WHAT IS AN APOSTILLE?
Translation offices often deal with the translation of official public documents. In such cases, it is necessary to confirm that the official who signed the document really works in Latvia and that the official’s signature and seal on the document are genuine, so that the documents in one country have the same legal effect in another country.
This process has become significantly simpler due to the Hague Convention. If the document is issued in a foreign country that is a member state of the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 on “Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents”, it is necessary to certify the authenticity of the documents with a special mark – Apostille – at the appropriate institution of the issuing country, but a document that has been certified once with an Apostille does not need to be certified again in more than 100 member states of the Hague Convention. This means that the same document will be valid in Latvia, Poland, Greece, Chile, and other countries. In the Republic of Latvia, the Hague Convention came into force on 30 January 1996.
WHICH DOCUMENTS REQUIRE AN APOSTILLE?
Certifying the authenticity of documents with an Apostille becomes relevant in various situations that we experience during our lives, for example, a person moves to another country, goes to work or study abroad, wants to marry or divorce a citizen of another country, open a bank account, arrange documents related to inheritance in another country, etc. Public documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, educational diplomas, certificates of criminal record and health status, various state-issued authorisations, etc. are certified with an Apostille.
HOW IS LEGALISATION WITH AN APOSTILLE PERFORMED?
Previously, the legalisation of public documents issued in Latvia with an Apostille was only carried out in the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia, but since 1 July 2019, it can be done by Sworn Notaries anywhere in Latvia, and electronically issued documents can also be certified with an Apostille remotely.
When the legalisation of public documents is required, before going to any foreign country where the relevant document will have to be submitted to an institution, it is recommended to find out beforehand whether it needs to be certified with an Apostille. It should also be noted that only documents issued in the Republic of Latvia can be certified with an Apostille by a Sworn Notary.
The process itself is simple and fast: you must go to the Notary, taking the original of the document and your passport or ID card with you. If there is a sample of the signature and seal of the official who issued the document in the Signature sample database, the document can be certified within one working day. This task can also be entrusted to a professional translation agency, who will take care of everything for you.
NOTARISED TRANSLATIONS OF DOCUMENTS AT SKRIVANEK
When dealing with translations of public documents, the task of a Sworn Notary is to ascertain the translator’s education and qualifications and to warn the translator about their responsibility in accordance with Articles 300 and 302 of the Criminal Law of the Republic of Latvia, if a false and/or incorrect translation is made intentionally.
To facilitate the process of legalisation of documents, the translation office Skrivanek provides notarised translations. This means that the translation of the document is first certified with the signature of a qualified translator, and the translator’s signature is then certified by a Sworn Notary. We offer notarised translations in more than 110 languages.
TIPS FOR PREPARING DOCUMENTS
In order to notarise the translation, the original document needs to be fully executed and legally valid, which means, it must include the following information: the name of the person who prepared the document; the date of preparation; the name of the place where said document was prepared, issued and signed; signature(s).
We can also help in the case where you need to submit a notarised translation electronically with e-signature, but the originals of the document are in paper format. In such cases, we first prepare the translation of the original document in paper format, it is signed by the translator and certified by a Sworn Notary, and the original or a notarised copy of the original is stitched together with the signed translation. Once the translation of the document has been finalised in paper form, it is scanned to be certified again by a Notary with an e-signature. You can receive a Notarised translation in edoc, asic-e or PDF format, whichever suits you best. A notarised translation of an electronically signed document is prepared immediately in the e-environment. This service is available in edoc or asic-e, but not in PDF format.