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  • Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland

     

  • DOCUMENT LEGALIZATION

  • THE ABOLISHEMENT OF THE REQUIREMENT OF LEGALIZATION OF PUBLIC DOCUMENTS FOR THE LEGAL USE IN POLAND

     

    As a result of Poland's ratification of the Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents, concluded in Hague on October 5, 1961 that entered into force on August 14, 2005 the Polish Consular Offices in the United States terminate the procedures of legalization of most public documents executed in the United States for the legal use in Poland.

    The documents deemed to be public are:

    - Court documents (e.g. documents emanating from an authority or an official connected with the courts or tribunals of the State, including those emanating from a public prosecutor, a clerk of a court or a process-server);

    - Administrative documents (e.g. Vital Statistics documents, school diplomas, etc.);

    - Notarial acts;

    - Official certificates placed on documents signed by persons in their private capacity (e.g. official certificates recording registration of a document or the fact that it was in existence on certain date and official and notarial authentication of signatures.

    The Convention will not apply to the documents issued by diplomatic or consular officers, as well as administrative documents dealing directly with commercial or customs operations.

    Instead of legalization of documents, The Convention introduced a unified certificate an "Apostille", which is attached to the documents. The document certified in such a way may be provided directly to the proper authorities, offices and institutions in Poland.

    In the United States an "Apostille" may be issued by competent authorities on three levels, depending on what authorities executed the document. The competent authorities are:

    1. Documents executed by Federal authorities - the United States Department of State Authentication Office, 518 23rd Street, N.W., Washington D.C. 20520, phone (202) 647-5002,

    2. Documents executed by the U.S. Courts - Clerks or deputy clerks of the Federal Court System;

    3. Documents executed by State authorities or authorities of other territories of the United States (including the documents executed before a notary public) - in most cases - Secretary of State or Deputy Secretary of State.

    More information on "Apostille":

    - U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affaires https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal-considerations/judicial/authentication-of-documents/notarial-and-authentication-apostille.html

    - The Hague Conference on Private International Law https://www.hcch.net/en/states/authorities/details3/?aid=353

     

    In some cases e.g. statements, authorization, power-of-attorneys (exept power-of-attorney for coveyance of real estate), authentication of a person's signature may be done at the Polish Consular Office. This, however, requires a personal presence at the consular office. Consular fee for the authentication of signature is $35, payable in cash, money order, certified check or cashier's check.

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