Legalization of U.S. documents for presentation in the Russian Federation
In accordance with the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961, in which both the Russian Federation and the United States of America are participants, documents authenticated by an Apostille issued by a participating country are exempt from consular validation – meaning verification of authenticity of signatures, authority of the persons signing the document and authenticity of the seals and stamps done by the Consular offices of other participating countries. Documents with an Apostille do not require any further legalization.
An Apostille is a stamp introduced by the Hague Convention. It is stamped on documents by a competent authority of the country in which the document was generated. In the United States Apostille is issued by the Office of the Secretary of State in each respective State.
The following documents are considered official documents – meaning documents for public use – in accordance with the Hague Convention, which allows an Apostille to be stamped on them:
- Documents issued by organizations or officials associated with courts or state tribunals, including documents issued by public prosecutors, court secretaries or bailiffs.
- Documents of an administrative/executive authority.
- Documents certified by a notary public.
- Official validating endorsements, placed on documents signed by individuals acting in a personal capacity, such as official certificates of registration of a document or of its existence on the date indicated, as well as official and notarial verification of a signature.
The Hague Convention does not apply to:
- Documents issued by diplomatic missions or consular offices.
- Documents of an administrative authority that have direct bearing on commercial transactions or customs’ operations.