How to legalize a document

The following instructions concern all applications for the legalization of Nigerian or other West African origin (except Senegal and Liberia), such as marriage certificates, birth certificates, divorce certificates and bachelorhood/spinsterhood certificates. From 1 June 2015 the legalization done by other Nordic countries in the region are not accepted by the Finnish authorities.

In order to keep the processing period as short as possible, please note the following before contacting the Embassy:

  • Please check with the Finnish authorities for which documents a legalization is required
  • Only original documents are to be scanned for legalization purposes. Certified copies of documents are not accepted. Do not post original documents to the Embassy
  • All original documents are legalized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country of origin of the documents
  • All scanned documents as email attachments are sent in pdf format and readable copies
  • Only one email trend is to be used in corresponding with the Embassy
  • Please make sure that the names on the documents to be legalized match with the given names on the copy of passport(s) before sending them to the Embassy of Finland in Abuja, Nigeria ([email protected]).

First Step: Review of documents

Send an email to to request for legalization of documents. The email should contain the following:

  1. Cover letter stating the purpose for legalization
  2. Scanned copy of original (legalized) documents (front and back pages)
  3. Scanned copies of the data pages of passports of all concerned parties (husband, wife, children, mother, father, fiancé, fiancée where applicable)
  4. Scanned copy of residence permit in Finland, if applicable
  5. Return address, name of recipient and phone number in Finland
  6. For cases of minors, scanned copy of consent letter from the resident parent in the West African country
  7. For married women already bearing husband’s names on their passports, scanned copies of proof of name change depending on what is obtainable in country of origin.

Second Step: Payment of Legalization fees

Legalization fee is 60 Euros per document + 20 Euros postage fee. Please note that upon receipt of all requested documents mentioned above, the Embassy will send payment instructions to the applicant. The instructions will contain the total amount to be paid and the Embassy’s account information. You can also do a self-assessment of your documents and calculate your legalization fees. However, payment should not be made prior to the receipt of payment instruction from the Embassy.

Third Step: Verification

All documents to be legalized by the Embassy must first be verified by VFS Global in Abuja. After the legalization fee has been paid and confirmed by the Embassy’s bank, the Embassy will send an email instructing the applicant to send original documents to VFS Global. The documents to be sent are the same originals that were initially scanned to the Embassy for review.

VFS Global investigates and verifies the origin of the document(s). VFS Global charges the applicant a fee for the verification of a document. Please see the instructions and the tariff on the website(Link to another website.) (Opens New Window).

The customer is liable for all verification charges.

The work of VFS Global is independent and the Embassy cannot interfere in the verification process or the fees charged.

Fourth Step: Legalization

Documents will be legalized by the Embassy only if the result of the verification is positive. The legalized document(s) will be sent to the applicant’s given address in Finland.