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Apostille – Verification of the authenticity of foreign official documents

What is an Apostille?

Apostille is a certificate, by which a Notary Public authenticates a document as genuine, thereby legalizing it for use in another member country of the Hague Conference.

Once a document has been Apostillised, thereby providing official authentication of the signatures and stamps appearing on it, it is automatically deemed legalized for use in another member country of The Hague Conference.

What is The Hague Conference?

It is an intergovernmental organisation whose purpose is to establish a simplified system to allow public documents originating in one member country to be easily recognized as authentic in another member country, under the auspices of the Hague Convention of 5th of October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents.

An Apostille consists of the following:

  • name of country from which the document emanates
  • name of person signing the document
  • the capacity in which the person signing the document has acted
  • in the case of unsigned documents, the name of the authority which has affixed the seal or stamp
  • place and date of certification
  • the authority issuing the certificate, the number of certificate
  • seal or stamp of authority issuing certificate
  • signature

The simplicity and lack of ambiguity has led to the Apostille becoming a favored form of validation of documents worldwide, even in countries that are not actually signatories to The Hague Conference.

Why do I need an Apostille?

Authorities in Greece need proof that Swedish documents or the signatures of Swedish officials on documents are genuine before they accept them.

Countries that are parties to the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (Greece and Sweden are parties to this Convention) require an Apostille on documents which qualify as Swedish public documents.

To which documents do I get an authentication or Apostille?

Any official Government document with an original signature and seal on it can be authenticated by Notaries Public. Business documents must be certified by the relevant chamber of commerce.

Where can I get an Apostille?

In Sweden, documents are validated with an Apostille stamp by the Notaries Public (Notarius Publicus), see website www.eniro.se

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