International certification of documents (Apostille)

On 26 April 2021, the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia launched the circulation of bilingual (Armenian, English) electronic Apostille.

Starting from 26 April 2021, the official documents of the Republic of Armenia are being certified by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia exclusively by an electronic Apostille.

Until 26 April 2021, the official documents of the Republic of Armenia were verified by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia by a paper Apostille, which was attached to the original document, verified by the seal of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia and signed by the Head of the Civil Status Acts Registration Agency of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia.

The evidentiary value of certification of official documents of the Republic of Armenia by Apostille in paper sample form until 26 April 2021 is not restricted by the fact of circulation of an electronic Apostille.

The electronic Apostille is not being attached to the original official document undergoing certification. It is being sent to an electronic mail address of a citizen, which is possible to print through any printer, including coloured or black and white, using any type of hard copy and is possible to submit upon request. Apostille printed at the request of an applicant is also provided by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia.

Observations for the citizens. The citizens, who, instead of applying to the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia, apply to translation or other offices (mediated) in order to have the official documents certified, should provide them with an electronic mail address for receiving the Apostille at that address.

The seal (in PDF format) of the Civil Status Acts Registration Agency of the Ministry of Justice, the subdivision responsible for ensuring the function of certifying the official documents by Apostille, is posted in the 9th section of electronic Apostille, whereas the signature (in the same format) of the Head of the Civil Status Acts Registration Agency — in the 10th section.

The authenticity of an electronic Apostille may be verified by visiting http://www.e-verify.am/website and entering the tracking number or the Quick Response code, i.e. QR code, indicated on the Apostille.

The total number of pages of the official documents certified by Apostille is indicated at the bottom of the sample form of an electronic Apostille. Up to 6 pages of large-scale official documents are being reflected while verifying the authenticity thereof. 

General information 

Apostille — a paper or electronic certificate provided for by Article 3 of Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents (hereinafter referred to as the "Convention"), which certifies the authenticity of the signature, the capacity in which the person signing the document has acted and, where appropriate, the identity of the seal or stamp which it bears.

An Apostille is placed on official documents which are to be sent to the States signatory to the Convention.

The documents drawn up and issued by the competent authorities of a foreign state are not subject to Apostille certification in the Republic of Armenia.

The following documents are not subject to Apostille certification:

(1)    documents issued by diplomatic and consular agents;

(2)    administrative documents directly relating to commercial and customs operations.

The documents, issued by the competent authorities — as prescribed by the legislation of the given state and within the scope of their powers — of the States signatory to the Convention, which are certified by Apostille, are considered to be valid within the territory of the Republic of Armenia without consular certification or another additional legalisation.

The certification of the above-mentioned documents by Apostille is mandatory, unless otherwise provided for by law of the Republic of Armenia or where the legalisation procedure is revoked, simplified by other international treaties of the Republic of Armenia or the document is exempted from legalisation.

The documents sent to the CIS member countries acceded to the Minsk Convention of 22 January 1993 On Legal Assistance and Legal Relations in Civil, Family and Criminal Cases, as well as to Bulgaria, Lithuania and a number of other countries provided for by the international treaties of the Republic of Armenia, are not certified by Apostille. Where a state is not signatory to the Hague Convention, the legalisation of documents is carried out through consular channels. 

Documents subject to Apostille certification

Apostille is placed by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia on the following official documents:

1.     documents or copies thereof certified or attested by a notary, certificates issued by a notary, translations certified by a notary pursuant to the Law of the Republic of Armenia “On Notaries”;

2.     birth, death, marriage related documents issued by the civil status acts registration bodies;

3.     documents issued by the Judicial Acts Compulsory Enforcement Service;

4.     documents issued by courts.

Apostille may also be placed by the Ministry on documents issued by other bodies, provided that the authenticity of the signature thereon is notary certified. 

Under what procedure is Apostille certification rejected?

An application for placing Apostille on an official document is rejected where:

(1)    the document is prepared or verified or sealed by a person or a body not having the power to do so;

(2)    the document fails to comply with the format prescribed for the given document;

(3)    the document is not subject to Apostille certification;

(4)    the application for placing Apostille is submitted in violation of this Law and the procedure prescribed by other legal acts regulating the process of Apostille certification of a document;

(5)    the data on official position of the person having signed the document, signature thereof , the seal and the stamp verifying the document is illegible;

(6)    the document is corrupted, the completeness of the document is not maintained or there are impermissible writings thereon;

(7)    the documents prescribed by the legislation for Apostille certification of the document, the proof of the payment of the state duty provided for by part 6 of Article 3 of this Law are not submitted;

(8)    the document is to be submitted to a State not signatory to the Convention;

(9)    the document is obviously false. 

What documents are required to submit for placing an Apostille?

In order to submit an application for placing Apostille on an official document, the following documents are necessary to be submitted:

-       the identification document of the applicant;

-       the official document subject to Apostille certification;

-       the state duty payment receipt.

No letter of authorisation is required for submitting — by third persons — an application for placing Apostille on the official document belonging to another person.

 Within what period is Apostille certification carried out?

Apostille is placed on a document within two working days from the day an application is filed with the Ministry.

Individuals may receive the apostilled documents starting from 16.00 to 17.00 of the 2nd working day.

In case of failure to appear on the day specified by the employee to receive the documents certified by Apostille (on the 2nd working day after filing the application, from 16.00 to 17.00), citizens may appear any day following the specified day, from 10.00 to 17.00.

Apostille may also be placed on documents within one working day following the day an application is filed with the Ministry, for an additional extra-budgetary payment.

In case of making an extra-budgetary payment, the documents certified by Apostille are provided to citizens on the working day following the day the application is filed, from 16.00 to 17.00, or any day following the specified day, from 10.00 to 17.00.

To verify the authenticity of certain documents, the term for placing Apostille may be extended for up to 5 days by the Head of the Agency, for up to 10 days — by the Deputy Minister of Justice of the Republic of Armenia, and for up to 15 days — by the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Armenia. In the mentioned case, the applicant is — within one day — provided with a written reply stating the reasons for extending the time period of placing Apostille, with the signature of the person extending it. 

How much is the state duty rate?

A state duty in the amount of AMD 5000 is charged for placing Apostille. The state duty is paid to the State Budget of the Republic of Armenia, to the 900005163523 bank account, through a payment terminal located inside any bank or the building of the Ministry of Justice.

To place Apostille within one working day from the day the application is filed with the Ministry, in addition to the amount of the state duty, an additional extra-budgetary payment in the amount of AMD 8000 is also charged for each document subject to Apostille certification.

Apostille is placed by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia on the following documents:

1.     documents certified or attested by a notary, certificates issued by a notary pursuant to the Law of the Republic of Armenia “On Notaries”;

2.     documents issued by the civil status acts registration bodies;

3.     documents issued by the Judicial Acts Compulsory Enforcement Service;

4.     true copies of the documents issued by courts.

5.     Apostille may also be placed by the Ministry on documents issued by other bodies, provided that the authenticity of the signature thereon is notary certified.