Legalization of documents in Russia

Legalization usually aims to confirm that a document, related to or issued by government agencies, corresponds to the laws of a particular country or commonwealth, and includes official acknowledgement of the signature of the authority that provided the document, as well as the stamp of the competent government agency.

In response to international practice, passports and similar documents do not need to be legalized, nor do documents that are directly related to commercial or custom operations (invoices, service agreements, etc.) In addition, it is not possible to legalize documents that contradict the laws of Russian Federation.

The procedure of legalization may vary depending on the requirements of the relevant authorities. That is why we always try to double-check with clients concerning the goal of the particular documents, and sometimes even ask for the contacts of the recipients of the final legalized documents in order to make sure that they will be satisfied.

Legalization of foreign documents for use in the Russian Federation

Foreign documents intended for use in Russia are to be legalized in Russian consulates abroad after they are legalized at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or other authority in the particular country or commonwealth in the order prescribed by the laws of that country or commonwealth. Usually, documents compiled or duly certified by the consulates of foreign countries in the Russian Federation are legalized in the Consular Department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

However, as per the The Hague Convention of 1961, documents intended for the official authorities of Convention signatories can be legalized via a simplified procedure. In these cases, there is no need to process documents by going through the entire chain of procedures, but just by putting a special apostille stamp on the document, issued by the competent authority in the country or commonwealth in which the document was executed. An apostille authenticates the signature and the title of the authority signing the document, and also the authenticity of the seal and stamp present on the document. The signature, seal, and apostille stamp are exempt from any additional assurances. There are also instances where the appropriate apostille stamp can be put on the document in Russia itself.

Another option that is valid for documents that already have an apostille stamp is notarization. ITI has successfully provided this service for our clients for many years.

Notarized translation is the official translation of legal documents. For a notarized translation the original document, or its notarized copy, must be officially stitched together with the translation, and the signature of the translator certified by a notary. Only those translators who have been certified by the relevant institutions dealing with notary publics have the right to execute notarized translations. We do have a pool of such resources. In a typical notarization case, when a document is to be translated from Russian or into Russian, only one translator’s signature needs to be notarized.

The source document needs to:

  • be an original or a copy certified by a competent authority
  • contain the required details like the date and document number, and be concluded by a signature and a seal.

Usually it takes about one business day to notarize a ready-made translation. If an apostille is required, then that can take up to a week.

To learn the current cost for notarization services, please contact us.