How To Get An Apostille On Documents Issued In Brazil

Created: Feb 10, 2024 | Updated: Mar 2, 2024

If you have international transactions and you need to make your papers acceptable around the world, today’s post will help you figure out the steps. We'll break down the process so it's easy to understand and give you a full picture of what you need to do to ensure your documents are accepted in Brazil. Every step we outline is really important to make sure your paperwork is good to go, both legally and in terms of the language. Come along with us as we go through the details of making your documents official in Brazil.

Understanding Document Legalisation in Brazil

Document legalisation is the process of giving your document an official stamp of approval. It's a process where authorities confirm that your document is genuine and valid. 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 Brazil, documents can be legalised in two ways: By Hague apostilles and by Consular Legalisations.

Apostilles in Brazil

An apostille is a form of legalisation that requires using a special stamp or certificate that makes a document valid and proves its origin by confirming the legitimacy of the signature and the authority of the official who signed it. It's a simplified way of proving that the document is real and official. Apostille legalisation ensures that documents are recognised as valid in countries that are part of the Hague Convention of 1961 on the Simplification of the Apostille. It simplifies the process of cross-border document recognition, eliminating the need for additional certifications like consular legalisation in member states.

What Does the Brazilian Hague Apostille Document Look Like? 

Brazil is among the 124 countries that abide by the Hague Convention. The Brazilian apostille document comes in the form of a rectangular printed stamp that carries the logo of the National Justice Council (Conselho Nacional de Justiça or CNJ), the handwritten signature of the apostille official, an official seal and a barcode for verification. At the top of the apostille stamp reads “Brazil”, and at the bottom is some information and disclaimers about the apostille in English and Portuguese. It has a subheading indicating that it is an apostille or authentication certificate. The apostille also contains some information about the document such as the name of the holder and what type of document it is. 

In Brazil, the authority responsible for issuing apostilles is the National Justice Council (Conselho Nacional de Justiça or CNJ), although, local notaries also have the authority to issue the apostille.


How do I legalise a document in Brazil?



What Documents can be Legalised in Brazil?

People typically need to legalise a range of documents for various purposes, depending on their needs. The European Union has now authorised some documents to be exempt from legalisation but common documents that people often legalise in Brazil include:

  • Civil status certificates: Marriage certificates, birth certificates, death certificates, etc.
  • Brazilian trade register excerpts: Documents related to business registrations and trade activities.
  • Land register extracts: Official documents providing information about real estate or land ownership and legal status.
  • Documents Connected with a Court: 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.
  • Academic Diplomas issued by Public Institutions: transcripts, overviews of subjects and grades, matriculation certificates, and additional certificates from schools or universities.
  • Powers of attorney, last will and testaments, declarations.
  • Documents of a particular nature that have been recognised by a notary and county clerk: travel authorisation for a minor and forms of authorisation to obtain the passport of a minor.

Types of Documents That Cannot be Legalised in Brazil

  • 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.

Consular Legalisation

Consular legalisation is the process of confirming or certifying legal documents, and 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 Brazil representing the country where the document is intended for use. For Example, a document to be used in Congo will be legalised by the Congolese Embassy in Brazil. 

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 legalisation can be a more expensive and time-consuming process compared to just getting an apostille stamp. 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 Brazil at the embassy or consulate of the destination country.


How to Legalise Your Documents in Brazil

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

Step One - Get the Original Documents: Ensure you have the original document or an official copy issued by the relevant Brazilian authorities. Sometimes, photocopies can be accepted, but only in special cases. Contact the Department of Foreign Affairs to find out if your photocopy will be accepted. 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 sworn translation should be done by a certified document translation service in Brazil. Certified document translation services ensure your documents are translated accurately and legally.

Step Three - Have Them Certified: Certify your documents by getting them notarised. If you like to avoid stress, Translayte offers you a place to translate and notarise your documents altogether. All you have to do is select the “notarisation” option while placing your order. This certification verifies the authenticity of the document and the signatures on it. 

Step Four - Get the Apostille from the National Justice Council: Visit the National Justice Council in Brazil at Conselho Nacional de Justiça (CNJ) Brasília, Federal District, Brazil.

You are expected to take the following documentation when going to the DFA:

  • The original documents that are to be legalised.
  • A cover letter with the following details:
    - Your name.
    - The name of the country you want to send the document to.
    - Phone number.
    - Contact email.
    - Return address.
  • A photocopy of the documents that are to be legalised.
  • A photocopy of your international passport or valid ID.
  • Proof of payment made by Brazilian bank draft, postal order, credit or debit card payment. For the last two, the Department will let you know what number to make the payment.

Step Five - Receive the Apostilled Document: Once the apostille is affixed, you will receive the legalised document in about three to seven working days. 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 Brazil and further legalise the document according to their requirements. After this step, you can use your document in the receiving country. 

How to get a Notarised Translation in Brazil Online

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

1. Visit the Translayte website. 

2. Click on “Order Certified Translation”.

3. Select “Certified Translation”, select the target and source 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, Specialist or Professional translation services, based on your needs and budget.

6. Specify that you want a “notarised translation” and any other specifications you 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 Brazil

Getting an apostille on document(s) to be used in Brazil for is the process of legalising documents that will be used in Brazil, according to the legal requirements of the Brazilian authority receiving the document(s). 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 Brazil:

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: Make sure 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 Brazil, 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 from the apostille office.
  • Verify the Document: Ensure the apostille is attached to the correct document. Check that the details on the apostille, such as the parties' names, match the document's information. 
  • Check for Watermark or Security Features: Every country’s apostille has security features such as watermarks, numbers, barcodes, etc., to prevent forgery. Make sure to confirm which security features are present in your country’s apostille and that they are present in 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. Brazil, for instance, has an online verification system where you can input information about your apostille and confirm that it is legitimate.

Register the Document at the Registro de Títulos e Documentos: Translated foreign documents need to be registered at the Registro de Títulos e Documentos (Registry of Titles and Documents). This registration is an extra layer of confirmation and proves your document’s validity in Brazil. It helps Brazilian authorities to formally recognise your documents. 


Get English to Portuguese Translations With Translayte

Every foreign document that is not in Portuguese needs to be translated by a certified or sworn translator in Brazil. Translayte is your best bet for getting locally relevant professional translation services, including meeting the standards 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 Brazilian standards. Give it a try and request a free quote in a few easy steps.


Where can I get an Apostille Stamp in Brazil?

You can get an apostille stamp in Brazil from the National Justice Council (Conselho Nacional de Justiça or CNJ). They are responsible for issuing apostilles in Brazil. 

What is a Certified Translator in Brazil?

A certified translator in Brazil is a translator who has passed a public examination and is then authorized by the Brazilian government (the Court of Justice “Tribunal de Justiça”) to provide professional translation services for foreign documents. In Brazil, only the sworn translations provided by a publicly certified or sworn translator will be recognised as valid.

Who can Certify Documents in Brazil?

In Brazil, notary publics, otherwise known as "Tabelião de Notas" or "Cartório de Notas," are one of those responsible for certifying documents. These professionals authenticate and certify the authenticity of signatures on various legal documents, such as powers of attorney, contracts, and affidavits. The National Justice Council (Conselho Nacional de Justiça or CNJ) is also responsible for certifying your documents with apostilles. 

Is Brazil Part of the Apostille Convention?

Yes, Brazil is part of the 124 countries that adhere to the Apostille Convention of 1961 which simplifies the process of document recognition among member countries. 

Related Posts: 

How To Have My Documents Legalised And Translated In Romania

How To Get An Apostille On Documents Issued In Italy

How To Have My Documents Legalised And Translated In Slovakia

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