Legalization and translation of documents in the field of registration of foreigners and immigration

Sources of information on the legalization and translation of documents:

Law 30/92 of 26 November on the legal system of state bodies and the general procedure (article 36).

Hague Convention of October 5, 1961 on the abolition of the requirement to legalize foreign official documents.

Instruction DGI / SGRJ / 06/2008 on the provision of foreign official documents for procedures relating to the registration of foreigners and immigration.


Why should I present official foreign documents?

The current rules in the field of registration of foreigners and immigration provide for the provision of various documents issued by foreign government agencies so that the competent Spanish authorities can decide on granting or refusing a residence permit, a residence permit with the right to work, or the right to stay in Spain .


Requirements for recognition of foreign documents valid in Spain

If there is no convention, contract or agreement that excludes the legalization of documents required for administrative proceedings in Spain, they are granted depending on the issuing country and must be legalized in one of the following ways:

– Using an apostille, if the country that issued the document is a party to the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961


– Through diplomatic channels, if the country that issued the document is not a party to the Hague Convention.

The public document must be translated into Castilian Spanish, and if the procedure is handled by the organs of an autonomous region, it’s second official language may be used.


Apostille and legalization through diplomatic channels

Apostille: in accordance with the Hague Convention, the only formality required for documents from the states parties to the convention is the apostille stamp, which is put by the competent authority of the issuing state.

Legalization through diplomatic channels: this is the procedure for legalizing foreign official documents of states that are not parties to the Hague Convention. The document must be legalized in the relevant embassy or consulate of Spain with jurisdiction in the country that issued the document, and contain the signature of the legalization of the embassy or consulate and an obligatory security mark.


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