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Legalizations, apostilles and translations


Legalizations, apostilles and translations

In order to be enforceable before the Italian administration, acts and documents issued by foreign authorities must be legalized by Italian diplomatic-consular representations abroad. The rule also applies with respect to British documents, for which, as of January 1, 2021, the European Regulations on free movement of documents and exemption of legalization no longer apply. Such acts and documents, except those in multilingual format provided for by International Conventions, must also be translated into Italian. For more information and the relevant regulations, please visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation 

A Legalization is the attestation of the legal quality of the person who signed the document. In the absence of specific Conventions on the subject, legalising a foreign document is the only way to ascertain its validity - the lack of this fulfilment does not allow the Italian administration to receive the foreign document. Legalization must be carried out in the manner specified by the Italian diplomatic representations in the issuing country ( For example, acts and documents issued by Pakistani and Nigerian authorities must be legalized by the Italian Consular Authorities in those two countries.

Some countries (including the United Kingdom) are part of the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961 on the Abolition of the Legalization of Foreign Public Documents. Acts issued by the Authorities of those countries, therefore, do not have to be legalized, and can be presented to Italian administrations after the apposition of the "postilla" (or apostille). It is therefore possible to refer to the relevant domestic authority designated by each State to have the apostille affixed to the document. The updated list of such countries is available at the following link: For example, on deeds and documents issued by the British Authorities, the competent office is the Foreign, Commonwealth and Commonwealth Office (

In any case, foreign documents, whether legalized or apostilled, must be accompanied by an Italian translation. This Consulate does not perform translations, but merely certifies as compliant the Italian-to-English translations of British documents submitted by the concerned party as part of the consular paperwork (passport applications, citizenship applications, etc.), prepared by a professional translator. Translations differing from the original document or relating to non-English language documents will not be accepted, and the entire file will be returned to the user.

For certificates issued by authorities in other (non-UK) countries, the translation and certification of compliance must be made as specified by the Italian diplomatic representations of the issuing country (