• Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland

  • Public documents intended for circulation in foreign states are certified through:


    Apostille – in the case of documents intended for circulation in states that are parties to the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents (Journal of Laws of 2005, no. 112, item 938);


    Legalisation – in the case of documents intended for circulation in states that are not parties to the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961.



    The competent authority to issue the apostille or to legalize Polish documents is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.



    Ministry of Foreign Affairs
    Legalization Section
    Al. Szucha 21, 00-580 Warsaw

    tel: (+48 22) 523 9845

    e-mail: legalizacja@msz.gov.pl

    Office hours: 9.00 am – 1.00 pm, Monday through Friday.


    The stamp duty charged on certification of documents amounts to: PLN 60 for the apostille and PLN 26 for the legalisation of documents (legal basis: Act of 16 November, 2006, on Stamp Duty, Journal of Laws of 2006, no. 225, item 1635). Stamp duty may be paid in cash at the cashier’s desk located on the premises of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or by wire transfer made to the following account:

    Urząd M.St. Warszawy, Dzielnica Śródmieście, ul. Nowogrodzka 43

    Bank Handlowy w Warszawie S.A.
    60 1030 1508 0000 0005 5001 0038
    Payments from abroad:
    IBAN: "PL 60 1030 1508 0000 0005 5001 0038"

    Payment is made for every certified document.


    Official documents include acts of civil status, administrative and court documents, notarial deeds, official certificates which are placed on documents signed by persons in their private capacity. Pursuant to the convention, they do not include administrative documents dealing directly with commercial or customs operations. The issuance of an apostille or legalisation of a document is not necessary when either the laws, regulations, or practice in force in the State where the document is produced or an agreement between two or more Contracting States have abolished or simplified it, or exempt the document itself from legalisation.


    Before the apostille is issued or the document can be legalised in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, certain documents first have to be authenticated:

    • notarial acts (e.g. notarial deeds, powers of attorney, certified true copies, notarial authentications of signatures) and court documents (except for copies from the National Court Register) are certified by the President of the competent circuit court;
    • diplomas of higher education institutions are certified by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education. However, diplomas issued by higher art schools (Academies of Music. Academies of Fine Arts, Theatre and Film Schools) are legalised by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage; the Minister of National Defence legalizes diplomas of higher military schools; medical school diplomas are legalised by the Minister of Health; diplomas issued by the Gdynia Maritime University in and the Maritime University of Szczecin are legalised by the Minister of Infrastructure;
    • the new Matura is certified by the Ministry of National Education;
    • school certificates are certified by the competent local board of education;
    • master craftsman’s certificates, craftsman’s certificates are certified by the Association of Polish Crafts in Warsaw;
    • commercial documents are certified by the Polish Chamber of Commerce in Warsaw and by regional chambers of commerce.

    Applications for the issue of the apostille or for legalisation of documents may be filed with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs personally or by a third person (no additional authorisation is required) – the application is analysed “on the spot”. Documents may be sent by mail, also from abroad. When certifying documents that have been sent by mail, you must include in your mail a proof of payment of the stamp duty (copy of a bank wire transfer or printed electronic account statement) and provide your return address. Then, certified documents will be sent to you by mail, also abroad. The document certification period is 2-3 weeks.


    Greater numbers of documents, above 20, are legalised after prior arrangement by telephone.


    An up-to-date list of States Parties to the Hague Convention of 1961 is available on the HCCH website or at the legalisation centre:  http://www.hcch.net/index_en.php?act=conventions.status&cid=41


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