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Legalisation and Apostille are two terms referring to the procedure giving legal validity to a translation (or a document) to be submitted abroad. But how do they work? Can you do them yourself?
For an official document to be valid abroad, you need to have it legalized or apostilled.
Both terms refer to the procedure confirming the document's authenticity and making the document valid internationally.
The Apostille stamp is applied on documents to be submitted to signatories of The Hague Convention of 1961, while the legalisation stamp is used for all other countries.
Who needs apostilles or legalisations?
Well, you may need it on your birth certificates for marriage, on your school-leaving certificate to enroll in a university abroad, to notify a court ruling abroad, to incorporate a branch of your company abroad, to apply for Italian dual citizenship...
Who issues apostilles or legalisations?
In Italy it's the Procura (for translations) or Prefettura (for vital records certificates to be translated).
What are the fees?
It's free of charge.
Does it take long to get an Apostille?
It depends on the Procura. In the case of Rovigo, where I'm based, it's usually ready in 24 hours.
Need help? Let's talk!
I'm Natalia Bertelli, an English/Spanish to Italian legal translator. Since 2008 I have been working on contracts, judicial deeds, certificates, corporate translations for foreign clients who want to do business in Italy, get a dual citizenship or simply settle in my beautiful country.