How does the foreigner validate documents issued in Ukraine?

The largest part of all documents confirming one or another status of the foreign person by some country will require a further legalization according to current regulations of any other country, where a foreign national plans to work and/or reside in the future. As it occurs in the most of cases, foreigner can be granted various documents for further essential use in his/her native state. In such a way, the process of documents’ legalization is defined as their validation over more than one country, where the documents were initially issued to its owner.

Due to the global political changes taking a place with increasing speed and intensity – the question of legalization of various documentation gets a new sound for citizen in different countries of the world. Documents issued by official bodies in Ukraine cannot be considered as exclusion in this case as well… The document that confirms a certain status of the foreign person in one country for the most of cases requires an additional legalization according to laws and regulations of another country, where the person has intention to live or work. As it was proved by lots of precedents, receiving specific necessary documentation by foreign national in Ukraine will have to be followed by the legalization of the paper in order he or she could use it when going to motherland or visiting other country. Summarizing the need, it is appropriate to define the process of legalization a document as procedure resulting in possibility to use the same document of one country at the territory of another one without either law restrictions or prohibition. List of such necessary for legalization documents may include such papers as the marriage certificate between foreign and local nationals, as well as the marriage certificates for the locals issued in a specific country, all kinds of the documents to confirm a divorce, various types of the birth certificates, and a significant amount of papers which serve to prove purchase or sale of the real property or other kinds of belongings of the foreign citizen in Ukraine, etc. Applying to all the possible cases and situations, it will be essential to recommend nationals of the countries other than Ukraine to go for consultation with a law advisor that has proven track of certified qualifications and appropriate industry experience. Process of the wise planning beforehand allows to diminish possible difficulties and troubles in the future, providing up-to-date information about distinctive features and details for each document’s legalization and accommodating the foreigner in Ukraine with plan for further actions.

Nowadays, the legalization procedure for the documentation in Ukraine can imply two optional methods for turning out with the best solution: the first one is in stamping the document with apostille, and second one is called consular legalization. In order to simplify the entire process of the foreign document legalization in Ukraine along with confirming an actual validity of the Ukrainian document in any other country a widely used international practice lies in using an apostille for all the types of documentation. Since the Hague Convention of 1961 it is became an internationally accepted and agreed form of the documents ratification for many countries and resulted in the significant simplification for the official acceptance of created by one country documents at the territory of another one. When defining a required by current laws order of the actions and consequence for the apostille stamping, the most effective solution would be in applying to the regulations set from the Hague Convention. They contain detailed descriptive information for each of the stages and steps of the procedure that confirms a formal matter of form applying for all the diplomatic and consular agents of the government. These rules are usually followed through in one or another country where the document with apostille is issued and requires the authorization of person that signed a paper, his or her signature and stamp. Fairly enough, not all the countries have decided on accepting Ukraine as one of the partners for the Hague Convention. For example, governments of Belgium and Germany expressed their official refuse on stating Ukraine among the countries where apostille can be issued. Despite the earlier declaration Belgian government has changed its decision in 2004 and confirmed that all types of the documents with apostille issued by one of the legal Ukrainian bodies do not need further validation in Belgium. German government still rejects to accept any documents with apostille with origination from Ukraine. This circumstance must be seriously taken into consideration in the cases when a document requires legalization in Germany, as only consular legalization will be valid there…

Every procedure of the issuing an apostille for any kind of the document is normally registered with specification of its number and date of issuing. Besides, it must be confirmed by the person granted an apostille and his or her official position on this date. The document can also obtain an apostille from an official body or organization if the signature is absent.

There would not be any arguing on the fact of obviously positive side in such a situation, when actual competency and liability of the person or organization with the right of providing an apostille for any kind of the documentation in Ukraine does not need further authorization in the most of other countries. Such form of issuing an international validity to the document means that the largest European countries partnered on the Hague Convention recognize and accept a legal power of this document.

As an example of exclusion for the cases of issuing the document with an apostille serves another agreement about the mutual legal support of 1993 signed in Minsk. Participants of this agreement decided to optimize the process of recognition and use of the documentation between former republics of the USSR. To say the truth, a number of such countries like Bulgaria, Georgia, Russian Federation and Belorussia, Armenia, Tajikistan and Moldova have joined this agreement with a clear aim of simplifying various diplomatic processes in the countries. In accordance to the regulations of the Minsk Convention, any type of official document granted by authorized person or legal organization in one of the countries-participants do not need any further confirmations of validity for using on the territory of the participants of Minsk Convention. Thus far, this agreement can be described as contract on the legislative help for familial, civil and criminal matters.

Current legal practices of Ukrainian legislation allow and recommend the apostille placement on those documents which on direct basis are created by Ministry of Justice, as well as, all the kinds of official documentation from the Ukrainian public prosecution office and all the bodies of juridical power in Ukraine.

It is important to specify that apostille placement is also mandatory for all the types of documentation verified by private and public notaries, and all the forms of administrative documents, as well as for all the certificates and licenses on either registering an actual fact or document with the date specification. At the end of the documentation list will be diplomas and certificates which apply to scientific and educational degrees.

Consular legalization is recognized as method for authorization of the legitimacy of documents in the countries out of the Hague Convention of 1961. At the same time, consul does not hold any kind of responsibility for the document content despite the fact that paper obtains an international validity after legalizing. Though in the future the document will have a legal power for the country where it was verified. For all other locations the document must be carried through similar procedure of the consular legalization in order to be recognized abroad. The main difference between using apostillle and consular legalization lies in the above difference. The process of consular legalization may be carried out in the country of the future use of the document or in that country, where it was originally issued. In addition, the document may receive its consular legalization in any other (third) country if it necessary.

In all the cases of getting such documents citizen of foreign countries is better to get a preliminary consulting from a certified legal adviser. It will help to be informed about the slightest details and potential advantages of the process, as well as about the order of legalization procedure in the future.

Author: Kydalov Igor

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