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Documents must be legalised using the Apostille or Grand Legalisation procedure. Documents must always be legalised in the country in which they were issued. The purpose of the procedure is to verify that the person who signed the document is actually in the position stated in the document and that the person had the legal right to issue the document by virtue of their position as at the time when the document was issued.
An Apostille or Grand Legalisation can verify that the signatory of a degree certificate had the right to sign that certificate or that the notary public certifying official copies of a document had the right to do so. Please ensure that you request the Apostille or Grand Legalisation in respect of the correct person.
For instance, if you wish to legalise an officially certified copy, you must request an Apostille or Grand Legalisation in respect of the notary public. If, on the other hand, you wish to legalise your original degree certificate, you must request an Apostille or Grand Legalisation in respect of the person who signed the degree certificate (e.g. the headmaster of the institution).
Documents issued in countries that are not States parties to the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 must be legalised using the Grand Legalisation procedure. In this procedure, the foreign ministry of the country where the document was issued must first certify that the document was issued by the appropriate authority. Then, the Finnish mission accredited to that country must legalise the document by attaching to the document an affidavit attesting to the right of the foreign ministry official in question to issue such certificates.