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Our experience as a certified translation agency has taught us that some people may think “Ok, so now I have all my documents ready with all the seals!”, and they venture abroad, bringing their documents as they are, with hopes of obtaining foreign citizenship. As they say in Russia,

Life is not as simple as it seems. It’s simpler.

But… If you are planning on getting an education abroad or applying for foreign citizenship, you will be required to provide additional proof of the authenticity of your documents. As an agency, we advise you to check which documents require an apostille and to make sure that it is present prior to departure, so that you can leave with peace of mind. “How and where can I get my documents apostilled?” you may ask. Let’s find out!

An apostille (also found as apostil and pronounced “ah-PO-steel” or “AH-po-steel”) is a specific seal which certifies:

  1. The authenticity of a document;
  2. The surname and occupation of person who signed the document.

The act of affixing an apostille is also referred to as the legalisation of documents.

Which documents require an apostille?

  • Birth, marriage, and death certificates;
  • Notarial acts;
  • Legal acts;
  • School and specialised secondary education diplomas and certificates;
  • Vehicle registration documents;
  • Documents related to inheritance proceedings.
Apostille (Convention de la Haye du 5 octobre 1961) 1. Country This public document 2. has been signed by 3. acting in the capacity of 4. bears the seal / stamp of Certified 5. at 6. the 7. by 8. Number 9. Seal / stamp 10. Signature

An apostille consists of a heading, where the text must correspond to the original French phrasing even in translated copies — “APOSTILLE (Convention de la Haye du 5 octobre 1961)” — and a part which contains information pertaining to the contents of the document being legalised. This primarily mentions the name of the country where the document was issued. Furthermore, the apostille shows the surname and occupation of the person who signed the document. Last but not least, by reading the apostille itself, we can find out when, where, and by whom it was affixed.


According to the Brussels European Convention of 1987, documents issued in Belgium, Denmark (except Greenland and the Faroe Islands), Estonia, France, Ireland and Latvia are exempt from both legalization and apostille for Italy. However, a sworn translation of the documents into Italian is still required.

Furthermore, the Rome Convention, signed in 1969, exempts from legalisation and apostille all documents issued in the Federal Republic of Germany.

How to apostille a document?

Our agency mainly deals with two types of scenarios — and in both cases the apostille is affixed to the original document. Let’s dig deeper.

1. Apostilles for Italian documents destined for use abroad

Our agency can affix apostilles to documents if issued in the provinces of Ravenna, Forli-Cesena or Rimini.

In all other cases, the owner of the document (i.e. you) must pay a visit to the closest prefecture. Apostillation can take from roughly less than an hour to a couple of days.

There is no need to worry about having the document translated just yet: at this stage all work is carried out on the original. Here at our agency, we tried to think of a way to free you from such a burden and provide you with ready-to-go apostilled documents — just like the service we are able to offer for sworn translations. However, there is only one way to properly handle the case at hand: you, the document holder, must be physically present at the prefecture.

2. Apostilles for foreign documents destined for use in Italy

If the document is not written in Italian, the apostille is affixed in the country where the document was issued. The relevant authority to contact depends on the nature of the document — this could be a Registrar’s Office, an archive department, public education offices, the Ministry of Justice, etc. You can determine which of the above best suits your needs by searching online.

Wait — what can you do if you are already in Italy?

If you do not want to or simply cannot go back to your country of origin (we would perfectly understand your choice in any case), the Consulate of your home country could help you with the apostillation procedure.

I finally have my apostille! Now what?

And now we step in! Our agency works with professional translators who ensure that the quality of the translations meets current standards. The sworn translations we provide are certified through an Italian court; we are also able to issue a simple certificate of compliance from our agency instead (depending on how official the translation needs to be) — and all we need are scanned copies of the original.

Our team carries out the sworn translation of documents which are then sent to your home. Our service allows you to receive your translated documents in three simple steps — you will not even have to leave the house (one working day delivery)! Contact us today!

Get a Free Quote Now

Take a picture or scan your document and send it via WhatsApp to +39 324 842 3554, on Telegram or via e-mail to info@olexica.com. We shall examine it and send you our no obligation quote.

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    2 thoughts on “What is an Apostille and Where to Get an Apostille for Italy

    1. Thanks for helping me understand that apostille would be a seal to certify certain documents like their authenticity of them. I guess we might need online apostille services to authenticate some of our files when we sell the house that we own. It’s because we plan to move to a bigger property when we have kids soon.

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