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Legalization of Russian documents to be used abroad

Document intended for use abroad and executed by official bodies of the Russian Federation shall be legalized, if otherwise specified by provisions of international treaties revoking legalization procedure, performed between the Russia and the country where the document is used.

Legalization of Russian documents to be used abroad usually performed as follows:

  1. notarial certification of the document copy, notarial certification of its true translation into a foreign language;
  2. The Russian federation Ministry of Justice (Moscow, Bolshoy Karetny lane, 10) will certify true signature and seal of the notary public;
  3. Consular Department of Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs (Moscow, 1st Neopalimovsky lane, 12, business hours from 10:00 to 13:00 and from 15:00 to 17:00), will certify true seal of Russian Ministry of Justice and signature of the functionary.

After legalization by Russian MIA Consular Department, the documentation shall be legalized in the consulate of the country of use. At this, foreign consul will confirm true signature and seal of the authorized officer of Russian MIA Consular Department on the basis of specimens he possesses.

As a rule, Russian documents are legalized in the form of notarized copies except educational certificates in the form specified for use abroad. The last shall be legalized in original copies by Russian MIA Consular Department.

Documents issued in the territory of former union republics until December 1991 shall be legalized in the form of true copies, too.

Employment histories, military IDs and ID cards shall not be exported and moved through the borderlines; that is why in accordance with the established procedure of legalization they shall be accepted nether in original, nor in copies. Documents executed by Russian legal entities shall be legalized provided that registered in accordance with the Russian Federation laws.

For example, joint Stock Company’s Articles of Association will be legalized in the form of notarized copy provided that it was registered with Russian federal body and bears any and all required marks and seals on registration. Certificate of Conformity may be legalized in the form of notarized copy if issued by authorized federal body, but not by the producer for his own products.

Federal duty and charges are collected against covering actual expenses for legalization with MIA Consulate Department of Russia.

Consideration of the documents provided for legalization takes five-seven business days.

Legalization of foreign documents to be used in the Russian Federation

Foreign documents, intended for use in the Russian Federation, will be legalized with Russian consulates abroad after they have been legalized with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or with any other duly authorized body of the country of origin in accordance with the procedure established by the laws of such country.

In the territory of the Russian Federation the documents performed and duly legalized with the consulates of foreign countries will be legalized with the MIA Consular Department of Russia.

Legalization annulment

Under the Hague Convention dated October 5, 1961 concealing required legalization of foreign documents, which Russia joined May 31, 1992, the documents intended for submission with official bodies of the states-participants of the Convention will be certified in accordance with a special conventional procedure. It excludes ordinary legalization “chain” ending with the embassies (consulates) of the states where the document is intended for use. Instead of this, authorized body of the country of the document execution will put a special stamp - Apostil.

Apostil certifies true signature, title of the functionary signed the document and true seal and stamp under such document. Signature, seal and stamp put to the Apostil not require additional certification. Each state-participant of the Hague Convention will determine and appoint the body authorized for putting the Apostil.

A number of bilateral agreements on legal support and legal relations in civil, family and criminal cases, executed by the Russian Federation, and the Convention on legal support and legal relations in civil, family and criminal cases, signed January 22, 1993 in the city of Minsk by the countries-CIS members determine procedure when the documents issued by official bodies of one agreed party shall be deemed as official and possessing evidential effect of official documents in the other agreed country without any additional certification, it means without legalization.

Example:

List of states executed bilateral agreements on legal support with the Russian Federation

No. Country Execution date Effective date
1. Azerbaijan December 22, 1992 not effective
2. Algeria February 23, 1982 March 29, 1984
3. Bulgaria February 19, 1975 January 19, 1976
4. Hungary July 15, 1958
October 19, 1971
January 4, 1959
June 23, 1972
5. Vietnam December 10, 1981 October 11, 1982
6. Greece May 21, 1981 September 1, 1982
7. Iraqi June 22, 1973 April 22, 1974
8. Italy January 25, 1979 August 8, 1986
9. Cyprus January 19, 1984 March 27, 1987
10. China June 19, 1992 November 14, 1993
11. DPRK December 16, 1957 March 5, 1958
12. Cuba November 28, 1984 August 7, 1986
13. Kyrgyzstan September 14, 1992 February 25, 1994
14. Latvia February 3, 1993 not effective
15. Lithuania July 21, 1992 January 21, 1995
16. Moldova February 25, 1993 not effective
17. Mongolia September 23, 1988 November 12, 1990
18. Republic of Yemen December 6, 1985 October 24, 1986
19. Poland December 28, 1957
January 23, 1980
June 8, 1958
November 15, 1980
20. Romania April 3, 1958 September 19, 1958
21. Tunisia June 26, 1984 June 13, 1986
22. Finland August 11, 1978 August 9, 1980
23. Czechoslovakia August 12, 1982 June 4, 1983
24. Estonia January 26, 1993 not effective
25. Federative Republic of Yugoslavia February 24, 1962 May 26, 1963

Convention on legal support and legal relations in civil, family and criminal cases executed in Minsk in 1993 is effective for the following countries:

Azerbaijan 
Byelorussia
Kyrgyzstan
Russia
Kazakhstan
Turkmenistan

Armenia
Georgia
Moldavia
Tajikistan
Uzbekistan
Ukraine

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