Legalization of public documents, certification of copies and official translations
8/6/2021

1. LEGALIZATION OF PUBLIC DOCUMENTOS (THE HAGUE APOSTILLE

The legalization of a public document is the administrative procedure whereby a public document issued by a foreign authority may be considered as such in Spain.

In order to simplify this procedure, many countries are signatories to the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961, which abolishes the requirement of legalization of foreign public documents and replaces it with an apostille, usually known as the "Hague Apostille". The apostille procedure consists of an annotation being placed on the public document to be legalized by an authority of the country in which it was issued. This authority certifies the authenticity of that to the public authorities of the other signatory countries of the 1965 Hague Convention. As a result, documents issued in a signatory country of the Convention that bear an Apostille are recognized by the authorities of the other signatory countries of the Convention.
All EU Member States, including Spain and Ireland, are signatories to the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961. Countries of the European Economic Area are also parties to the Convention.
For a public document issued in Spain or Ireland to be effective in the other country, it must be apostilled by the authority which is entitled to do so.
The Spanish Ministry of Justice provides extensive information on the Hague Apostille and the Spanish authorities that are entitled to apostille different categories of documents.
Documents issued by authorities of countries that are not signatories to the Hague Apostille Convention must be legalized in order to be effective in Spain.
2. AUTHENTICATION OF COPIES
The authentication consists of the comparison by the consular services of the Embassy of a photocopy with its original and, where appropriate, the attestation that the former is a duplicate of the latter.
The Embassy of Spain in Dublin attests copies of documents issued by the Spanish and Irish authorities.  The applicant must always bring the original and the copy. Depending on the length of the document, the Embassy will complete the certification in more or less time. If the document consists of one or just a few pages, the certification is usually carried out on the spot. Get an appointment to come to the embassy to request the certification of a document.
3. OFFICIAL TRANSLATIONS
The translation into Spanish of a document written in a foreign language will only have official status if it has been:

a) Certified by the Oficina de Interpretación de Lenguas of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation.

b) Certified by a person in possession of the sworn translator-interpreter qualification granted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, as established in the 6th additional provision of Law 2/2014, of 25 March, on the Foreign Service, as amended by the 4th final provision of Law 29/2015, of 30 July, on international legal cooperation in civil matters. Kindly see the list of sworn translators-interpreters appointed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, indicating the language(s) for which they have been certified. The sworn translator-interpreter certifies the accuracy of the translation with his or her signature and stamp.

c) Made by a private individual, but accepted as its own by a diplomatic representation or consular office of Spain abroad after verification. These translations must refer to a foreign public document that is included in a file or procedure initiated or submitted at that diplomatic representation or consular office and which must be decided by the Spanish Administration.

d) Made by a diplomatic representation or consular office of Spain abroad.  These translations must refer to a foreign public document that is included in a file or procedure initiated or submitted at that diplomatic representation or consular office of Spain and which must be decided by the Spanish Administration. Due to a lack of available and sufficiently qualified staff, the Spanish Embassy in Dublin does not offer official translations. Should you need an official translation from Spanish into English, please contact one of the translators certified by the Irish Translators and Interpreters Association (https://www.translatorsassociation.ie).

e) Done by a foreign diplomatic representation or consular office in Spain, provided that the text refers to a law of its country or to a public document originated in that country.

The central services of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation offer extensive information on legalizations, authentications and translations.

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