Legalising documents 

The Finnish authorities may ask you to legalise a foreign document. This should be done in the country where the document was issued.

  1. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the issuing country certifies that the document is genuine and has been issued by its authority
  2. The competent Finnish mission in the country legalises the document by appending to it a certificate proving the right of the official at the country’s ministry for foreign affairs to issue such certificates.

Service fees

For notarial acts and legalization, an appointment is required and processing time is ca. one week. It is required to provide information to whom and for what purpose the notarial certificate is requested for. Certificate can be written only in Finnish, Swedish or English. 

Finnish missions can only legalize documents which have a connection to Finland and are based on official documents issued by a local authority/institution (personal statements/affirmations cannot be legalized). In order for a Chinese document to be valid in Finland (e.g. registration of birth, marriage, death or citizenship), the document shall be legalized with three steps as follows:

  1. The document shall first be notarized in a Chinese notary office, which also translates it into English. Contact information of notary offices in China: to another website.) (in Chinese).
  2. After this, the notarized document shall be legalized:
  • In Beijing's jurisdiction: At the Foreign Ministry of China
    (Legalization Division of the Consular Section of Ministry of the Foreign Affairs, Phone. +86-010-65889761)
  • Legalizations have to be submitted either through local Foreign Affairs Office or an agency authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Contact information can be found at to another website.)
  • In Shanghai's jurisdiction: Shanghai Foreign Affairs Office, FAO
    Contact information: Equatorial Hotel Office Building, Hua Shan Road No. 228, 2nd floor, Shanghai, +86-021-62470833
  1. Lastly, a Finnish mission shall legalize the document:
  • In Beijing's jurisdiction: Embassy of Finland in Beijing
  • In Shanghai's jurisdiction: Consulate General of Finland in Shanghai

Please note that for the attachments of visa application when legalization is required, legalization of the Foreign Ministry of China is sufficient (legalization of Finnish mission is not required).

In principle, a service fee applies. Notarial act is free of charge only when the purpose is to notify the Population Register either via Finnish Mission i.e. the Mission delivers the document to the local Registration Office in Finland or the customer hi-/herself delivers it..

In order for a document issued in Finland to be valid in China, is has to be legalized in Finland. More information from website of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window).