Schmidt & Schmidt covers the full spectrum of legalization services for documents issued in Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan joined the Hague Convention on the Simplified Authentication of Documents on 13 May 2004; the Convention entered into force on 2 March 2005.
The apostille, or the “Hague apostille” is a certificate that authenticates the origin of a public document (e.g., a birth, marriage or death certificate, a judgment, an extract of a register or a notarial attestation). It confirms the authenticity of the signature and the authority of an official who signed the public document.
Documents issued in Azerbaijan and certified with an apostille in accordance with the Hague Convention of 1961 are recognized in all Member States of the Hague Convention and do not require any other form of certification, such as consular legalization, which considerably reduces the costs and time required for the certification of documents. So far, more than 120 states have joined the Convention.
The apostille is not sufficient for use in the states that are not party to the Hague Convention. In this case, consular legalization applies to a public document.
However, Germany has objected to Azerbaijan's accession, so the agreement does not apply between these countries.
Designated Competent Apostille Authorities in Azerbaijan
In Azerbaijan, the authority for issuing apostille lies with two main bodies:
- the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs;
- the Ministry of Justice.
The choice of the official will depend on the type of document one needs to certify. In particular, the Ministry of Justice is responsible for the documents originating from courts, public prosecutor's office and justice authorities, including notarized documents and state civil acts registration documents. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in turn, is responsible for dealing with all the other documents.
In both cases, the competent authority will carefully examine the document to confirm that the signatures, stamps, or seals align with their own records. If they are confirmed to be authentic, the document will be legalized by affixing an 'apostille' (an officially stamped certificate).
The apostille in Azerbaijan is a square stamp in Azerbaijani with the obligatory heading "Apostille" and a reference to the 1961 Hague Convention in French (Convention de La Haye du 5 octobre 1961). The apostille certificate’s sides will be at least 9 centimeters long.
Types of documents
|Can be apostillized
|Cannot be apostillized
Specific aspects and document requirements for the apostille in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan is among the 120 countries that recognize and issue apostilles in accordance with the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961. The apostille serves as a confirmation of the official status of a document.
The apostille process can vary depending on the sender and recipient country, but typically to obtain an apostille for a document in Azerbaijan, you must go through the following steps:
- Obtaining the original document to be apostilled;
- Verification of the signature on the document by the authorized body;
- Issuance of an apostille on a document by an authorized body;
- Submission of the document together with the apostille in the recipient country.
When submitting documents in Azerbaijan, it's not permitted to add information after the submission, as well as to draw a line on incomplete lines and other empty spaces. Documents with multiple pages should be organized, numbered, signed, and sealed.
This process can be time-consuming, especially if it includes multiple documents and different countries. To ensure a smooth and accurate apostille process, it is recommended to seek guidance from specialists familiar with the requirements and procedures. Their expertise can help avoid delays and errors in obtaining documents apostille.
Document requirements that might apply:
- The document must be an original or a certified copy issued by the competent authority.
- The document should contain all relevant and accurate information.
- The document must be in the official language of the issuing country or translated into the official language of the country where the apostille is sought.
- The apostille must be affixed by the designated competent authority in accordance with regulations.
Please note that apostilles are not issued for administrative documents directly related to diplomatic or consular procedures, commercial activities, or customs processes carried out by diplomatic or consular offices.
The apostille is issued in a uniform format. In Azerbaijan, it has the form of a printed sticker with a handwritten signature of an official, an official seal, and a hologram.
In cases where apostilles are not recognized, holders of foreign documents will need to legalize them instead. However, If the country of destination of the document recognizes and issues apostilles, then legalization is unnecessary.
Legalization of Azerbaijani educational documents for use abroad
For educational documents issued in Azerbaijan, such as school reports, university degree certificates, transcripts of records, enrollment certificates, and other school or university certificates, to be recognized and valid abroad, they must undergo an authentication process through legalization.
In cases where you need to legalize a copy or translation of a document, you might need to prove the authenticity of the translator's signature on the copy and translation you're notarizing. Then, the document will usually need to be submitted to the Ministry of Justice. Such authentication gives educational documents the legal power and means they can be used across different countries.
Recognition of the authenticity of public documents
Minsk and Chisinau Conventions on Legal Assistance and Legal Relations on Civil, Family and Criminal Cases simplifies the circulation of certain public documents that must be presented in Member States and have been issued in another Member State, thus exempting public documents from the confirmation of authenticity with the Apostille with the aim of reducing administrative burden and costs for citizens.
Consular legalization of Azerbaijan documents for use abroad
Consular legalization is the process of authenticating or certifying a legal document so a foreign country's legal system will recognize it as with full legal effect that is carried out by the diplomatic or consular mission of the country in which the document is to be used.
This procedure is required when the destination country does not recognize or accept the apostille certification. One needs to submit the original document, along with any required copies or supporting materials, to the respective consular office. The consular officials will review the document, verify its authenticity, and affix their seal or stamp to certify its validity.
The consular legalization process may require additional steps like obtaining translations of the document into the language of the destination country or providing additional supporting documentation as requested by the consular office.
It is up to the diplomatic mission to decide about the authentication procedure. The specific requirements and procedures for consular legalization may vary depending on the regulations of the destination country.
The main differences between an apostille and consular legalization of documents
The common feature between apostille and consular legalization is that they authenticate an official document for presentation to institutions in another country. However, they have many differences.
|Can be used in all countries that are party to the Hague Convention on the Simplified Legalization of Documents.
|Use between States one or both of which is not a member of the Hague Convention, or where one of the contracting States has protested the accession of the other.
|Moderate. To obtain an apostille, contact the competent apostille authority of the state of origin of the document.
|High. For consular legalization, various inland authorities and a diplomatic mission of the state of destination must be involved.
|Usually not required.
|Attestation at the state of destination embassy in the state of origin of the document
|No need to contact the Consulate of the country of destination.
|Is the final step of legalization.
Apostille and consular legalization in all cities of Azerbaijan
Schmidt & Schmidt provides apostille and consular legalization services for public documents originating from all regions across Azerbaijan. We handle the entire process, from document review to obtaining the necessary certifications, ensuring that your documents are valid and recognized internationally. With our reliable services, you can confidently use your Azerbaijan public documents abroad.
If the important documents are lost or damaged, or current copies of the documents are needed, the re-issue of the documents is required. It is not unusual for people outside Azerbaijan to encounter difficulties with obtaining new documents when abroad. Our consultants will help you procure new documents from Azerbaijan remotely, and we can arrange for your documents to be sent by courier anywhere in the world.
Copies and transcripts of civil status documents can be translated into any language by a sworn translator in Azerbaijan or the translation can be done in the country of destination. We offer certified translations of civil status documents with further certification. The cost of the work is calculated according to the volume of the document in question.
Does the translation have to be apostillized?
Any foreign document issued in one country and used in another country must be legalized for use abroad. Therefore, the authenticity of a certified translation from Azerbaijan needs to be certified by an apostille. Consequently, many authorities may not accept certified translations from Azerbaijan if the translation has not been properly authenticated in Azerbaijan for use abroad. To avoid this confusion, translations should better be made in the state of the destination of the document.