Legalisation of Birth and Marriage Certificates

If you intend to live in Finland for at least a year, you must register at a Local Register Office (Maistraatti). If you are married or have children, you must provide legalised marriage and/or birth certificate upon registration. Legalisation does not mean the same as an original document. The legalisation process can be done only in the country that has issued the document.

Legalisation is done in two different ways depending on whether the country that has supplied the document has ratified the Hague Convention of 1961 or not. Documents from countries that have ratified the Hague Convention are legalised by the issuance of a so-called Apostille Certificate (a stamp or a paper certificate). Documents issued by other countries are legalised through the so-called Grand Legalisation procedure.

Please note that population register documents in English no longer need to be legalised between Finland and Estonia. Further information can be found here (

Information sources and further information: