Legalization of Documents Issued Abroad
Public documents, which have been issued by courts and authorities abroad, have the power of evidence / can be used as evidence only if they are properly legalized.
It holds generally that all documents which were issued abroad and which are submitted to Czech authorities for the purpose of administrative proceedings in the Czech Republic have to be:
- legalized by the appropriate / corresponding authority in the country, where they were issued
- superlegalized by the Diplomatic Mission of the Czech Republic.
There are several levels of legalization of public documents and some exemptions.
1. Superlegalization Clause and Certified Translation into Czech language
- Document issued abroad must bear a superlegalization clause and must be bound with a certified translation into Czech language, provided that:
- the document has been issued in a country which has not entered into an agreement with the Czech Republic on judicial assistance in civil and family matters, or
- the country has not acceeded to the Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents (Haag Convention).
2. Legalization Clause (Apostille) and Certified Translation into Czech language
- A foreign public document issued in a country, which has acceeded to the Haag Convention (Apostille Convention) must bear only a certifying clause of Apostille and afterwards translated into Czech language by a sworn translator.
- You can check the list of signatory countries to this Convention, or the list of offices of the individual states, which are competent to issue an Apostille.
3. Certified translation into Czech language without higher legalization duty
- Some countries have entered a bilateral agreement on judicial assistance in civil and family matters, which ensures that public documents issued or legalized by a competent foreign body are deemed as authorized documents for the offices in the Czech Republic. Thus they can be used as evidence before Czech offices without further legalization, or they eventually specify, which authority has the power to legalize the document. These documents are submitted together with a certified translation into Czech for further use in the administrative proceedings.
- For more details, see applicable provisions in bilateral agreements on exemptions from legalization.
4. Further exemptions from higher legalization
- Exemptions from the legalization are as follows:
- Documents issued by diplomatic representatives or consular officers of countries, which signed European Convention on the Abolition of Legalisation of Documents executed by Diplomatic Agents or Consular Officers, or
- Documents, which fall under a Special Regulation of EU, or
- Documents issued and certified by relevant foreign diplomatic missions, providing there has been concluded a bilateral consular agreement.
5. Nostrification of a document proving education
Nostrification of a document proving education (secondary education and higher proffessional education) or a document proving university education gained abroad, are currently demanded by the Ministry of the Interior in substantiated cases. They are required especially in cases of reasonable doubt, whether you have acquired education demanded, or whether your qualification corresponds to the nature of the employment, when the application aspires to an employee card or a blue card.