WHAT IS LEGALISATION?
Legalisation is a procedure allowing for a document issued by the authorities of one country to be recognised by the authorities of another country.
Legalisation is a procedure involving several steps. They depend on whether the other country is a party to Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents, whether there is a bilateral legal assistance treaty in force between it and the Republic of Bulgaria, or that country does not belong to either of these groups of states.
STEPS FOR LEGALISATION OF DOCUMENTS
General steps for legalisation of Bulgarian documents for other countries:
- Certification of the document (original, duplicate or notarised copy according to the type of document) in one or several institutions.
- Affixation of an Apostille. The Apostille is a unified way of legalising documents by means of a special certificate (verification), which is affixed to documents (public acts) intended for use abroad. Apostille-bearing documents are exempt from any additional form of legalisation in the states party to The Hague Convention of 5 October 1961.
- Official translation of the document into the respective language. For the purposes of legalisation, we design the translation as required by the Consular Relations Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and print it on our official letterhead. The document thus prepared bears the signature and a declaration of the translation fidelity and accuracy by a translator from the list of MFA and is stamped with the Agency seal.
- Translation Certification: The translator’s signature affixed to the translation made thereby is certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs if such certification is required or accepted by the country where the document will be used.
General steps for legalisation of Bulgarian documents from other countries:
All documents issued by the authorities of a foreign country party to The Hague Convention shall be furnished with an Apostille affixed by the appropriate authority of that country.
- Translation into Bulgarian
Documents bearing an Apostille must be translated into Bulgarian by a translator included in the list of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria.
- Certification of the translator’s signature
The translator’s signature shall be affixed to the translation in front of a notary and notarised thereby. When the signature is being verified, the translator shall submit to the notary the document of competence issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
For countries with which the Republic of Bulgaria has signed bilateral legal assistance treaties, containing texts for exemption of documents from legalisation and other certificates, the documents issued by the foreign country should bear the relevant requisites, in accordance with the bilateral agreements. The document so issued is recognized by the Bulgarian institutions and requires only translation into Bulgarian and certification of the translator’s signature in front of a notary public.
The documents and other papers issued by a foreign country which is not a party to The Hague Convention and with which the Republic of Bulgaria does not have a valid Legal Assistance Treaty are subject to legalisation, in accordance with the procedure laid down in the Regulations on the legalisation, certification and translation of documents and other papers. Such documents and other papers are legalised abroad by the Bulgarian diplomatic and consular missions only if they are certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country where the missions are located. Foreign documents, legalised by the diplomatic and consular missions of the Republic of Bulgaria, need no further certification and are valid on the territory of Bulgaria.