Legalisation of official documents from abroad

Legalisation is the process which validates the authenticity of official documents from abroad (degrees, academic certificates, etc.). If you are engaged in an administrative process with the UAB and you have to submit official documents from abroad, these may have to be legalised, depending on the country that issued them (as in cases A, B and C below):

A) Official documents issued in countries of the European Union: there is no need for legalisation of any sort for documents issued in member states of the European Union or signatories of the Agreement on the European Economic Community. Documents issued by Switzerland are also exempt from legalisation, by bilateral agreement with the European Union.

B) Documents in countries that have ascribed to the Hague Convention of 5 October, 1961: the only requirement is the single legalisation or apostille issued by the competent authorities of the country.

C) Documents issued in any other country: you will have to legalise these through diplomatic channels, for which the usual procedure is as follows:

  • The Ministry of Education of the country of origin. For degrees and academic certificates issued by Brazilian universities, this Ministry's stamp is not necessary.
  • All foreign documents legalised by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation from the 10th June 2013 will bear a transparent security sticker over the last signature in the legalisation chain.
  • From that date, all foreign documents dully legalised by Spanish embassies or consulates, provided that they bear the transparent security sticker, will be valid in Spain without any further legalisation by the Legalisation Section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation in Madrid.

You will find more information in the web of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport and the informative note 11/2013.

Official translation
When you have to submit an official degree or other official documents issued abroad, you have to take into account the language these are written in and also which administrative procedure you are going to follow (1 or 2):

1) Procedure for official recognition of the foreign degree: in this procedure the documents issued in languages other than Catalan or Spanish must be accompanied by an official translation into Catalan or Spanish carried out by a sworn translator who is duly authorised or registered in Spain. You will find here an up-to-date list of the sworn translators appointed by the Spanish Foreign Ministry.

2) In the remaining cases you will have to take into account the language in which the documents you submit are written:

  • Documents written in Catalan, Spanish or English: documents written in Catalan, Spanish or English do not need an official translation.
  • Documents written in French, Italian or Portuguese: the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona will accept a translation by the Language Service of the UAB of documents written in French, Italian or Portuguese, or a sworn translation.
  • Documents in other languages: documents in other languages must be accompanied by an official translation into Catalan or Spanish carried out by a sworn translator who is duly authorised or registered in Spain. At this link you will find an up-to-date list of the sworn translators appointed by the Spanish Foreign Ministry.