Public documents should be duly legalized for their international use. In most cases, the legalization takes the form of the Hague apostille, as the Hague Convention of 1961 provides. The states that are parties to the Convention mutually recognize the legal validity of the apostille so that the requirement of consular legalisation for foreign public documents no longer applies.

The apostille is a stamp in the shape of a square. It should be filled in in the official languages of the issuing authority. The heading "Apostille (Convention de la Haye du 5 octobre 1961)" written in French is a mandatory requirement for an apostille's validity. The Hague apostille confirms the authenticity of the signature, the position in which the signer has acted, and the authenticity of the seal or stamp with which the document is attested. Each apostille is registered and contains the issue date and unique number. The apostille is issued by the competent authorities for a document. More information about the country-specific requirements for the apostillation procedure can be found in our country information sections.
Currently, the number of states that are parties to the Hague Convention abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents of 5 October 1961 is 118. Many countries of the former Soviet Union have ratified the Convention.

For some countries that have acceded to the Convention, special rules apply. For example, Germany has objected to the accession of Azerbaijan, Burundi, Dominican Republic, India, Kyrgyzstan, Kosovo, Liberia, Morocco, Moldova, Mongolia, Paraguay, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. This means that the agreement on Hague apostille between Germany and these countries does not apply. Therefore the documents must undergo consular legalisation to be validated for their use in Germany.

Schmidt & Schmidt offers apostille certificates from all 118 states that have acceded to the Hague Convention.

In the following country pages you will find detailed information about the specifics of the procedure as well as the authorities responsible for issuing an apostille or the consular legalization for your documents in each particular country.

Apostille and Legalization from Russia and EAEU

Apostille and Legalization from Russia and EAEU

The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) is a political and economic union between Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan. All of these countries are members of the Hague Convention.

Apostille and Legalization from Europe and EU

Apostille and Legalization from Europe and EU

All EU member states have joined the Hague Convention. We will assist you with apostille and consular legalizations in the EU and other European countries.

Аpostille and Legalization from Asia

Аpostille and Legalization from Asia

The emerging markets of Asia attract many. For your documents to be recognized in an Asian country, they need to be legalized.

Apostille and Legalization from North and South America

Аpostille and Legalization from the Americas

Most states in North, South and Central America recognise the apostille. Canadian documents require legalization. We will assist you with the apostille and consular legalizations from the countries of the Americas.

Apostille and Legalization from Africa

Apostille and Legalization from Africa

Not all African countries have joined the Hague convention. We will do our best to help you with the consular legalization of your documents issued in these countries.

Apostille and Legalization from Australia and Oceania

Apostille and Legalization from Oceania

Apostille stamp is widely used in Australia and Oceania, and recognized by all the 1961 Convention member states. We will assist you with the apostille from these countries.

In our video we are explaining what an apostille is and where to apply for it. Schmidt & Schmidt will assist you in all issues concerning the apostille.

Staaten die Apostille anerkennen

In our video we are explaining what consular legalization is and where to apply for it.

Schmidt & Schmidt will assist you in all issues concerning the legalization.

Schmidt & Schmidt offers legalization in more than 80 countries all over the world.

Lawyers and notaries

Lawyers and notaries

In order to perform legal actions, submit foreign documents to court, or legalize a power of attorney from abroad, specific foreign documents should be properly attested. Schmidt & Schmidt can help you certify such documents with apostille or legalize them in the relevant embassy.

Global Mobility and Visa Support

Global Mobility and Visa Support

We offer a wide range of services for companies working in the field of visa support, relocation and Global Mobility. We can assist you with the legalization of your clients’ or employees’ civil status documents, documents confirming current status of employer and other relevant certificates.

Translation agencies

Translation agencies

Companies can choose from the widest range of services offered in the field of legalization and apostille certification of translations for use in more than 100 countries.

Banks and financial institutions

Banks and financial institutions

We provide banks, insurance companies, accounting firms and other financial institutions with the legalizations of foreign documents essential for confirming the eligibility of individuals, proving the existence of legal entities as well as KYC procedures and AML prevention.

Birth and marriage certificates, as well as certificates of marital status issued by one of the respective CIEC Contracting States in accordance with the multilingual CIEC pattern, require neither an apostille nor a legalization for use in Germany.

  • Multilingual birth and marriage certificates from Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Estonia, France, Italy, Croatia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Switzerland, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain and Turkey
  • Multilingual Marriage Certificate from Italy, Luxembourg, Moldova, Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Switzerland, Spain and Turkey

Documents from all other countries must normally be submitted with an apostille or consular legalization. Also when the certificate was issued in a multilingual form.

Some documents cannot be legalized according to the procedures above. This is the case for copies of documents, translations, founding documents, financial reports, contracts, bill of lading, certificate of origin, etc. For such documents, a notary may issue a notarized certificate. The notarial certification of the copy certifies that the copy and the original are absolutely identical. The notarization of the translation confirms that the translation is correct and made by a certified and certified translator.

If required, Schmidt & Schmidt can certify the translations by a public notary for you.

  • Extracts from the commercial register
  • Notarial documents
  • Court decisions
  • Sworn translations
  • Official documents

An apostille may only be issued on an original document. This must be in a good external condition, all stamps and signatures must be understandable and readable. Furthermore, it may not contain any foreign markings or inscriptions.

Russian registry offices may deny apostille if the document to be certified is issued in the USSR. In this case, it is necessary to issue a replacement certificate.

  • Swift processing of inquiries and assignments
  • Postal delivery of EAC certificates free of charge
  • Low costs due to our exceptional operating efficiency

Schmidt & Schmidt is a guarantee for the highest quality and reliability. All processes within our company are strictly regulated. Our specialists are well trained and know the field perfectly.

Working with us is easy and convenient!


Do you have any questions about the offer? Contact us and arrange a free of charge consultation!

Legalization of a document is a process, which allows to legitimate the document issued in one country for its usage in another.

It means, if you want to submit a document, issued in one country, to authorities in a target country, the document must primarily prove its authenticity. Legalization confirms the authority of the issuing official as well as an authenticity of his signature and seal.

Legalization is needed for official non-commercial documents.

There are following procedures of legalization of documents:

  • Consular legalization
  • Apostille (a simplified procedure of legalization)
  • Legalization of documents by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Consular legalization applies to countries, that have not signed the Hague Convention of 1961, which implemented a law about the procedure of apostille (a lot of European countries are member states of this convention).

Legalization of documents through the Chamber of Commerce is carried out in relation to commercial documents (contracts, invoices etc).

No, not always. In some cases, countries can make bi- or multilateral agreements that completely revoke legalization of documents for their recognition in the member countries.

For example, a CIEC convention from 1976 or bilateral treaties between Germany and Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Italy, Luxemburg, Austria and Switzerland.

When foreign documents have to be presented to local authorities, a certified translation is required. These documents therefore must be translated and signed by a sworn translator and then certified by a notary, court or any other authority.

We work with qualified sworn translators and offer you certified translations of various documents such as contracts, extracts from commercial registers, court decisions and certificates into various languages.

The certified translations we offer will be recognized in more than 100 countries.


Certified translation

Our Company

Schmidt & Schmidt is an internationally operating consulting company based in Passau. Our broad spectrum of corporate services aims to cross borders and overcome boundaries together with our clients. We assist our customers, especially medium-sized enterprises, with entering foreign markets and developing their brand.

Our company is a reliable and reputable partner. We strive to provide individual approaches, unrestricted transparency, great reliability and nothing but the highest standards for all our services. Thanks to our knowledgable management and the consistent expansion of competences we have assembled a team of highly qualified, multilingual employees and established excellent connections and cooperations with companies and authorities all around the world.

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