Legalisation of foreign documents
Foreign public documents (issued by authorities) that are presented to local register offices to justify register entries or some other official activity must be appropriately legalised and a translation into Finnish, Swedish or English must be attached to them.
The document must be original or a copy that has been reliably certified. A reliably certified copy means that the authority which issued the document has certified the authenticity of the copy or that a notary public in the country in question has notarised the authenticity of the copy of the original legalised document. The above-mentioned copy must also be legalised. However, if the copy of the original legalised document has been certified by a Finnish diplomatic mission, it does not need to be separately legalised.
The legalisation of a document is a measure that is related to the customer’s legal protection. It ensures that the party issuing the certificate has the right under the country’s legislation to issue such a certification and that its content is correct and it is a valid document in the country of issue. For example, as regards marriage certificates, it is important that the officiator has under the country’s legislation the right to officiate at weddings.