The Finnish authorities may ask you to legalise a foreign document. This should be done in the country where the document was issued.
- The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the issuing country certifies that the document is genuine and has been issued by its authority
- 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.
Legalization of documents in Egypt
Finnish authorities are not able to verify that foreign documents are issued and signed by persons with legal authority to do so. Documents issued by authorities in Egypt or Sudan are therefore not recognized as valid by authorities in Finland.
In accordance with the Consular Services Act 489/1999 paragraph 33, the Embassy of Finland in Cairo also offers notarial services. The services include issuing of certificates verifying the authenticity of a signature of an official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Egypt or Sudan, as well as the authority of the official in question to sign a certain document. Certificates may be issued if the embassy has access to examples of signatures of the officials working at the authority in question. Legalization is done in English and consists of a seal verifying the legitimacy of the signature on the document.
Signatures on documents issued by Egyptian authorities must be legalized before the information can be entered into the Population Registry in Finland.
In order for the information on a document to be registered with the Finnish Population Registry, it is thus mandatory for the signatures of the signing official to be authenticated. In practice this means that the signatures on a document or certificate issued by a local authority (e.g. notary public, district court or other registering authority) in Egypt or Sudan, are verified as legitimate by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the country of issue.
Following this, the Embassy of Finland in Cairo verifies the legitimacy of the verifying official’s signature, based on examples of the signatures of officials authorized to sign such documents, provided by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs in Egypt and Sudan. The Ministries of Foreign Affairs in Egypt and Sudan hence certify the legitimacy of the signatures on the documents issued by local authorities, but not the legitimacy of the content of the document. The Embassy of Finland acts in a similar manner.
Finnish citizens usually require notarial services in order to register a marriage performed abroad, or a child born abroad, in the Population Registry in Finland. The Embassy of Finland in Cairo does not legalize documents issued by Finnish authorities. Documents issued by authorities in Finland, as well as translations of these, must first be legalized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Finland and thereafter by the Embassy of Egypt in Helsinki, Itäinen puistotie 2, 00140 Helsinki, +358 9 477 7470.
The customer service at the Embassy of Finland in Cairo is open Monday to Wednesday between 9am and 12noon.