Document authentication (legalisation) and apostille certification
Certification of document authenticity (legalisation) means verification of the signature and seal of a document. Traditionally it is performed by a Consular Officer so that documents drawn up in one country are be legally valid in another one.
The Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs performs the certification of document authenticity (legalisation) in the Republic of Latvia.
Public documents issued in Latvia and intended for use in a foreign country
Before going abroad to work, study or get married etc., a person should clarify in advance what kind of documents will be required and whether the authorities of the relevant country accepts public documents issued in Latvia after they have been legalised at the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, or other procedures are in place.
Foreign public documents intended for use in Latvia
For the authorities of the Republic of Latvia to accept public documents issued in foreign countries, those documents should be legalised at the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or a diplomatic or consular mission of the Republic of Latvia in the respective country, or their authenticity should be certified with an Apostille in a competent institution of said foreign country, unless other procedures are in place between Latvia and the respective country.
Before submitting documents for authentication, it is highly recommended that you consult the diplomatic mission of the relevant country in advance, in order to find out if it is necessary to certify the authenticity of (legalise):
- Only the original document/ a copy of the original document certified by a notary;
- only the original document;
- both the original document/ a copy of the original document certified by a notary, and its translation.
Documents cannot be legalised if the Consular Department of the Foreign Ministry does not have a specimen signature of the undersigning official and a sample of the relevant seal or stamp at its disposal, or if they do not comply with the document processing requirements specified in legislation (for example, translations or copies are not bound together and sealed, the document is laminated etc.)