Embassy/Consular Legalisation, Attestation, Authentication
As a general rule, any certificate issued overseas will have to be legalised by the respective Embassy/Consulate of the issuing country in the country you are applying from and this applies doubly so to any countries not belonging to the Hague Convention.
Document legalisation/attestation requirements can vary from embassy to embassy. Some embassies will insist on only original documents, while others will accept certified copies. Some embassies will accept documents notarised by a solicitor, while others will insist on notarisation being performed by an actual Notary Public. It is important that you verify the level of legalisation/authentication that is being asked of the document's country of destination. Samurai Translators will assist you in having your documents legalised, attested or authenticated by the embassy or consulate of the issuing country in Japan or the U.K. regardless of whether they have been translated by us. As this service is separate from our translation service, the cost of applying for and obtaining such legalisation, attestation or authentication and the notarisation fee for the notary public or solicitor, etc. is not reflected in the translation price. For legalisation by an embassy or consulate of Articles of Incorporation or Association, commercial and company registers and family registers, please click on the individual links to visit the relevant page. For translations requiring notarisation, please see our Certified, Notarised and Legalised (Apostille) Translations.
Service for attestation/authentication by consular section of embassy following authentication of official seal by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
You can have documents which have been certified by a notary public(for which the seals of the notary public have been authenticated by the Legal Affairs Bureau, or the official seals have been authenticated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) attested or authenticated by a consular in the consular section of the embassy of the country to which documents are to be submitted to. We are happy to carry out the necessary procedures for those who wish us to handle the obtaining of attestation/authentication on their behalf. Please don't hesitate to contact us for details.
We can work on your behalf if you wish to have us obtain authentication of your official documents and translations from the consular section of the embassy of the country such documents are to be submitted to after having obtained authentication of the official seal from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan. Please specify the country for which authentication will be required in your order. For translations requiring notarisation not necessarily from the embassy or consulate please see → Certified, Notarised, Legalised (Apostille) Translations
The main countries we provide consular notarisation after authentication of official seal by Ministry of Foreign Affairs are:
Please contact us to inquire about this service for any other countries. We generally provide our consular authentication service as part of our after-service after executing a translation and notarising it at the notary public, however, as described below, we also provide this service for certain documents which have not been translated by us.
Consular Authentication Service Fees by Country
Consular Authentication Service Price List
|Country||Authentication Service Fees||Express charges|
|China||21,600 yen||+5,400 yen|
|Saudi Arabia||21,600 yen|
*Price breakdown for express consular authentication from Chinese consular section:
By paying the express charge, you can collect your authenticated documents one (1) business day after filing an application for consular authentication.
*Included in the consular authentication service fee are:
• The authentication fee of the relevant consular (This will vary depending on the fees imposed by the embassy's respective government. In some cases, authentication may be issued free of charge.)
• Fees for our filing an application for authentication and handling the process thereafter.
• Some consulates offer a service to delivery documents directly to the applicant's given address. In this case, delivery of documents will be paid by cash on delivery and the cost of delivery will not be included in the consular authentication service fees.
Documents Requiring Consular Authentication
Samurai Translator's consular authentication service including the application and acquisition of consular authentication is also available to clients who have not had their documents translated by us and is offered as an independent service and the fees outlined above do not cover translation costs or the notary public fee required for the notarisation of documents prior to authentication by the consular section. Clients who require consular authentication of their articles of association/incorporation, company or commercial registers or family registers as well as any other translations, please contact us for a quote. Those who require a certified or notarised translation should take a look at our Certified, Notarised, Legalised (Apostille) Translation.
Reference information regarding Embassy/Consular Legalisation, Attestation, Authentication
The following is additional information from an excerpt from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. For full and up-to-date details always refer directly to
Notarisation by consulate of country for submission
Some consulates will notarise sworn statements for translations under the condition that such documents are to be submitted to agencies and institutions in the countries of those consulates. Notarisation in this case serves as authentication/attestation of the declaration/sworn statement of the translator and is different to authentication by a foreign delegate (embassy or consulate) for authentication of official seal by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs described below.
The U.S. Consulate uses its own cover letter for notarisation of translations prepared by the consulate. The U.S. Consulate in Fukuoka uses the following phrasing (as this is not a document of our company we have no copyrights related thereto. As such we have not imitated the format, etc. Please also refrain from quoting, etc.).
"The document prescribed by the consulate states the name and address of the translator who will sign and seal the document in the presence of a consul upon which the consul will subscribe his/her name and affix his/her seal. As proof of the translator's identity, the translators are required to produce their passport at the consulate each time.
Consulate of Canada
We prepare a cover letter based on the "recommended" template available at the Canadian consulate (Consular Section of the Canadian Embassy) and have this signed and sealed and notarised by the consulate. As when having documents notarised at the U.S. consulate, our translators are required to produce their passport at the consulate each time as proof of identity.
When obtaining consular legalisation/notarisation from the Australian consulate, we submit our own cover letter. As always, our translators produce their passports as proof of their identity. Generally official notarisation of documents to be submitted to Australian institutions and organizations is not required. We can obtain a consular signature from the Australian embassy or consulate if specifically requested to do so by a client but these cases are rare. Translations attached to visa applications for Australia are required to be accompanied by a Certificate of Translation provided by a "Translation Company" which we always provide. To confirm and check details please visit the Australian Embassy website: http://www.australia.or.jp/en/consular/notarial/
Authentication of official seal (for public documents issued in Japan)
Embassy or consular authentication is often required when submitting diplomas or graduation certificates, certificates of legal capacity to contract marriage, family registers and health certificates or reports, etc. to foreign agencies or institutions in order to study, marry or take a position abroad and also when submitting commercial registries or company registers (certificates of complete historical records or when opening a branch or business office overseas, etc. Depending on the country of the agency or institution you are submitting such documents to, you may be required to obtain authentication from a foreign delegate in Japan such as an embassy or consulate. In this case, you may also be required to have these documents authenticated by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in order to obtain authentication from a foreign delegate. The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Tokyo or Osaka Branch) grants authentication of official seals stamped on official documents issued by public agencies in Japan or by organizations equivalent thereto (independent administrative institutions or public corporations). If documents such as power of attorney contracts, resumes and CVs, Articles of Incorporation and Association and other public documents to be translated to English, as well as private documents produced privately or by a company are notarised by a notary public and the seal of the notary public is authenticated by the District Legal Affairs Bureau, these can be authenticated by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
It should be noted, however, that the authentication of documents by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) is a prerequisite to embassy/consular authentication and, therefore, embassy/consular authentication must still be obtained in order to submit such documents to the intended country of submission.
(Note 1) Certified copies of commercial registries/company registers issued by a registrar will need to have the seal of that registrar authenticated by the legal affairs bureau with which the registrar is affiliated with.
Legalised Translation (Apostille)
Legalisation is the official confirmation that a signature, seal or stamp on a public document is genuine. (It does not authenticate the content of the document).
Japan is a member of the Hague Apostille Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents. This means that official documents issued in Japan will be recognised in foreign countries which are also members of the convention provided they are attached with a certificate called an "Apostille" and likewise Japan will recognise official documents attached with an Apostille issued from those member countries.
Apostilles should be stamped on the document itself or on a separate sheet and attached to the document. An Apostille officially confirms the authenticity of the signature or stamp or seal of the person who issued the document.
In order to get an Apostille on a document issued in Japan, you are usually required to go through a Notary Public, Legal Affairs Bureau and then the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In the case of documents issued in the U.K., you are usually required to have them notarised by either a solicitor or a notary public and then have them legalised (with an Apostille) by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).
If the country or territory you intend to submit your document to is NOT a member of the said Hague Convention, you should go through orthodox certification methods such as notarisation by a notary public, authentication of official seal by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and by a foreign delegate (consul) in Japan.
(A) When submitting certificates to the U.S.A., U.K., France or any other of the 105 countries which are members of the Hague Apostille Convention, generally legalisation, attestation or authentication from an embassy or consulate will not be required. It is important to be aware, however, that depending on the purpose of the document, institutions, agencies and organizations even within these member countries may request official authentication from an embassy or consulate.
(B) Furthermore, commercial or company registers, etc. issued by a registrar in Japan require a certificate of the stamp of the registrar from the Japanese Legal Affairs Bureau of the location affiliated with that registrar. Also, even private documents in Japanese which have been notarised by a notary at a notary public office, and for which a certificate of seal of the notary is issued by the legal affairs bureau of the relevant location, can be authenticated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is important to note, however, that the criteria for granting an Apostille certificate differ depending on the agency in charge so will be different in the case of a notary, registrar or legal affairs bureau.
Procedures for authenticating private documents (for documents to be submitted overseas)
It is often presumed that only official or public documents are authenticated, however, even private documents are notarised by a notary public, therefore, if a certificate of the seal of the notary is obtained from the legal affairs bureau of the relevant region, the document can be legalised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
One-Stop-Service (only available in Tokyo and Kanagawa Prefecture)
(A) Notary public offices in Tokyo and Kanagawa Prefecture may, if a request is received from an applicant, grant a certificate of official seal attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, certificate of stamp attested by the Legal Affairs Bureau or Apostille. Be aware, however, that in the case of authentication of official seals, authentication from an embassy or consulate in Japan is still always required.