Apostille of Italian Documents

How it works: definition, documents that require it, States that use this type of stamp and comparisons with standard legalization process.

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The Apostille in Italy is dedicate to those documents issued by or to be validated in Countries that signed the Hague Convention (signed on 5th October 1961). These documents can in fact be affixed with the Apostille stamp.

What is an Apostille?

The Apostille is a special stamp that certifies the legal effectiveness of a document. It also certifies the legal effectiveness of the Official who signs it (certificates, copiets etc.).

The Apostille is recognised in all the States that have signed the Hague Convention.

Moreover, since 2006 the electronic Apostille Programme (e-APP) supports the electronic issuance and verification of Apostilles around the World.

You can find out more here about the current list of operational e-Registers.

Find out about the Implementation Chart of the e-APP, which identifies the Competent Authorities that have implemented one or both of the e-APP components.

Documents that require Apostille

The Apostille is a type of legalization required for several processes, such as:

  • Permissions to work abroad and, in general, immigration processes;
  • Incorporations of companies in other countries;
  • Admissions to educational institutions abroad;
  • Local registrations and or civil acts like marriage.

The Apostille Stamp

Apostille stamps can be put on the original documents such as:

  • Official documents issued by educational institutions, such as: degree certificates, diplomas, diploma transcripts and others;
  • Certificates issued by archival institutions;
  • Certificates of health status;
  • Certificates issued by the Ministries of Internal Affairs, as well as other official documents;
  • Documents issued by judiciary bodies and courts, as well as documents issued by notaries;
  • Certificates issued by registry offices (birth, death, marriage, divorce certificates, incorporation documents of legal entities).

Apostille in Italy: requirements

Moreover, the Apostille Convention requires all Apostilles to be numbered consecutively, with individual numbers applied to each Apostille issued.

Each Apostille contains a seal and 10 mandatory references:

  • name of country from which the document emanates,
  • name of person signing the document,
  • the capacity in which the person signing the document has acted,
  • the name of the authority that has affixed the seal or stamp (in the case of unsigned documents),
  • place of certification
  • date of certification,
  • the authority issuing the certificate,
  • number of certificate,
  • seal or stamp of authority issuing certificate,
  • signature of authority issuing certificate.

State Members that have signed the Hague Convention

Among the countries that have signed the Hague Convention there are:

  • All EU member states;
  • Other countries such as: Albania, Argentina, Australia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, FYR of Macedonia, Georgia, Honduras, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Namibia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, USA, Venezuela.

Thanks to the agreement, it is not necessary for the documents issued by any of the above-mentioned countries that must be presented to another country signatory of the convention, to be legalized at the Diplomatic or Consular Representations, thus speeding up and simplifying the legalization process.

Find out more about the full list of all countries which have signed the Hague Convention, as well as details on the designated competent authorities, their contact details and other practical information.

Apostille in Italy: When it is not applicable

The Apostille in Italy is not applicable in cases where the Countries involved have not yet signed the Hague Convention. It is usually necessary to analyze each case based on the specific document to legalize and eventually submit the final legalization at the Embassy/Consulate of the Destination Country in Italian.

For further information on the matter, have a look at our dedicated article on the Consular Legalization of Italian documents.

For a list of all the legalization exemptions, take a look at our article.

Jurisdiction bodies: where to get an apostille in Italy

Every country has a dedicated office appointed to manage the legalization procedure.

In Italy, the responsible for taking care of the legalization of documents is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Depending on the office that has issued a specific document, the Ministry delegates to the Public Prosecutor’s Office at the Courts and the Prefectures in the legalization process.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office at the Courts are responsible for legalizing acts signed by Notaries or Chancellor’s Office Functionaries.

The Prefectures, instead, are responsible for legalizing documents signed by other Italian Authorities, such as Registry Office Functionaries or schooling institutions.

Difference between Apostille and Legalization

If the country you are presenting documents to is not part of the Hague Convention, the standard legalization process is required. In this case, the process is longer as it requires both a preliminary verification by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its delegated offices and then a further verification by the Diplomatic or Consular Representations of the country where the documents must be used.

If you need help to apostille a document from another country, Studio A&P offers support for legalization and apostille services.

For more information on the legalization of foreign documents for Italy, read our dedicated guide.

If you want to know how to legalize or apostille Italian documents for use abroad, take a look at our guide.

How we can help you get your documents legalized

  1. Studio A&P replies within 1 business day from your request through our contact form; you will receive a dedicated quotation with timeline and costs needed;
  2. The legalization process starts the same day the quotation is accepted, by paying the quotation fee (through paypal or wire transfer).
  1. First, you have to send the original documents to Studio A&P (in some cases, however, copies of the documents are enough);
  2. After receiving the documents, we will deposit them on your behalf at the competent authorities’ offices;
  3. Finally, once they are ready, Studio A&P sends you back the legalized documents.


The timing for apostille a document is around one week, depending on the province.

On the other hand, the timing for the consulate legalization, instead, is around two weeks, depending on the competent consulate.

  1. Full reimbursement 100% if the service is cancelled during the same day;
  2. Reimbursement of 30% after the notification of commencing the legalization process.

DHL courier and delivery costs depend on the destination from Italy and are excluded from the quotation.

Please Note: fees for legalization of documents vary based on your needs. Prices start from a minimum of €100,00 and increase based on:

  • Your Country;
  • Translation;
  • Type of document;
  • and other.

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