The legalization of documents is a process by which a document is verified and authenticated for use in another country. In Sweden, the legalization process is governed by the Hague Convention of 1961, which established a system for the legal recognition of public documents between signatory countries. The Swedish Foreign Ministry (UD legalisering) plays a critical role in this process by issuing apostilles on documents that have been notarized by a Notary Public.
The process of legalizing a document in Sweden typically involves several steps. The first step is to have the document notarized by a Notary Public. This typically involves the notary public verifying the identity of the person signing the document, and then affixing their official seal and signature to the document. Once the document has been notarized, it can then be submitted to the Swedish Foreign Ministry for the issuance of an apostille.
An apostille is a form of authentication that is required for certain legal documents in order to be recognized in other countries. The apostille is a stamp or seal that is affixed to the document by the Swedish Foreign Ministry, certifying that the document has been notarized by a Notary Public and attesting to the authenticity of the signature, seal and/or stamp of the notary public. Once the apostille has been affixed to the document, it will be recognized as a legally valid document in other countries that are party to the Hague Convention.
It is important to note that not all countries are party to the Hague Convention and therefore may not accept apostilled documents. Additionally, some countries may have their own process or requirements for recognizing documents from other countries. Therefore, it is always best to check with the relevant authorities in the country where the document will be used before starting the legalization process.
The Swedish Foreign Ministry is responsible for issuing apostilles on a wide range of documents, including educational and professional credentials, corporate documents, and legal agreements. Some of the most common types of documents that are legalized in Sweden include:
Diploma and degree certificates
Police clearance certificates
Corporate documents such as articles of incorporation, and power of attorney.
To apply for an apostille from the Swedish Foreign Ministry, you will typically need to submit the original document along with a photocopy, and sometimes a translation. It’s also important to note that some documents may require additional certification such as signature validation before the apostille will be issued.
The process of obtaining an apostille can vary depending on the document and the country where it will be used. Some documents can be processed quickly while others may take longer. The Swedish Foreign Ministry typically advise applicants to allow a minimum of 5 working days for processing and to check the website or contact the Ministry’s customer service for current processing times.
It is also important to consider the cost of the legalization process. The Swedish Foreign Ministry charges a fee for their service of issuing an apostille. The fee can vary depending on the type and number of documents that need to be legalized, as well as the mode of submission, either by mail or in person.
It is also worth noting that for some countries, the embassy or consulate of that country in Sweden also has the competence to legalize documents, in this case the document would be authenticated by the embassy or consulate, rather than the apostille of the Swedish Foreign Ministry.
In conclusion, the legalization of documents is a process that is necessary for many people who need to have their documents recognized in other countries. The process is governed by the Hague Convention and involves several steps, including notarization by a Notary Public and the issuance of an apostille by the Swedish Foreign Ministry. The Ministry plays a vital role in this process by issuing apostille.