Verification of documents, Apostille

 I. Public documents issued by Slovak authorities

II. Judicial public documents

III. Public documents issued by other bodies

IV. Two Forms of legalisation of public documents

V. Other information

 

I.​ Public ​documents issued by Slovak authorities​ must ​ undergo a formality called legalisation when they are to be submitted to authorities in another country. With respect of some countries legalisation is replaced by a provision of a certificate called Apostille. For reasons of simplification, both are referred to as “legalisation” in this information.

Legalisation is usually not required with respect to the Czech Republic. Slovak judicial public documents (subparagraph II) do not require legalisation with respect to some other countries, when they are submitted to the courts of that country.[1]

Bodies performing legalisation of judicial public documents are listed in subparagraph II and bodies performing legalisation of public documents issued by other (not judicial) authorities are listed in subparagraph III.

 

What is a public document?

A public document is a document bearing an imprint of an official stamp of a Slovak authority or an official and/or bearing the signature of an official.

Therefore a public document is not only a document issued by a Slovak authority but also a document made before such authority, such as the power of attorney where a notary certified the veracity of the person’s signature.

The decisive fact is whether the document bears an imprint of the official stamp and/or the signature of an official.

 

II. Judicial public documents, i.e. documents issued or certified by authorities or officials falling within the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice are certified by the following bodies.

A. Regional court certifies  (Krajský súd):

a.     documents issued (or certified) by district courts within the territorial district of this regional court,

 

b.    documents issued by notaries or bailiffs (huissiers) with their seat within the territorial

district of this regional court,

 

c.     documents whose veracity was certified by notaries with their seat within the territorial

district of this regional court (the certified photocopies of documents);

Note: the veracity of the photocopy of a document must be certified by a notary or notary candidate him or herself not by an authorized employee.


d.    documents where the notary with his/her seat within the territorial district of this regional court

Note: the veracity of the signature must be certified by a notary or notary candidate him or herself not by an authorized employee.

 

e.    translations into a foreign language made by sworn translators from the list of translators kept by the Ministry of Justice of the Slovak Republic

Note: in case of a translation of a Slovak official document into another language the public document itself must be legalised by the competent body (as per subparagraph II or III). For practical reasons it is therefore recommended to acquire such legalisation before submitting the document for translation.

 

f.     expert opinions made by experts from the list of experts kept by the Ministry of Justice of the Slovak Republic

 

B.  The Ministry of Justice of the Slovak Republic certifies only such documents issued by judicial bodies that are not listed under paragraphs a/ to f/ above (e.g. documents issued by regional courts or the Supreme Court).

 

III. Public documents issued by other bodies are usually legalised by competent bodies within the same government department as the body issuing the public document. Thus:

 1.       The Ministry for the Interior of the Slovak Republic legalizes public documents issued by authorities within its jurisdiction (e.g. nationality documents, sole proprietor licenses, personal status decisions and the like) unless these are legalised by district authorities (paragraph 2).


 2.       District authorities certify

 a.     registry office documents (except decisions relating to personal status) such as birth

certificate, marriage certificate, death certificate,

 b.     public documents issued by self-government bodies (e.g. certificate of life, certificate of

residence – except as regards residence in the city of Bratislava, and the like),

 

3.       The Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic certifies public documents issued by authorities within its jurisdiction, in particular documents issued by tertiary education institutions, secondary and primary schools (e.g. diploma, certificate of tertiary education, certificate of passed tests, certificate of grating a scientific academic or artistic academic degree) with the exception of secondary paramedical schools;

 

4.       The Ministry of Health of the Slovak Republic certifies public documents issued by authorities within its jurisdiction (e-g. certificate of professional education at Slovak Medical University, certificates of secondary paramedical school graduation)

 

5.       The Ministry of Defence of the Slovak Republic certifies public documents within its jurisdiction (e.g. certificate of military service in the Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic).

 

6.    The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic certifies public documents which fall outside of the jurisdiction of any of the bodies above (such as information from the criminal records of the General Prosecutor´s Office of the Slovak Republic, documents of the revenue offices, land registry statements, certificates of the State Institute for Drug Control and others)

 

IV. Two forms of legalisation of public documents

 A. Apostille

 With respect to States which are Party to the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation of Public Foreign Documents and which are listed below, the competent body (see points II and III above) shall issue a special certificate - an “Apostille”.

 A public document certified with an Apostille can be used abroad without any further legalisation in any State Party to the Convention and before any of its bodies.

 Regional courts (Krajský súd) or the Ministry of Justice may place an Apostille only on a document listed under paragraph II above. 

 Further, please be informed that the decision of the court must be signed only by judge, signature of person responsible for issuing of the decision is not sufficient.

 The administrative fee for the issue of an apostil by the regional court or the Ministry of Justice is 10 EUR and is paid in cash to the authority. At the Ministry of Justice it is possible to buy an electronic stamp in the machine, respectively on the Slovak Post through self-service payment terminals (“kiosk”).

 

Apostille may be issued if the public document is to be used in one of the following countries:

(updated version: https://www.hcch.net/en/instruments/conventions/status-table/?cid=41)

Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentine, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Cook Islands,  Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, China (only special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau), Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea (South), Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia (Former Yugoslav Republic), Malawi, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niue, Norway, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Salvador, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Serbia, Seychelles, Slovakia,  Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and Grenada, Surinam,  Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela.

 

 B. Consular legalisation

 If a Slovak public document is to be used in a country not listed under point A above, consular legalisation of this document is required.

 For judicial public document (paragraph II above) this means that the document must be certified in three stages:

 1.       First it is certified by a regional court or the Ministry of Justice (according to the competence stated in paragraph II above);

 2.    The document certified in this way must be then submitted to the consular department of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, Pražská 7, Bratislava;

 3.    After legalisation by the consular department of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, the document must further be legalised by the consular service of the country where the document is to be used. Since not all countries have consular services (i.e. consulates or embassies) in Slovakia, the consular department can provide information on the competent consular service.

 

 The fee for the certification by a regional court or the Ministry of Justice is 5 EUR for the certification of an official signature on the document (for each signature) and 5 EUR for the certification of an official stamp (for each imprint), i.e. a total of 10 EUR when the document has one official signature and one official stamp. The fee must be paid in fee stamps, in cash to the authority providing certification or by a wire transfer to that authority's account.

 

 V. Further information

 As regards certification by the Ministry of Justice, information may be obtained at the telephone numbers: +421 2 88891 549, +421 2 88891 358, +421 2 88891 258.

More information on consular certification at the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic may be obtained at the telephone number +421 2 5978 5978 or at the website www.mzv.sk under the headline „Cestovanie a konzulárne informácie – Overovanie dokladov“.


Last update:  21 November 2018

_____________________________________

[1] Some bilateral international agreements of the Slovak Republic do not require legalisation of judicial public documents when submitted to courts or other competent bodies of another State Party to the agreement. Some of these State Parties also may not require legalisation in case of other types of documents or when submitted to other bodies than courts. Information on these agreements can be acquired from the certifying bodies or at: http://www.justice.gov.sk/Stranky/Nase-sluzby/Medzinarodne-pravo/overovanie-listin–APOSTILY/Uvod.aspx

 

However, the existence of such agreement does not in itself guarantee that a foreign authority (other than court) will not require legalisation of a Slovak public document. Therefore it is recommended to obtain legalisation also in such cases, unless the applicant has information to the contrary from the foreign authority who is the intended recipient of the public document.​​

​​