Legalization services

SIVIR Translations can prepare and submit your documents for legalization so that they can be recognized in the respective country.

Legalization is the process of authenticating an official document intended for use outside the issuing state. The legalized document must then be translated according to the requirements of the country where it will be used.

Types of legalization:

  • Consular (diplomatic) legalization - a procedure with multiple certifications and re-certifications - first in the issuing country and then in the country where it is presented.

If you have documents from a foreign country it is necessary that:

  • The documents be certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the issuing state
  • The stamp of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of this state be certified/ legalized by the respective Bulgarian diplomatic or consular office in that country. This legalization is required for a small number of countries.
  • Apostille Legalization (1961 Hague Convention) - a one-time authentication only in the country where the document is issued. It is done by placing a uniform (standard) seal or sticker called an Apostille, which makes the document valid in all signatory states of the Hague Convention. It is valid in all EU member states and more than half the world.

The form and content of the Apostille are binding for all states that are parties to the Hague Convention.

  • If you have a document issued by a foreign country certified with an Apostille, you must have it translated by a translation agency authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria. You can use the document after you have certified the translation at the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • If you want to use a Bulgarian document in a foreign country that is party to the Hague Convention, you need to have an Apostille from the respective institutions.
  • Ministry of Justice – for court and notarial acts (public acts according to Article 1, letters a, c and d of the Hague Convention)
  • National Center for Information and Documentation – for education and certification documents issued by higher education institutions, institutions of the public education system and the Ministry of Education and Science and its units
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs – for all other documents (public acts according to the meaning of Article 1, letter b of the Convention): civil status and address registration documents issued by municipalities; certificates; licenses by ministries, state agencies and committees; documents issued by the National Social Security Institute, the National Statistical Institute and others.

To have an Apostille placed, Bulgarian documents must be formatted according to the current requirements. When you receive a document meant to be used abroad, always inform the employee of the issuing institution so they can include the necessary elements for use abroad.

Without legalization – documents to and from countries with which Bulgaria has a bilateral legal assistance treaty are exempt from the requirement to be legalized or Apostilled. You need only an official translation of the document and a certification of the translation at the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The documents issued by a foreign state must bear the stamp of the agency authorized in the legal assistance treaty.

We advise our clients to carefully check what the respective country and institution requires –  only translation, an Apostille, verification of the translator’s signature, or all of the above.