The Hague Apostille

Picture of Miguel Ángel Pollino

Miguel Ángel Pollino

Coordinator of LegalSpain

The Apostille is a document that is added to the original document and that makes it valid and acceptable in any country that is party to the 1961 Hague Convention on the Elimination of Requirements for Legalization of Foreign Public Documents, also known as the Convention of the Apostille.

The Hague Apostille is a certification used to authenticate the signature, seal, and position of the people who have signed a public document, such as a birth certificate, marriage certificate, will, or academic document.

The Apostille Convention establishes a quick and easy system to authenticate public documents that have been issued in one country and will later be used in another country. Rather than having to legalize the document at the Foreign Office and then at the embassy or consulate of the country where it is to be used, an Apostille can be added to the original document and it will be considered valid in any country that is part of the Convention.

In some countries, such as Spain, it is possible to obtain an apostille digitally. This means that instead of having to sign the public documents to be apostilled in a holographic way, a certificate or a valid electronic signature that complies with international standards is used. This greatly speeds up the process.


The legalization of documents

When you want to study, work or settle in Spain as a foreigner, you must comply with certain procedures that require the presentation of various documents before the public authorities.

Most of these documents come from your country of origin, which makes it necessary for Spain, as the receiving country, to verify their authenticity and validity. For this, a legalization process is carried out that authenticates them and grants them international validity. This process can be of two types depending on the country of origin: the traditional legalization process, which is longer, or the process carried out through the Hague Apostille, which greatly simplifies the process.


What does ‘apostille a document’ mean?

Apostilling a document means putting a stamp on a foreign document so that it has legal validity in a country other than its origin. If your country is part of the countries that have signed the Hague Convention, the legalization process is carried out more easily through the Hague Apostille, which is usually placed on the back of the document to be validated. It is important to take into account that not all countries have signed this agreement, so it is essential to verify the situation of the country of origin to understand the process to follow. In addition, for the apostille to be valid, both the issuing and receiving countries of the document must have signed the agreement.


The Hague Apostille in the process of homologation of studies

The Hague Apostille is a necessary step in the process of homologation of your academic degree. If your country is part of the Hague Convention, you will need to have your academic documents (such as the title and qualification certificate) apostilled before starting the homologation. If your studies are carried out in a language other than the country where you want to go to study, you must officially translate your apostilled documents.

The Apostille is issued by the competent body of the country of origin of the document, which is usually the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Ministry of Justice. The countries that are part of the Apostille Convention have designated these bodies as those in charge of issuing Apostilles and guaranteeing that the apostilled documents are authentic and valid.

Currently, there are more than 110 countries that are party to the Apostille Convention and that accept documents with an Apostille as valid.

From LegalSpain we can help you in the homologation of your studies and also, if necessary, in their translation. Write us and we will solve your problems!


Apostille of the Hague in Spain

The Hague Convention No. XII, of October 5, 1961, for the Abolition of the Legalization Requirement in Foreign Public Documents (known as the Apostille Convention) establishes that each member of the agreement apostilles their own documents. In Spain, this procedure is carried out by the Ministry of Justice, which determines the validity of the prior legalization made by the Ministry that carried it out. The apostille seal consists of a sheet attached to the document to be legalized.

In addition, on the website of the Ministry of Justice you can request the apostille of documents and verify the integrity of an apostilled document in electronic support, which makes the process more agile and simple. Also, through the web, you can check the status of an apostille request, download an electronic apostille and consult the Electronic Registry of Apostilles.


Does the Hague Apostille expire?

The legalization or Apostille of The Hague does not expire. Therefore, as long as the original document remains valid, the apostille or legalization will remain effective.


Signatory countries of the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961

Next, we attach a file with the updated list of the signatory countries of the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961.

The Hague Apostille – Signatory countries

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