European Union simplifies the rules on public documents

European Union aims to make easier the EU citizens’ life living in another EU country in connection with the recognition of the public documents issued by their home EU country. They often need to present a public document (such as a birth certificate to get married, or a certificate on the absence of a criminal record to get a job) to the authorities of the EU country where they live. Prior to the regulation, EU citizens had to obtain an authenticity stamp (i.e. Apostille) to prove that their public document was authentic and they were often required to present certified copy and translation of their documents, which were time-consuming and costly. The new rules apply from 16 February 2019 and aims at cutting red tape and costs for citizens when they need to present in an EU country a public document issued in another EU country.

According to the regulation, public documents (for example a birth certificate, marriage certificate, a judgment) and their certified copies issued by the authorities of an EU country must be accepted as authentic by the authorities of another EU country without the need of an authenticity stamp (i.e. Apostille). It also means that it is not required to present both an original public document and its certified copy. If an EU country permits the presentation of a certified copy of a public document, that EU country must accept a certified copy made in the EU country where it was issued. The regulation also abolishes the obligation to provide translation of the public document, therefore, EU citizens can ask for a multilingual standard form, available in all EU languages, from the authorities of the EU country which issued the public document.

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