How to get an Apostille on Documents Issued in Portugal

Created: Feb 7, 2024 | Updated: Feb 23, 2024

Are you travelling the world and need to make your papers valid or are you a company doing business internationally? Understanding how you can get your documents in the right order for international use is important. Today’s post covers the process of getting your documents ready in Portugal. We will help you figure out the steps and give you a full picture of what you need to do to make sure your documents are legal in Portugal. 

Understanding Document Legalization in Portugal

Document legalization refers to the process where authorities make your documents legally valid by giving them an official stamp of approval. This is important when you're dealing with papers that need to be recognised in another country. It shows that your document follows the rules and standards set by the government or relevant authorities. In Portugal, documents can be legalised in two ways: By apostilles and by Consular Legalisations. 

Apostilles in Portugal

An apostille is a special certificate or stamp that authenticates the origin of a public document for use in a foreign country. The apostille stamp verifies that the document is legitimate and guarantees that it will be recognized as valid in the 124 countries that are part of the Hague Apostille Convention. It simplifies the process of international document recognition, making it easier for documents to be accepted internationally without the need for any more authentication. 

What Does the Portuguese Apostille Look Like? 

The Portuguese Hague apostille document comes in the form of a printed stamp that bears the handwritten signature of an official, an official seal, and a hologram on it. At the top of the apostille stamp is the logo of the Attorney General’s Office. The apostille is written in Portuguese and has a heading indicating that it is an apostille or authentication certificate. There is also a reference to the 1961 Hague Convention in French (Convention de La Haye du 5 octobre 1961). It contains specific information about the document it is authenticating, for example, the type of document and the date it was issued.

The body responsible for issuing apostilles on public documents originating in Portugal is the "Procuradoria Geral da República" (Attorney General's Office) and the fee for getting the apostille is €10.20. This cost covers the entire administrative process involved in verifying your documents. 


How do I get a document apostilled in Portugal?


What Documents can be Legalised in Portugal?

A range of documents are legalised for various reasons, depending on what they are needed for. The European Union has now authorised some documents to be exempt from legalisation but common documents that people often legalise in Portugal include:

  • Information extracted from Portuguese trade registers: Documents related to business registrations and trade activities. 
  • Land register extracts (Extractos do registo predial): Official documents providing information about real estate or land ownership and legal status from the Portuguese Real Estate Register Office (Conservatória do Registo Predial).
  • Documents issued or certified by a notary public: Notarised documents, including affidavits, powers of attorney, and other legally certified papers.
  • Documents from the Portuguese Legal Entities Register Office (Conservatória do Registo Comercial): Documents related to legal proceedings and judgments.
  • Official documents issued by state authorities.
  • Translations by court interpreters.
  • Patents: Documents related to patents and intellectual property.
  • Documents from the Portuguese Civil Register Office (Conservatória do Registo Civil): birth certificates, marriage certificates, and death certificates.
  • Academic Diplomas issued by Public Institutions: transcripts, overviews of subjects and grades, matriculation certificates, and additional certificates from schools or universities.
  • Powers of attorney, testaments, declarations.

Types of Documents That Cannot be Legalised in Portugal

  • Documents Not Issued by Competent Authorities: Private contracts, private letters, or documents issued by non-official entities.
  • Commercial Documents: Documents such as invoices, trade contracts, and customs documents. 
  • Diplomatic and Consular Documents.
  • ID Cards.
  • Educational Documents from private institutions or entities that are not recognised as public institutions.

Portugal is also in a bilateral agreement with some countries where they are now exempted from any kind of legalisation for their public documents. These countries include: 

  • For birth, marriage, and death certificates: Austria, Germany, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Estonia, France, Italy, Cape Verde, Cyprus, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Switzerland, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain and Turkey.
  • For multilingual marriage certificates: Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Moldova, Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland, Spain and Turkey.

Consular Legalisation

Consular legalization is the process of confirming or certifying legal documents, ensuring their recognition and acceptance by another country's legal system. This extra layer of verification is carried out by the diplomatic or consular mission in Portugal representing the country where the document is intended for use. For Example, a document to be used in Ghana will be legalised by the Ghanaian Embassy in Portugal. 

It is usually used between countries that are not part of the Hague Convention or when one of the states involved has raised objections to the other's accession. Consular legalization can be a more expensive and time-consuming process compared to getting an apostille. This is because various local authorities and the diplomatic mission of the destination country are involved in this legalisation process. Several additional certifications are required before your document can receive approval in Portugal at the embassy or consulate of the destination country.

How to Legalise Your Documents in Portugal

Here is a simple guide to legalising your documents in Portugal when going to other countries:

Step One - Get the Original Documents: Ensure you have the original document or an official copy issued by the relevant Portuguese authorities. Make sure that the copy has the official seal and signature of the institution and is a true copy of the original. 

Step Two - Translate the Document: If the document is not already in the official language of the destination country, you'll need to get a notarised translation. This translation should be done by a certified translation service in Portugal. Certified translation services ensure your documents are translated accurately and legally.

Step Three - Have Them Certified: Confirm whether the document has been certified by a lawyer or solicitor, aligning with the stipulations outlined in Articles 5 and 6 of Decree-Law nº 237/2001 dated 30th August.

Step Four - Get the Apostille Document from the Portuguese Attorney General’s Office: Visit the Attorney General’s Office in any of the following districts:

  • Lisboa: Procuradoria Geral de República, Rua da Escola Politécnica, 140 1269-103 Lisboa, Portugal, +351 213 921 900/99. 
  • Coimbra: Palácio da Justiça, Rua da Sofia, 3004-501 Coimbra, Portugal, +351 239 852 950.
  • Évora: Palácio Barahona, Rua da República 141 a 143, 7004-501 Évora, Portugal, +351 266 758 817.
  • Porto: Palácio da Justiça, Campo Mártires da Pátria, 4049-012 Porto, Portugal, +351 222 008 531
  • Funchal: Auditor Jurídico junto do Representante da República da Região Autónoma da Madeira, Gabinete do Representante da República da Região Autónoma da Madeira, Palácio de Justiça, Rua Marques do Funchal, 902 Funchal - Madeira, +351 291 213 449.
  • Ponta Delgada: Auditor Jurídico na Região autónoma dos Açores, Secção Regional do Tribunal de contas dos Açores, Rua Conselheiro Luis Bettencourt, 9500-058, Ponta Delgada - Açores, +351 296 209 460.
  • Guimarães: Tribunal da Relação de Guimarães, Largo João Franco, n.o 248, 4800-413 Guimarães, +351 253 439 900.

You are expected to take the following documentation:

  • The original documents that are to be legalised.
  • A photocopy of the documents that are to be legalised.
  • A photocopy of your international passport or valid ID.
  • Proof of payment of apostille fees (€10.20).

Step Five - Receive the Apostilled Document: Once the apostille is affixed, you will receive the legalised document. Your document is now valid for use in countries that are party to the Hague Convention. 

Step SIx - Send the Document to the Embassy or Consulate (for Consular Legalisation): If the receiving country does not recognise the Hague Convention, you will need to visit their embassy or consulate in Portugal and further legalise the document according to their requirements. After this step, you can use your document in the receiving country. 

How to Translate Your Document Online in Portugal

To get a notarised translation in Portugal online, follow these steps: 

1. Visit the Translayte website. 

2. Click on “Order Certified Translation”.

3. Select “Certified Translation”, then choose the language, and your preferred turnover time. 

4. Upload the document you want to translate. Ensure the file has been named correctly. 

5. Select either the Standard, Professional or Specialist document translation services, based on your needs and budget.

6. Specify that you want a “notarised translation” and any other certification you may prefer for your document.

7. Place your order and wait for your translation.  Your translation will be delivered to you either by email or by post on or before the stipulated time.

Getting an Apostille for Documents Going to Portugal

Getting an apostille for Portugal means legalizing documents that will be used in Portugal. Authorities such as Notaries, or the Embassy do the attestation of documents, however, the final attestation is done by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country. 

Here’s the process for getting an apostille in your country for documents going to Portugal:

1. Identify the Competent Authority: Find out the authority responsible for issuing apostilles in your country. The competent authority responsible for issuing apostilles in most countries is usually the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. If it is a different authority, make sure to identify them. 

2. Prepare Your Documents: Ensure that your documents are in order and meet any requirements set by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in your country. This usually includes notarisation, translations or other authentication steps. The documents you will be expected to take along with you usually include:

  • The original documents that are to be legalised.
  • A national identification like an international passport or national ID card.
  • Photocopies of your documents.
  • Proof of payment of legalisation fees.
  • A filled application form, usually from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country.

3. Submit the Documents: Submit your documents to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs along with any required fees set by your country. This can often be done in person or through their designated channels.

4. Wait for Processing: Wait for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to process your request. Processing times for every country are different, so it's advisable to check with them for an estimated time. 

5. Receive the Apostilled Documents:  Once the apostille is issued, you can either pick up the documents in person or have them mailed to you, depending on the options provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in your country. Before travelling to Portugal, ensure that the apostille has been properly affixed as per the requirements of the Hague Apostille Convention. Here are some of the things to check for: 

  • The Seal and Signature: Look for the official seal of the competent authority that issued the apostille. There should also be a signature of an authorised representative.
  • Verify the Document: Ensure that the apostille is attached to the correct document. Check that the details on the apostille, such as the names of the parties involved, match the information on the document. 
  • Check for Watermark or Security Features: Every country’s apostille has security features like watermarks, special numbers, or a barcode, to prevent forgery. Make sure to confirm what the security elements peculiar to your country are and ensure they are present on your apostille.
  • Examine the Language: Make sure that the language on the apostille is consistent with the language used in the official documents of your country.
  • Use Online Verification Tools: Many countries have online verification tools where you can check the apostille to confirm its authenticity. 

Get English to Portuguese Translations With Translayte

Every foreign document that is not in Portuguese, from your identification to the document that is to be legalised, needs to be translated by a certified or sworn translator in Portugal. Translayte is your number-one global provider of locally relevant translation services, including English to Portuguese translations and meeting the strict requirements set by international authorities is our top priority. 

Our professional Portuguese translators ensure that your documents are not just translated, but are in line with Portuguese standards. Give it a try and request a free quote in a few easy steps.


How Much is an Apostille in Portugal

The fee for getting an apostille from the Attorney General’s office in Portugal is €10.20. This cost covers the entire administrative processes involved in verifying your documents. 

Is Portugal Part of the Hague Convention?

Yes, Portugal is one of the 120 countries that recognize and issue apostilles in accordance with the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961.

Who can Certify Documents in Portugal?

Notaries and lawyers or solicitors can certify documents in Portugal. The documents need to have been certified in alignment with the stipulations outlined in Articles 5 and 6 of Decree-Law nº 237/2001 dated 30th August.

How do I get a Document Apostilled in Portugal?

You can get an apostille in Portugal by having it certified by a notary or a solicitor and then getting the stamp from the Portuguese Attorney General’s Office.

Related Posts: 

How To Have My Documents Legalised And Translated In Slovakia

How To Have My Documents Legalised And Translated In Romania

How To Get An Apostille On Documents Issued In Italy

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