Getting apostilles for UK issued documents (and apostilles for Austrian issued ones)

Hague Apostilles are used to confirm that a document was issued in a signatory country of the Hague Convention.

Even though my wife and I are at different stages of our naturalisation processes, there are some similarities for both of us. In recent weeks, we have both needed to have documents apostilled. While I was watching Austria vs Serbia playing rugby, I got chatting to another Brit who is in the document gathering process, and he asked me about the ordering for apostille and sworn translation of a document issued from the UK, and so I decided to use this post to clear up their use, and how to get them.

A document to be apostilled that needs to have a certified translation must be apostilled first and the sworn translation done second (to be able to include the translation of the apostille!).

For my citizenship application, I was able to re-use the apostilled birth certificate with subsequent sworn translation that I had had to submit to be able to marry in Vienna back in 2013. Rather than have my original birth certificate sent to the UK to be apostilled I had a certified copy of it issued instead, and once that was returned I submitted it to the UK for apostilling.

This time around, I needed to get a UK Apostille on my Police Certificate for Immigration Purposes – issued by ACPO, the subject of another post. The online application for apostilling is very straightforward – you use the Government’s document legalisation service. The online service processes your payment, and you then just have to print out the covering form and post your document to be apostilled to the address near Milton Keynes. From Austria is it worth sending it registered (eingeschrieben), which cost me about € 10. The service costs £30 per document, with postage to Europe being £14.50.

In my wife’s case, to get Austrian police registration documents legalised to be submitted to Russian authorities, she was able to get her Meldezettel apostilled by the Magistratsdirektion – Geschäftsbereich Recht by the Rathaus. Other items may require apostilling from the Landesgericht (a lot depends on the authority issuing the document). It is worth noting that many documents in Austria are issued with an electronic signature (Amtsignatur) now, rather than hand signed, and the latter is needed for documents for presenting to foreign authorities. (Further information in German about Apostille oder diplomatische Beglaubigung von Urkunden zur Vorlage im Ausland can be found here)

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