Legalisation validates a foreign public document by verifying the authenticity of the signature and the legitimacy of the signing authority. Legalisation does not certify the content of the document.
The Hague Apostille is a simplified procedure that has the same purpose as legalisation and is applied between the States party to the Convention of 5 October 1961, which abolished the requirement to legalise foreign public documents.
In general, unless a specific rule provides exemption from this obligation, all foreign public documents must be legalised or apostilled to be valid in Spain, and all Spanish public documents must be legalised or apostilled to be valid abroad.
Only original legalised or apostilled documents (or true copies issued by the same body that issued the original) are admissible. Legalised or apostilled photocopies cannot replace the original document.
The legalisation or apostille has no expiry date, but if the document has a time-limited validity, that of the legalisation or apostille shall be equally limited.
Legalisation of foreign documents at the Consular Office
This Consular Office does not legalise foreign documents. Please, contact the Spanish Embassy or Consular Office in the country that issued the document.
Legalisation of documents issued by the Consular Office
Documents issued by Embassies and Consulates cannot be apostilled.
Obtaining an apostille for foreign documents
The Hague apostille is the exclusive competence of the authorities of the country issuing the document. Documents apostilled by the authorities of the issuing country do not require any additional procedure from the Consular Office, and may be presented directly in Spain.
The text of the Convention of 5 October 1961, which abolished the requirement to legalise foreign public documents, together with the list of States party to the Convention and the authorities in each State competent to apostille a document is available here.
In the European Union, Regulation 2016/1191 exempts the interested party from the apostille requirement in certain cases. For more information, consult the European Union information page or the Regulation.
Legalisation o apostille of British documents
Information on how to legalise or apostille documents issued by the British authorities is available on the website of GOV.UK.
Legalisation or apostille of Spanish documents
Information on how to legalise or apostille documents issued by the Spanish authorities is available (in Spanish) on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation.
The Consular Office does not legalise or apostille documents issued in Spain.
Information on how to apostille documents issued by the Spanish authorities is available on the website of the Ministerio de Justicia.