a simplified way. Instead of legalization the authorized body of the state of the origin of the document where the document attaches an additional special stamp which is called an apostil.
Apostil authenticates the signature, the position of the official, who signed the document, and of the seal and stamp which it is attached to. The signature, the seal and the stamp attached to the apostil do not require any other certification.
Each state-participant of The Hague Convention determines and sets the authorized representatives which are in charge to stamp documents with apostils.
Consulates of state-participants of The Hague Convention accredited in Russia do not attach apostils and do not have to carry out legalization of documents issued by the authorities or with the participation of the authorities of the represented state.
Cancellation of legalization and apostil
A number of reciprocal agreements on legal raid and legal relations on civil, family and criminal cases concluded by the Russian Federation and The Convention on legal aid and legal relations on civil, family and criminal cases signed on January 22, 1993 in Minsk by the state-participants of CIS advances an order according to which the documents issued by the authorities of one contracting party of the agreement are considered and are used as official documents at the territory of the other contracting party of the agreement without any additional certificate, i.e. without legalization or apostil.