The Republic of Cyprus has acceded to the Convention Abolishing the Requirement of legalization for Foreign Public Documents, signed in the Hague, on 5.10.1961. The Convention was ratified by the Law 50/72 as amended 91/72. For the implementation of this Convention, the Ministry of Justice and Public Order has been assigned as the Central Authority.
The Contracting States of this Convention are provided below:
The link to the Apostille Section of the HCCH website is provided below:
The main provision of the Convention is the exemption from legalisation of any diplomatic or consular legalisation of foreign legal documents and the limitation of legalisation of the signature of a legal document with the seal “apostille”. This shall apply to public documents which have been executed in the territory of one Contracting State and which have to be produced in the territory of another Contracting State.
By becoming a Member of the European Union, Cyprus is bound by the provisions of EC Regulation for the Abolishing of Legalisation of Documents between the Member States of the E.U., which opened for signatures in May 1987 in Brussels. The Ratification Law is the 32(III)2002 (available only in Greek).
The legalisation of documents is taking place at the Ministry of Justice and Public Order, 122 Athalassas Avenue, Nicosia and at the Limassol District Office, of the Apostille Department, at 21 Spyros Araouzos, 1st floor, 3036 Limassol, between the hours 8:00 - 15:00 Monday to Friday.
Nicosia Office: (+357) 22805998/924/967
Limassol Office : (+357) 25345650, (+357) 25345651
Apostille Certification of Documents
1. The Ministry of Justice and Public Order is responsible, as the Central Authority, for the implementation of the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961, on the Abolition of the Obligation to Legalize Foreign Public Documents (Laws 50/72 and 91/72).
2. This Convention shall apply to Public documents issued in the territory of one of the Contracting States, in so far as they are used in the territory of the other.
3. Abolishing the obligation to legalise a public document, means certifying only the authenticity of the signature on the document, the status of the person who has signed it and the identity of the stamp bearing the document.
4. The certificate (form) known as ΑPOSTILLE, which is added and affixed to the document, as the only certification according to the above, is completed, signed and stamped by an authorized Officer of the Ministry, so that the Cypriot public document can be sent abroad.
5. For the provision of the service, a fee of 5 euros is paid in stamps, which are affixed and cancelled on the certificate (form) "ΑPOSTILLE".
6. The following documents are considered as public documents for the purposes of the Convention:
• Documents from authorities or officials related to the Courts of the State, including those from public prosecutors, court clerks or judicial servants.
• Administrative documents, notarial documents
• Official certificates on documents signed by persons in their private capacity, indicating the fact of registration of a document or the fact that a document was in force on a specified date, as well as official or notarial certifications of the authenticity of the signatures.
7. The Hague Convention does not apply to documents issued by diplomatic representatives or consular officers or to administrative documents directly referring to commercial or customs undertakings.
8. The Ministry of Justice and Public Order is the competent authority for the Apostille certification of documents issued by competent government agencies for use in the territory of other Contracting States. Also, other documents of private law can be certified under conditions e.g. wills, agreements, powers of attorney, provided that they bear a signature / seal of a public authority, since it is the authenticity of the signature, etc. of the public authority that is certified.
It is noted in this regard that in the absence of the institution of the Notary, the signature of a person on a private document to be used abroad, is certified by a certifying Officer, who is appointed by the Minister of Interior in accordance with the provisions of Law 165, paragraph 1 of 2012. The signature of the certifying officer is then certified by the Officer of the District Administration in the province of which the certifying Officer performs his duties and the signature of the latter is certified by an Apostille stamp, which is placed by the Ministry of Justice and Public Order.
It goes without saying that in these cases the certification does not concern the content of the private document and the validity that will be given it is up to the countries to which it will be sent for use. It is of course understood that in cases where such documents are in a foreign – not understood – language, in order to be able to assess whether it can be certified with an ΑPOSTILLE, there should be either a translation or it must be submitted with an affidavit stating the type of document.
9. More specifically, original public documents and certificates in relation to the status of a citizen of the Republic such as birth, death, marriage certificates as well as court documents, are directly certified by the Central Authority without any intermediate certification. Regarding copies of public documents, Apostille is issued only in cases where the copy of the document is a certified true copy of the original and this is produced by the Department/authority of the Republic that has issued the original document.
According to legal advice of the Attorney General, "for the purposes of certification by Apostille only original documents (or copies) issued by various government departments (of the Republic of Cyprus) against payment of a relevant fee as specified in the relevant laws governing their operation can be certified for the purposes of the Hague Convention". The Convention is not intended to give individuals the right to certify public documents themselves, where under a relevant law applicable to each Department, only the relevant Department has the power to issue copies of public documents.
However, in order to better serve the public, always within the framework set by the Convention, and on the advice of the Attorney General, the Ministry has adopted the practice of certifying affidavits before the Courts, in which the interested party under oath declares that the photocopies of Certificates and Statutory of Companies attached are copies of those issued and filed with the Department of the Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver.
In the context of the same purpose, i.e. to serve the public, this practice, i.e. affidavit, is followed for Certificates/Articles of Association of Companies registered in other countries which are signed by directors in Cyprus.
10. In order to better serve the public, the Ministry of Justice and Public Order has taken appropriate steps for the provision of the ΑPOSTILLE service by Citizen Charter Centres on a nationwide basis.
Furthermore, an electronic digitization program of the ΑPOSTILLE Archive, is implemented on a nationwide basis. With the implementation of the digitisation programme, the registration of the particulars of the document and the issue of the certificate (form), duly completed and sealed, which is affixed to the document, is carried out electronically.
11. Authentication of an Apostille can be verified by the Ministry, provided that a copy of the relevant document (along with its translation into English) is submitted by the requesting party.
- Apostille Handbook on the Practical Operation of the Apostille Convention.
- Procedures for Apostille Documents are available only in Greek language, here.
- Exemption of Certain Public Documents from the Apostille Requirement According to Regulation EU 2016/1191