How to Have my Documents Legalised and Translated in Slovakia

Created: Jan 26, 2024 | Updated: Jan 26, 2024

International travel often demands the exchange of important documentation and this exchange happens between you and people of different languages and backgrounds. Translations and legalisations are important to make sure these documents are recognised and valid where they are needed. If you are in Slovakia and need to legalise or translate documents for a foreign country, understanding how the process works is necessary. In this post, we'll show you how it’s done, outlining the types of documents you can legalise and the steps to effectively go through this procedure in Slovakia.

Table of Contents

About Legalising Documents in Slovakia

Document legalisation is the process of officially certifying a document so that it is recognised as valid and authentic for use in another country's legal system. This often involves obtaining certain endorsements or stamps, to verify the document's legitimacy and facilitate its acceptance abroad. 

In Slovakia, there are two ways documents can be legalised: Apostilles and Consular Legalisations.

Apostille Legalisation in Slovakia

An apostille is a type of certification that authenticates the origin of a public document, confirming the legitimacy of the signature and the authority of the official who signed it. The apostille legalisation ensures that these documents are recognised as valid in countries that are part of the Hague Convention of 1961 on the Simplification of Apostille. It simplifies the process of cross-border document recognition, eliminating the need for additional certifications like consular legalisation in member states.

Slovakia is part of the 124 countries that abide by the Hague Convention. The Slovakian apostille is a printed sticker that has a handwritten signature of an official, an official seal, and a hologram on it. It will display “Slovakia” and will include a Slovakian national symbol. It will have a title or heading indicating that it is an apostille or authentication certificate. The apostille will contain specific information about the document being authenticated, for example, the type of document and the date it was issued.

Bodies That can Issue an Apostille in Slovakia

In Slovakia, the Competent Authorities responsible for issuing apostilles and the types of documents they can issue the apostille for include:

All Regional Courts (Krajský súd):

  • Public documents issued by District Courts, notaries, or bailiff within their territorial jurisdiction.
  • Translations done by court-appointed official translators 
  • Opinions issued by official experts.

The Ministry of Justice of the Slovak Republic (Ministerstvo Spravodlivosti Slovenskej Republiky

  • Documents from judicial authorities that are not courts, except District Courts.

The Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic (Ministerstvo Vnútra Slovenskej Republiky)

  • Public documents from authorities within its jurisdiction.

The Ministry of Education of the Slovak Republic (Ministerstvo školstva Slovenskej Republiky)

  • Public documents from authorities within its jurisdiction.

The Ministry of Health of the Slovak Republic (Ministerstvo Zdravotníctva Slovenskej Republiky)

  • Public documents from authorities within its jurisdiction.

The Ministry of Defence of the Slovak Republic ("Ministerstvo obrany Slovenskej republiky")

  • Public documents from authorities within its jurisdiction.

The District Office (Obvodný úrad

  • Extracts from birth registers, death registers, and marriage registers (matrika), except for decisions concerning civil status. 
  • Documents issued by autonomous local authorities.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic (Ministerstvo Zahraničných Vecí Slovenskej Republiky)

  • Any other public document issued in Slovakia not specified above.

Consular Legalisation

Consular legalisation is simply the process of verifying or certifying legal documents so they can be recognised and accepted by the legal system of another country. This process is conducted by the diplomatic or consular mission in Slovakia of the country where the document is intended to be used.

Consular legalisation is usually used between states that aren’t members of the Hague Convention, or where one of the states has protested the accession of the other.

It is more expensive, and time-consuming than an apostille procedure as various inland authorities and the diplomatic mission of the destination country will be involved in the process. It needs a few more certifications before your document can be certified in Slovakia at the embassy or consulate of the destination country.

Types of Documents That can be Legalised in Slovakia

  • Public Documents: Documents issued by public authorities, such as birth, marriage, and death certificates.
  • Notarial Acts: Documents certified by a notary public, including powers of attorney, declarations, and notarised contracts.
  • Educational Documents: Academic certificates, diplomas, and transcripts issued by recognised educational institutions.
  • Court Documents: Judgments, decisions, and other legal documents issued by courts or tribunals.
  • Administrative Documents: Documents of an administrative nature, such as certificates of good conduct or residency.
  • Commercial Documents: Extracts from commercial registers, business contracts, and other commercial documents.
  • Legalisations and Authentications: Documents that have undergone the legalisation or authentication process by the competent authorities.
  • Translations by court interpreters: Documents that have been translated from one language to the other by court interpreters. 

Types of Documents That Cannot be Legalised in Slovakia

  • Personal Correspondence or Documents not Issued by Competent Authorities: Private contracts, private letters, personal notes, emails between individuals, or documents issued by non-official entities.
  • Commercial Documents: Documents such as invoices, trade contracts, and customs documents. 
  • Diplomatic and Consular Documents.
  • ID Cards: National IDs, work IDs, etc. 
  • Educational Documents from Private Institutions or Entities That are not Recognised as Public Institutions.
  • Documents from Certain Countries: Some countries like Kosovo, have objections or reservations regarding the application of the apostille legalisation process with Slovakia. 
  • Documents With Forged Signatures or False Information: Any document found to have forged signatures or containing false information is not eligible for apostille.
Get your Apostille in Slovakia 


How to Legalise Documents in Slovakia

Step One: Confirm What Kind of Legalisation the Document Needs: Your document will only need a Hague apostille if you intend to use it in a country that is party to the 1961 Apostille Convention. It will need consular legalisation if it is to be used in a country that is not part of the Hague Apostille Convention. 

Step Two: Collect the Original Documents: Make sure you have the original document or an official copy issued by the relevant Slovakian authorities. Make sure the copy carries the official seal and signature of the institution and is a true copy of the original. 

Step Three: Translate Your Documents: If a translation is required for your document, you should get a skilled certified translation service in Slovakia to accurately translate it from Slovak to the language of the receiving country. Here’s how it’s done:

1. Go to the Translayte website. 

2. Click on “Order Certified Translation”.

3. Select “Certified Translation”, the language you are translating and will be translating into, and the expected turnover time. 

4. Upload the document you want to translate and label it appropriately. 

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

6. Select a certification type and any other specifications you would prefer for your document. 

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

It is important to get an accurate document translation to avoid any misinterpretation and complications. 

Step Four: Have Them Notarised: In most cases, you will need to notarise your documents and translations by a public notariat in Slovakia, before proceeding to the next steps. Notarisation involves verifying the authenticity of the document and the signatures on it.

Step Five: Get an apostille from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia Authentication: Visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country your document will be used and submit the document for authentication. The MFA will affix the apostille certificate, confirming your document's authenticity. You should go with the following when visiting the MFA:

  • The original Document you need to be authenticated.
  • A photocopy of the original document.
  • Identification documents like your international passport.
  • Application Form from the Website of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic

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

Step Seven: Send the Document to the Embassy or Consulate for Legalisation: If the destination country does not recognise the Hague Convention or has specific requirements, you will need to further legalise the document at the embassy or consulate of the destination country in Slovakia.

Getting an Apostille for Documents Going to Slovakia

Getting an apostille for Slovakia is the process of legalizing documents that will be used in Slovakia. 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.

The following are the steps you should follow to get an apostille on documents going to Slovakia:

1. Identify the Competent Authority: 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 you 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 include:

  • The original documents to be legalised.
  • A national identification like an international passport.
  • Photocopies of your documents.
  • Proof of payment of legalisation fees.
  • A filled application form from the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your 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 estimate. 

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 traveling to Slovakia, ensure that the apostille has been properly affixed and is per the requirements of the Hague Apostille Convention.

Accurate document translations are very important when it comes to getting an apostille in Slovakia.  It helps prevent misunderstandings and potential legal issues that could arise from errors in your documents. Also, if you intend to visit Slovakia, your documents need to be translated from your official language to Slovak so that the Slovakian authorities receiving the documents can understand what they mean. This is why getting a reliable certified translation agency, is super important. Translayte stands as your reliable partner, with our team of seasoned Slovakian translators and the best AI technology to guarantee not just translations but adherence to Slovakian standards. 

Our process is simple. Visit our website, upload your documents and order a certified translation in just a few clicks. We are excited to serve you. 


How Long is an Apostille Valid for?

An apostille does not have an expiration date. They have an issue date but they do not expire because they are intended to serve as a confirmation of the authenticity of the document at the time of issuance. The absence of an expiration date does not mean that the information on the document is always current or accurate; it simply confirms that the document was properly authenticated at the time it was issued.

Is Slovakia an Apostille Country?

Yes, Slovakia is an apostille country because it is a member of the Hague Apostille Convention. 

What is a Sworn Translation in Slovakia?

In Slovakia, a sworn translation refers to a translation that has been certified by a sworn translator, who is authorized by the Ministry of Justice in Slovakia. These translators are officially recognized by the Slovakian authorities to provide translations that are considered accurate and reliable.

Does the Translation Also Have to be Apostillized?

Yes, the certified translation from Slovakia has to be certified by an apostille because many countries may not accept certified translations if they are not properly authenticated. 

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