The Apostille Certificate (stamp or paper certificate) is necessary if the document has been issued by the authorities of a country that has ratified the Hague Convention of 1961. Information on the Hague Convention as well as an English language list of its member states can be found here:

It also provides information about the authorities issuing Apostille Certificates in the various countries.


If the country issuing a document is not a signatory of the Hague Convention, a document is legalised by the foreign ministry of the issuing country, after which a competent Finnish Embassy or Finnish Consulate of that country legalises the document, certifying the competence of that foreign ministry official to issue such legalisation.