In order for a public document issued in a foreign state to have the force of a public document in Latvia, this shall be legalised. In implementing State public administration, State administration, judicial and legislative institutions, other institutions and persons may accept only a legalised public document issued in a foreign state.
The authentication of document authenticity is regulated by several international conventions and intergovernmental agreements, and also by the Document Legalisation Law and the Regulations for Public Document Legislation of Latvia.
1. If a document is issued in the member states of the European Economic Zone and the Swiss Confederation, it does not required any additional authentications (legalisation or Apostille) for their use in Latvia.
2. If a document is issued in a foreign country which has joined the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Documents of 5 October 1961, its authenticity must be certified with an Apostille by the competent institution of the relevant country, and the document is valid for submission to Latvia’s institutions without any other certification.
3. If a document is issued in a foreign country which has not joined the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Documents of 5 October 1961, it must be legalised by diplomatic/consular mission of Latvia in the relevant country or by the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, after their authentications by the competent institutions of the relevant country (the foreign ministry or a diplomatic/consular mission of the relevant country).
4. If a document is issued in a foreign country which has concluded bilateral agreement with Latvia (Belarus, Kirghizstan, Russia, Moldova, Ukraine, Uzbekistan) – these countries don’t need legalisation of documents, it is enough if they have Official State Seal.
5. If an issued education document is laminated, then before legalisation applicant have to require dublicate of document which then will be legalised, because for Embassy of Latvia its technically impossible to put a stamp and signature on laminated document.
Requirements for Documents to be legalised:
1) The document to be legalised shall have been signed by an official or it shall have been legalised and confirmed by the stamp or seal of a competent authority. The surname and position of the official shall be indicated on the document. The signature and imprint of the stamp or seal shall be clearly visible.
2) If the document to be legalised consists of several pages, it shall be bound together and confirmed by the signature of an official and a stamp or seal.
3) If the document to be legalised is an excerpt, transcript or copy of another document (hereafter – original document), it shall be confirmed in accordance with the procedure as prescribed in regulatory enactments. If the document has been certified by the competent authority which had issued the original document, the notarial certification of the signature of the person whose specimen signature is at the disposal of the Department or representation shall not be necessary.
4) If the document to be legalised is a translation of the original document or an excerpt, transcription or copy thereof, it shall be certified in accordance with the procedure for the certification of translations of documents, as prescribed in regulatory enactments, bound together with the original document, excerpt, transcript or copy of the original document, and certified by the signature of an official and stamp or seal.
Placement of the Apostille or the Legalisation Certificate
The apostille and legalisation certificate shall be placed on the document. If there is no space on the document which is to be legalised, the apostille or legalisation certificate may be placed on a separate sheet of paper, bound to the document and certified by the signature and seal or stamp of the person who has legalised the document. The apostille and legalisation certificate shall show the confirmation or certification registration number.
Further information available on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia.