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All about Apostille

What is an Apostille?

An Apostille is a certification of a document drawn up in one country, which allows the document to be used in another country. Simply put, the apostille confirms the originality of the document bearing it and thanks to this, it can be used abroad. Thanks to the apostille, you no longer need to legalize a document from another country.

What legal act regulates the possibility of using a document with an Apostille?

Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents, The Hague, October 5, 1961.

A list of current states parties to the convention can be found here: https://www.hcch.net/en/instruments/conventions/status-table/?cid=41

Poland ratified the Convention on November 19, 2004. The Convention entered into force on August 14, 2005.


Apostille is not always needed, even though it is a foreign document and the states are parties to the Hague Convention. Since the entry into force of the Convention, other legal acts have appeared in the international legal system that regulate the use of foreign documents in a more detailed way.

Specific rules for the circulation of documents within the European Union are introduced by Regulation (UW) 2016/1191 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 July 2016 on promoting the free movement of citizens by simplifying the requirements for submitting certain official documents in the European Union and amending Regulation (EU) No. 1024/2012. The regulation applies to documents relating to e.g. to: birth, surviving person, death, name and surname, marriage (including capacity to marry and marital status), divorce, separation or annulment of marriage, origin of a child, adoption, place of residence or place of stay, citizenship or no entry in criminal record.

Some countries have abolished the requirement to legalize or affix the document with an apostille on the basis of other international agreements.

It should be emphasized that in the countries-parties of the Hague Convention, it is still possible to use documents with an apostille, despite the fact that they are subject to international acts that explicitly allow the use of documents without such a clause.

How to get an Apostille?

The Apostille is issued at the request of the document holder by the competent authority of the country that issued the document.

We can apply for an apostille in person or through a third party. Then you should go to the Legalization Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. You can also apply for an apostille by correspondence.

What documents can be certified with an apostille?

These include: civil status records, sworn translations, notarial documents, court documents, commercial documents, documents issued by universities, documents issued by art schools, school certificates, maturity certificates, diplomas and certificates issued by regional examination boards, criminal record certificates, documents regarding medical qualifications, excerpts from the National Court Register, master's diplomas and craftsmanship certificates, acting and habilitation diplomas issued by the Polish Academy of Sciences and scientific institutes, excerpts from CEIDG.

The list above is an example list. Apostille can also be obtained for other official documents, as long as they contain the seal of the office, the signature of an authorized employee and his name stamp.

How much does an apostille cost?

The fee for an apostille is PLN 60 for each certified document.

An example application for an apostille can be found here: https://www.gov.pl/attachment/dce36874-3969-4056-9cd7-4b1c93489b40