A "legalisation" is a governmental act by which a designated public official (e.g. consular officer at an Embassy or Consulate) certifies to the genuineness of the signature and/or seal and the position of the person/official who has executed, issued, or certified (a copy of) a document.
Please note that authentication services are provided by Honorary Consulates too (by appointment only).
Authentication is provided for:
- private signatures (e.g. agreements, power of attorney),
- transcripts and copies (stating that original and copy are identical).
- The Embassy does not provide translation services. The accuracy of a translation is not the responsibility of the Embassy.
- The Embassy is not to be held liable/responsible for the content of a document.
- The person asking for authentication services must provide proper ID (valid passport or identity card - NO driving licence!).
For further information (e.g. fees to be paid) please contact the Austrian Embassy/Consulates.
The Hague Convention and Apostille
The 1961 Hague Convention stipulates that signatory countries (including both Austria and the United Kingdom) agrees to mutually recognize each other's "public documents". In other words, such documents need no prior legalisation by an Embassy or Consulate of the other country. Yet, all these public documents must be authenticated by an Apostille.
An Apostille is an internationally recognized form of notarization and ensures that public documents issued in one country will be recognized as valid in another country. The sole function of the Apostille is to certify the authenticity of the signature on the document in question; the capacity in which the person signing the document acted; and the identity of any stamp or seal affixed to the document. The Apostille either must be attached as an annex to the official document or placed on the document itself by means of a stamp. An Apostille is solely issued upon request.
Who issues an Apostille?
In Austria an Apostille is issued by:
- the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs
- the Presidents of any Civil Court of First Instances
- the Governors or Governments of the Federal Provinces
In the UK an Apostille is issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.