Legalising documents abroad

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

If the country in question has signed the Hague Convention of 1961, the document can be legalised using an Apostille. For more information about Apostille certificates and the authorities that issue them, visit

If the document was issued in a country that is not a party to the Apostille Convention, the legalisation process is as follows:

  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.

Legalising documents in Japan

Japan has signed the Hague Convention of 1961 and is an Apostille country. Apostille certificates in Japan are issued by the Japanese Foreign Ministry.

If you want to present official Japanese documents to the Finnish authorities, you must have them translated into English, Finnish or Swedish. In this case, both the original document and its translation must be legalised using the Apostille.