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Apostille and verification of foreign documents in the Czech Republic

When filing a foreign public document with a Czech authority or a Czech court, you will in most cases need to translate it officially to Czech language and also to have it apostilled or super legalized (depending on the country of origin of such document) in order to be accepted by the given authority.

1. What is an apostille and when I need it?

Apostille is a type of higher recognition of a document required for international acceptance of public documents. An Apostille is needed when using a document in other country, e.g. diplomas, birth certificates, deeds, extracts from registers, powers of attorney, etc. Thus if a foreign document is submitted for official purposes, and it was issued by a state that has acceded to “The Hague Convention Abolishing The Requirements Of Legalization For Foreign Public Documents” from 1961 (the “Apostille Convention”), objective of which was to reduce the requirements of diplomatic or consular legalization; this document must then have an Apostille affixed to it and be officially translated into Czech language.

2. Where can I get an Apostille?

Each country designated its competent authorities which issue an Apostille. The list of the authorities can be found at the web page of the Apostille Convention including the list of countries which are party of the Apostille convention: It can be a ministry, a court or other state authority.

3.  When I need to super legalize a foreign document?

Documents from countries which are not party to the Apostille convention have to be super legalized, i.e. they need diplomatic or consular legalization so that they can be used abroad (e.g. in the Czech Republic documents from Canada, Pakistan, Vietnam, etc.).

4. Where can I do superlegalization?

The superlegalization is a higher verification of a document legalized and authentified in the country of origin, e.g. in case a notary legalizes a signature on a Power of Attorney, a state organ first authentifies the stamp of a notary, and the Czech Embassy then super legalizes such state authentication. Therefore, first step is notarization (by a notary public), second is the authentication (by the state organ/agency that holds records of registered notaries public) and third is superlegalization. The superlegalization is done at the Czech Embassy, which by means of a stamp, verifies that the document was issued by a relevant authorized organ.

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