What is legalization?

The legalization is a necessary requirement for an administrative act issued in a foreign country to have legal value in Italy, as well. It is required the legalization of the signature of the public official who drafted the act: the Italian authority abroad (Consulate or Embassy) attests the legal qualification of the public official who has signed the act and the authenticity of his/her signature.

You can check the updated list of Italian diplomatic and/or consular representations on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation website by following this path: Home > La Farnesina > Struttura “IL MAECI” > Rete diplomatica (https://www.esteri.it/it/ministero/struttura/laretediplomatica/).

Only for exceptional and objective reasons (e.g. absence or suspension of the legalization service of the Italian Embassy or Consulate in the country of origin), you can legalize the foreign documentation at the foreign diplomatic mission in Italy, but, in this case, also remember to request the legalization at the Italian Prefecture.

You should legalize each document. If the diplomatic authority chooses to legalize the entire package of documents, the single legalization must be clearly visible and certified by the public authority.

It is a special declaration that eliminates the need for diplomatic or consular legalization and guarantees the authenticity of a public document. Each State party to the Hague Convention designates the authorities in charge of Apostille. To check if your country of origin has joined and which are the authorized issuing bodies, check the following site https://www.hcch.net/en/states/hcch-members.

No. For no reason can the legalization of the translator’s signature replace the legalization of the signature of the public official.


Here below you can find the list of countries that allow the exemption from the legalization or apostille for all the documents, including financial and patrimonial ones:

  • Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Republic of San Marino

On the hand, for the following countries it’s allowed the exemption from legalization or Apostille only for civil status documents (birth, death, divorce, separation or marriage annulment certificates, etc.):

  • all European Union countries, but be careful: only if the aforementioned certificates are accompanied by multilingual standard forms drawn up in compliance with EU Regulation 2016/1191, you are not required to also submit the certified translation of these documents

How can you get the translation?

All the documentation you collected must be translated into Italian, unless you use a standard multi language model. The translation into Italian language can be made either in the foreign country where the document was drafted or in Italy, according to the following indications:
- in the foreign country where the document was drafted: you can avail yourself of an official translator or, if such a position doesn’t exist, through an interpreter accredited at the offices of the Italian diplomatic/consular authority;
- in Italy: through a sworn translator authorized by an Italian civil court. The translation cannot be made by one of the persons mentioned in the original document. The translation must then be sworn with the oath report, received from the clerk of any Italian judicial office (including the Justice of the Peace Office), without further formalities.

No. All the documents written in another language must be accompanied by a translation into Italian that conforms to the original text certified by the competent Italian diplomatic or consular authority, or by an official translator.

No. With the exception of civil status documents requested to another European country with multilingual standards, in all other cases you must obtain the certified translation into Italian of the foreign text.

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