Authentication in Austria

The Legalisation Office (Büro für Konsularbeglaubigungen) "over-legalises" authentication notes or attestation notes of designated competent Austrian authorities, provided the necessary requirements are fulfilled.

The following documents may be over-legalised:

  • Originals of Austrian official public documents which are not endorsed authentication or vidimus notes, including the respective attached translations.
  • Duplicates of Austrian official public documents, which are not endorsed authentication or vidimus notes and which were issued by the competent Austrian authority, including the respective translations attached.
  • Transcripts or copies of Austrian official public documents with translations attached, if an over-legalisation of the original or of the duplicate of the Austrian official public document was not possible or not reasonably possible. This applies specifically to cases where it is indeed impossible to affix an authentication note to the relevant document, for instance if documents or passports were shrink-wrapped, and when the authentication on the original is not deemed reasonably possible through no fault of the applicant.
  • Originals of private documents executed in Austria with the respective translations attached.
  • Originals of public documents established by Austrian representation authorities abroad.
  • Foreign documents issued by states defined by ministerial order issued by the Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs. Currently this does not apply to any state.

Documents that can NOT be over-legalised include inter alia:

  • Public foreign documents of any type (possible exceptions: documents issued by states defined by ministerial order issued by the Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs. Currently this does not apply to any state.)
  • Private documents of any type that were established abroad.
  • Copies of Austrian public documents, provided the over-legalisation of the original or the duplicate of the document is not possible or not reasonably possible. The over-legalisation of the original or the duplicate of the document is considered reasonably possible especially when authentication notes can be affixed to such a document. The over-legalisation of the original or the duplicate of the document is considered reasonably possible especially when it is objectively possible for the applicant to provide an original or duplicate of the document and thus successfully follow national authentication procedures. Higher costs incurred by the applicant or a longer authentication process are, however, not considered reasonable justification.
  • Private documents executed in Austria that concern facts or situations that have to be established or clarified by authorities in public official documents. This includes especially affidavits regarding a person’s civil status, fiscal charges, entries in public registers, etc.
  • Translations of Austrian documents which are not permanently attached to the document itself. In this context it is not relevant where or by whom the translation was done.
  • Austrian public documents which are mere authentication or vidimus notes (stating that and original are identical).
  • Print-outs of public documents which were only signed electronically by the issuing authority but do not bear a manual signature and an official stamp or seal.
  • Documents that are only available in electronic form.

Over-legalisation requirements

  • The document is to be used in international legal relations. If requested the applicant must be able to provide credible proof.
  • The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents does not apply between Austria and the state in which the document is to be used (apostille).
  • No other agreement on the abolition of the requirement of legalisation for the respective type of document is in force between Austria and the state in which the document is to be used.
  • The respective domestic certification/authentication process complies with the requirements of relevant national legislation.
  • The authenticator is able to clearly read the document and unambiguously identify the signature(s) and the official seal(s) affixed.
  • All signatures on the document and all official seals attached by the Austrian authority that had previously authenticated the document fully comply with the samples provided by this authority.
  • The pages of documents that consist of several pages/sheets of paper are permanently attached to each other.
  • The mandatory verification of the document, the signatures and the authentication notes does not give rise to any doubts regarding their authenticity.

The mandatory verification of private documents does not give rise to any doubts regarding their accuracy.