Legalization is a confirmation that a document issued by the authorities of the state or drawn up with the participation of these authorities complies with the legislation of this state. It consists in verifying the authenticity of the signature of the official who signed the document and the seal of the authorized state body.
Foreign educational documents intended for use in the Russian Federation are legalized in Russian embassies or consulates abroad after they are legalized in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or another authorized institution of the state of origin of the document in the manner prescribed by the legislation of this state.
Cancellation of legalization
In accordance with the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961, abolishing the requirement for legalization of foreign documents, which Russia acceded to on May 31, 1992, documents intended for submission to the official bodies of the member states of the convention are certified in a special simplified procedure. Instead of legalization, the authorized body of the state in which the document was issued affixes a special stamp - an apostille.
Apostille certifies the authenticity of the signature, the quality in which the official who signed the document acts, and the authenticity of the seal and stamp which it seals. The signature, seal and stamp affixed to the apostille do not require any additional attestation.
Each member state of the Hague Convention itself determines and appoints the bodies that are authorized to affix an apostille.
Attention!The consulates of the member states of the Hague Convention accredited in the Russian Federation do not affix an apostille and must not legalize documents drawn up by the authorities or with the participation of the authorities of the sending state.
Cancellation of legalization and apostille
A number of bilateral agreements on legal aid and legal relations in civil, family and criminal cases, concluded by the Russian Federation, as well as the Convention on legal assistance and legal relations in civil, family and criminal cases, signed on January 22, 1993 in Minsk by the CIS member states, define the procedure according to which documents issued by the official authorities of one contracting party are considered as official and enjoy the probative force of official documents in the territory of another contracting party without any additional certification, i.e. without legalization and apostille.
The full text of agreements on the mutual recognition of foreign educational documents, academic degrees and academic titles, as well as on mutual legal assistance can be found on the website of the Federal State Budgetary Institution “Glavexpertcentre”.