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Authentication and translation of documents

For a public document issued by a country to be valid in another country, the document must comply with international authentication requirements.

There are two channels for getting the international authentication of a public document, according to whether the country issuing the document is a signatory of The Hague Convention of October 5, 1961.

If the country issuing the public document has signed The Hague Convention, said document will be recognised in Spain if it bears The Hague Apostille, which must contain the text “Apostille (Convention de La Haye du 5 Octobre 1961)”.

This Apostille must be processed by the authentication office of the relevant government.

If the country issuing the public document has not signed The Hague Convention, the authentication process will be carried out by diplomatic channels, through (1) the authentication stamp of the authentication office of the government of the country issuing the public document; (2) the authentication stamp of the consular mission of Spain in said country; or (3) the authentication stamp of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.

Also, any public documents written in a language that is not an official language of Spain must be translated (by an official translator according to Spanish law) into Spanish or, if the procedure corresponds to bodies based in an autonomous region, into any of the languages that are also official languages in that autonomous region.

The following translations are valid:

  • Those carried out into Spanish by an official translator authorised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation or those carried out into the co-official language of the autonomous region by an official translator authorised by that autonomous region. To access the updated list of working official translators and interpreters, click here.
  • The translations done or revised by:
    • The diplomatic missions or consular offices of Spain abroad (click here to locate the Spanish representative office that corresponds to your place of residence; or
    • The diplomatic mission or consular office of the country of origin of the document in Spain.

The translations done or revised by the diplomatic missions or consular offices must be authenticated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.


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Last updated: 09|10|2013

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