What is an apostille and when do I need to get my documents apostilled for submission in Spain? I explain below.
DO I NEED TO GET MY DOCUMENTS APOSTILLED?
What is an apostille?
The apostille or Hague apostille is a certificate used for legalising documents to be submitted abroad. As a result of the Hague Convention, an international treaty of which Spain and the United Kingdom are signatories, the requirement of legalisation for foreign public documents was abolished. This means that between Spain and the United Kingdom, an apostille will suffice for certifying any document’s validity.
Apostilles can be bilingual or trilingual. This is what a trilingual apostille looks like:
When an document needs to be translated by a sworn translator, the apostille must also be translated.
When must a document to be translated by a sworn translator be apostilled?
Since Brexit, any official document issued in the United Kingdom that is going to be submitted in Spain (via a sworn translation) must now be legalised (ie, officially certified as legally valid), ie it must bear an apostille. Equally, any document issued in Spain that is going to be submitted in the United Kingdom needs be legalised (ie, officially certified as legally valid), ie it must be apostilled.
IMPORTANT: according to the Legalisations Department of the Consulate of Spain in London, any foreign public document that needs to be translated by a Spanish sworn translator must be apostilled beforehand, since the apostille must be translated too. Note, however, that in my experience translations are also accepted before apostilling. It is usually legal and official documents that need to be apostilled (excluding, for example, bank statements and, in some cases, medical certificates), but please enquire first before sending a document for translation.
Also, please note that a photocopy of the certificate of naturalisation as a British Citizen that needs to be submitted at the Spanish Consulate in London as part of the procedural steps for remaining a Spanish national must now be apostilled (more information on the translation of the certificate of naturalisation here).
Do you need a sworn translation into Spanish? I am a Spanish sworn translator appointed by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Contact me here.
Sworn / Legal English-Spanish Translator with 20 years of experience in legal translation. BA in Translation & Interpreting and Graduate Diploma in English Law. Specialising in trusts, contracts, company documents and civil litigation documents. Traductora jurada y jurídica de inglés 20 años de experiencia en la traducción jurídica. Licenciada en Traducción e Interpretación y Graduada en Derecho inglés. Especializada en trusts, contratos, documentos societarios y escritos y documentos para procesos civiles y mercantiles.