The process of legalization depends on whether the issuing country has ratified the Apostille Convention of Hague, 1961 or not and on the EU membership of the issuing state.
If the issuing country is not an EU member:
1) AND has not ratified the Apostille Convention
In general, if you wish to use a public document (e.g. birth and marriage certificates, certificates of being alive, certificates of family status, criminal record certificates) in Hungary that has been issued in a different country, the document has to be legalized prior to submitting to the Hungarian Authorities.
The process usually consists of 3 steps:
- you need your document to be certified
- you have to acquire an internal legalization of the document by the issuing country
The authority responsible for the internal legalization can vary according to the legislation of the state in question. Generally, it is conducted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (of the issuing country). In many cases, before the internal legalization is being made, the document has to be translated by a local certified translator most commonly to English language as it is officially recognized status in many countries.
- the internal legalization should be followed by a diplomatic legalization
(„embassy legalization / consular authentication”)
The diplomatic legalization is conducted by the Hungarian diplomatic representation (embassy / consulate / honorary consulate) located in the issuing country. When there is no embassy in one’s country of residence, the legalization may be done in one of the neighboring countries.
By this certification the diplomatic representation declares that the signatures and stamps on the submitted documents are identical to those that the embassy or consulate possesses as samples.
2) AND has ratified the Apostille Convention
The abovementioned process is simplified if the country issuing the certified document is a member state of the Apostille Convention of Hague, 1961.
In this case, instead of the diplomatic legalization, only an Apostille Certificate is needed, which serves the same purpose, namely that the Apostille itself stands for the authenticity of the document in question.
For the up-to-date list of contracting states and the authorities responsible for issuing Apostille Certificates in these countries, visit the website of the Hague Conference on Private International Law:
If the issuing country is an EU member
Due to the European 2016/1191 Regulation on Public Documents
apostille is no longer needed for public documents issued by an EU member state. These documents shall be automatically acknowledged as authentic by other EU member states without further legalization procedures.
The Regulation also applies for certified copies, which means that certified copies of a public document shall be accepted in other EU member states as well if the certification was conducted by the issuing country.
Certified translations made by any EU country shall be accepted as well in other member states during official procedures.
You can find more information (e.g. types of automatically acknowledged documents) regarding the implementation of this regulation by Hungary at the following webpage:
You can submit your documents for translation to the Hungarian Office For Translation And Attestation (Országos Fordító és Fordításhitelesítő Iroda, OFFI). Only translations made by this institution will be accepted as official by the Hungarian authorities.
With regard to passports required in the application process you only need a certified copy, not a complete translation of your valid passport. Practically it means that the OFFI makes a photocopy of your full passport and translates only those few pages that contain your personal data. By putting their authenticity stamp on this document at the end the OFFI declares that the photocopy is a true copy of your original passport.
Due to the pandemic personal administration is currently suspended, therefore you can only submit your documents for translation online.