In order a public document issued in a foreign state to have the force of a public document in Latvia, it should be legalised (or Apostilled). Public institutions in Latvia accept only a legalised public document issued in a foreign state. The authentication of document authenticity is regulated by the Regulations for Public Document Legislation of Latvia and the Document Legalisation Law.
If a document is issued in a European Union Member State, or in the states of the European Economic Area (EEA) and the Swiss Confederation, it does not require any additional authentications (Apostille) for their use in Latvia.
Public documents issued in Russian Federation, Ukraine, Republic of Uzbekistan, Republic of Belarus, Republic of Moldova, and Kyrgyz Republic must be legalised or certified with Apostille in a competent foreign authority (as of April 1, 2019).
Requirements for documents to be legalised:
- 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.
- If the document consists of several pages, it shall be bound together and confirmed by the signature of an official and a stamp.
- 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.
- If the document to be legalised is an excerpt, transcript or copy of another document (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 Consular Department shall not be necessary.
- If the document is a translation of the original document or an excerpt, transcription or copy, 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.
- NOTE that laminated documents MAY NOT BE legalized; before legalisation applicant have to aquire dublicate of document without lamination which will be legalised.
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.
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 Embassy (diplomatic mission) of Latvia in the respective 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 mission of the respective country.
Documents at the Consular Department (address: Street Elizabetes 57, Riga, LV-1050) can be submitted in person only if urgent procedure of legalisation is required.