Legalisation of documents for use abroad
When a document issued in Finland must be presented for foreign authorities abroad, you can ask the Ministry for Foreign Affairs to legalise the document. The purpose of legalisation is to authenticate the signature and certify the position of the authority that has issued the document. This is done in English.
- Documents legalised at the Foreign Ministry
- Documents that are not legalised at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs
- Documents that must be certified by a Notary Public before they can be legalised at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs
- Can the Ministry for Foreign Affairs decide which documents must be legalised??
- Getting your document legalised
Please note that each document to be legalised must have the original signature of a public official and the signatory's name in block letters. For example, if you download and print documents from the e-services of the Digital and Population Data Services Agency, the documents are not valid for legalisation. Furthermore, we cannot legalise certified electronic diplomas issued by universities.
Having legalised your document at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, you must submit it for confirmation at the diplomatic mission of the country in Helsinki in which you will use the documents.
The street address and office hours are given on the Contact information page.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs legalises
- documents issued by the Finnish authorities
- the position and signature of a Notary Public
- extracts from registers and, for example, documents granted by the police
- certificates of non-impediment and marriage certificates
- university, high school and university of applied sciences diplomas
- documents granted and signed by a chamber of commerce
- translations made by authorised translators. A list of authorised translators is available on the website of the Finnish National Agency for Education.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs does not legalise documents that will be presented to the authorities of countries that have ratified the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents of 5 October 1961 (The Hague Apostille Convention). In this case, a so-called Apostille is needed, granted by a Notary Public at the Digital and Population Data Services Agency. Read more on the website of the Digital and Population Data Services Agency.
Documents with an Apostille stamp are valid for legal purposes in the countries that have signed The Hague Apostille Convention and do not need to be presented for legalisation at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs does not legalise foreign documents.
Documents that must be certified by a Notary Public before that can be legalised at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs
copies of documents
documents drawn up by private persons, companies or associations
powers of attorney
certificates issued by educational institutions, such as comprehensive schools, general upper secondary schools and vocational schools, but not by universities and universities of applied sciences
translations of documents that have not been made by authorised translators.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs cannot decide which documents must be legalised. The decision can only be made by an official or diplomatic mission of the foreign country (country of destination).
To get your documents legalised, you can either visit the Customer Service of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Helsinki or send the documents to us by post. If you are unable to handle the matter in Finland yourself, you can ask a contact person, relative or friend to do it for you.
Getting your document legalised at the Foreign Ministry's Customer Service
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our Customer Service is closed until further notice.
Getting your document legalised by post
Send your documents together with your contact details (name, address, phone number and email address) by post to the following address: Ministry for Foreign Affairs, KPA-40/Legalisations, PO Box 176, 00023 Government.
The fee per signature to be legalised is EUR 20. The documents will be returned to you by cash on delivery (COD), that is, you will pay the fee when collecting the letter from your post office.
Documents can only be delivered to you to an address in Finland. Documents sent to us by post will be returned to you in around 7 days.