Legalization of Foreign Documents
In order to be accepted in Portugal, all documents issued by official entities in the United States such as birth, marriage, and death certificates, school transcripts, criminal record certificates, or documents issued by an American Court must first be legalized in one of the following manners:
BulletBy the Portuguese Consulate with jurisdiction over the area where the document was issued;
BulletBy an Apostille issued by the Secretary of State of the State in which the document was issued, in accordance with the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents. Documents legalized by Apostille do not require Consular legalization.
Official documents must be signed and authenticated with the raised seal of the issuing authority.
Documents issued by doctors, companies, lawyers, or private individuals, such as health certificates, affidavits, powers of attorney, etc. must be legalized by a Portuguese Consulate in order to be accepted in Portugal. Only originals or certified copies may be legalized.
If the documents are submitted by mail, they must be signed before an American notary public. If signing in person before a Consular Officer, the applicant must present proof of identity, such as a current passport or other identification document which shows photo and signature.
Portuguese nationals registered in the Consulate must only present their current Portuguese passport or ID Card (Cartão de Cidadão/Bilhete de Identidade.)
Legalization of Photocopies
Photocopies to be legalized must be accompanied by the original document or by copies certified by an American notary public. The original documents may also be photocopied at the Consulate.
All customers who need consular attention are required to timely contact the Consulate, requesting appointment for a date and hour available. All information about procedures and documentation to be submitted will be provided, as well as expected costs.