Apostille Legalisation

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u34rb
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Postby u34rb » Wed Nov 30, 2005 5:21 pm

Chris1 wrote:This is the first time I put a posting on this and fact this is a first time I ever been in a forum. So far its been most entertaining.

It’s great to have you as such an appreciative audience. Just to let you into a little secret, Bo is my alter ego and together we chose Gardenia from Central Casting. So let’s have round of applause for Chris1.
:smt038 :smt038 :smt038 :smt038 :smt038

I just wanted to add that my agent has advised me by email that only the POA and declaration of consent of specimen signature is required to be notarised and apostilled.

That’s great if that’s all you want, but what you need to get legalised depends on what you are trying to achieve. For instance, sometimes it’s necessary to legalise a birth certificate or divorce decree, etc.

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leedarkwood
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Postby leedarkwood » Wed Nov 30, 2005 6:28 pm

Please dear Mr Bear, can you suggest when a birth certificate etc might need this? Only I want to make sure I do everything that needs doing before I leave, but don't want to do lots of unnecessary stuff.

Lee

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u34rb
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Postby u34rb » Thu Dec 01, 2005 5:28 pm

leedarkwood wrote:Please dear Mr Bear, can you suggest when a birth certificate etc might need this? Only I want to make sure I do everything that needs doing before I leave, but don't want to do lots of unnecessary stuff.

No clear answer to this one, except perhaps getting married in BG, but try the following:

http://mybulgaria.info/modules.php?name ... cate#68592

http://mybulgaria.info/modules.php?name ... cate#47580

http://mybulgaria.info/modules.php?name ... te&start=7

This begs the question, What does some one do who has settled in BG as a permanent resident, without links in the UK, and then finds they need to submit their UK birth certificate for some point that a local would also have to produce theirs, do they then have to return to the UK to get it legalised, or as Bo suggest can they get it legalised by the UK Consul in Sofia.

Bo

Postby Bo » Thu Dec 01, 2005 5:40 pm

u34rb wrote: What does some one do who has settled in BG as a permanent resident, without links in the UK, and then finds they need to submit their UK birth certificate for some point that a local would also have to produce theirs, do they then have to return to the UK to get it legalised, or as Bo suggest can they get it legalised by the UK Consul in Sofia.


I think a birth certificate can only be 'legalised' by the FCO (and I read the 'no links to the UK' bit) and that the Embassy will not be able to assist the applicant in such matter but am not entirely sure and will have to double check.

At any rate, in the meantime my working asuspmption is that the birth certificate will have to be obtained and legalised in the UK.

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CP
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Postby CP » Thu Dec 01, 2005 8:55 pm

There is 1 way of making documents valid when somebody is in Bulgaria and 2 ways of the same effect, when somebody is in the UK.

In Bulgaria the local notaries attest the signature. The documents are in Bulgarian. If the person who signs the documents does not speak Bulgarian, a certified translator is involved who signs the documents in front of the notary as well. The translator certifies that the person who signs understands perfectly what he or she is doing.

In the UK, the first option is the use of an English notary public accompanied by the Apostille stamp of the FCO. The procedure is described in detail and very precisely by Bo in a previous thread. The documents are in English. The complete procedure (including the translation into Bulgarian by a certified translator and the stamp from the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry takes about 2 - 3 weeks.

The other, absolutely legitimate and equal in force way (unlike most of the other opinions I would like to express respect towards u34rb's logical thinking) is to go to the Bulgarian Embassy in London and sign the documents in Bulgarian. The procedure is absolutely legally identical like when signing in front of a local Bulgarian notary, but in this case the Consul is attesting the signature. Of course, a certified translator should also be invloved.

I think people signing important documents need to have the above information so to choose what is the best variant for them.

The easiest and cheapest is when in Bulgaria to visit a local notary (the charge for a document is a little above GBP 1. The good agents are taking advantage of that when people are in Bulgaria to use this opportunity. Of course, not always this is possible, as certain documents might need singnatures at a later stage, then we come to the variants in the UK.

Out of them the Bulgarian embassy is the cheaper option, quicker, but sometimes very inconvenient (not only because people might live away from it, but also because of queues in the Embassy as well as certain bureaucracy etc.) It takes approx. a week to get the documents back.

The option with the English notary and the Apostille is much slower, but is generally more convenient, as it is accessible from everywhere and the people have an absolute confidence of what they are signing as this is their native language.

Bo

Postby Bo » Fri Dec 02, 2005 9:45 pm

CP wrote: The other, absolutely legitimate and equal in force way (unlike most of the other opinions I would like to express respect towards u34rb's logical thinking) is to go to the Bulgarian Embassy in London and sign the documents in Bulgarian. The procedure is absolutely legally identical like when signing in front of a local Bulgarian notary, but in this case the Consul is attesting the signature. Of course, a certified translator should also be invloved.


This is exactly how the system worked BEFORE Bulgaria joined the Hague Convention in 1999. PLEASE, don't mislead people, even if unintentionally! The Consul at the BG Embassy in London is by virtue of their office able to 'witness' signatures placed on docs but such docs can only be valid and are indeed recognised only in the UK. Only documents that have an apostille attached to them are RECOGNISED for official purposes in Bulgaria and anyone who tells you any different is wrong. Unless I dealt with numerous instances of legalisation on daily basis and knew the amount of trouble people have due to advice like this I really wouldn't have bothered to advocate the approach I do.

The only exception to the rule are docs drafted in Bulgaria (in Bulgarian, sent to the UK, signed by the Consul and sent back to BG for 'legalisation') hoping and praying that the Consular Section may look favourably on (which is a gamble at best).

CP wrote: The easiest and cheapest is when in Bulgaria to visit a local notary (the charge for a document is a little above GBP 1. The good agents are taking advantage of that when people are in Bulgaria to use this opportunity. Of course, not always this is possible, as certain documents might need singnatures at a later stage, then we come to the variants in the UK.


This is indeed true.

CP wrote: The option with the English notary and the Apostille is much slower, but is generally more convenient, as it is accessible from everywhere and the people have an absolute confidence of what they are signing as this is their native language.


Not true! Express service (from experience takes 3 working days) - 1 day for signature (notarisation) and legalisation in the UK, 1 day for DHL delivery, one day for translation and certification by the Consular Section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Sofia.

It does, however, cost a pretty penny.

I do this on daily basis and I know not only that the system works but also HOW it works.

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Postby CP » Sat Dec 03, 2005 6:25 am

Bo wrote: This is exactly how the system worked BEFORE Bulgaria joined the Hague Convention in 1999. PLEASE, don't mislead people, even if unintentionally! The Consul at the BG Embassy in London is by virtue of their office able to 'witness' signatures placed on docs but such docs can only be valid and are indeed recognised only in the UK. Only documents that have an apostille attached to them are RECOGNISED for official purposes in Bulgaria and anyone who tells you any different is wrong. Unless I dealt with numerous instances of legalisation on daily basis and knew the amount of trouble people have due to advice like this I really wouldn't have bothered to advocate the approach I do.

The only exception to the rule are docs drafted in Bulgaria (in Bulgarian, sent to the UK, signed by the Consul and sent back to BG for 'legalisation') hoping and praying that the Consular Section may look favourably on (which is a gamble at best).


Bo, have you contacted the Bulgarian Embassy since 1999? They are doing it nowadays and the documents they attest are 100% applicable in Bulgaria. The thing is, that they will attest a signature of foreign citizens (not Bulgarian) only if the document will have an action in Bulgaria (Article 84 of the Bulgarian Law on Notaries and Notarial Activities). The same article describes the function of Consuls as notaries, what they can do and what they cannot do.

In fact, the Hague convention enters into force for Bulgaria April 29, 2001, you can check the following link:
http://travel.state.gov/law/legal/treat ... l#bulgaria

Your logic of the Hague Convention excluding the role of the Bulgarian Embassy will have to exclude also the local Bulgarian notaries certifying the will of foreign citizens, you know that this is not the case. I can see absolutely no difference between the local notary and the Consul within his powers, all of them abide by the Bulgarian laws. Could you provide evidence of the Hague convention overriding the local laws? As I explained, these are different ways of making documents valid.

Of course, there is no use of empty arguments, the best thing you could do is contact the Bulgarian Embassy and ask.

Regarding what you say about documents drafted in Bulgaria, then sent to the Consul, then legalized in Bulgaria, it makes absolutely no sense. The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry cannot legalize a signature/stamp of the Consul! Legalization means counterparting stamps from the foreign ministries of both countries to make valid a document in the second country attested in the first country as per the legal practices of the first country.

Bo wrote: Not true! Express service (from experience takes 3 working days) - 1 day for signature (notarisation) and legalisation in the UK, 1 day for DHL delivery, one day for translation and certification by the Consular Section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Sofia.

It does, however, cost a pretty penny.

I do this on daily basis and I know not only that the system works but also HOW it works.


I can agree that it is possible to get things done for 3 days, but this involves more money as you say and also a lot of a luck. DHL for example say that they deliver for 1 day, but usually it takes them 2 WORKING days for a shipment to arrive. DHL does not work in Bulgaria on Saturdays, Sundays and official holidays (which in Bulgaria are many). I have observed cases of delivery delays with more than a week due to similar reasons. The figures I mention are more realistic and what happens generally.

Bo

Postby Bo » Sat Dec 03, 2005 7:38 am

CP wrote: Bo, have you contacted the Bulgarian Embassy since 1999?


Yes, I have.

CP wrote: They are doing it nowadays and the documents they attest are 100% applicable in Bulgaria. The thing is, that they will attest a signature of foreign citizens (not Bulgarian) only if the document will have an action in Bulgaria (Article 84 of the Bulgarian Law on Notaries and Notarial Activities).


Yes, so no legalisation there, right? LEGALISATION as per the definition of the term applies to public documents issued on the territory of a country, party to the Hague Convention, to be used on the territory of another country party to the Hague Convention? Or am I on the wrong thread???

CP wrote: The same article describes the function of Consuls as notaries, what they can do and what they cannot do.


Български дипломатически и консулски представители

Чл. 84. (Доп. - ДВ, бр. 18 от 2003 г.) Българските дипломатически и консулски представители в чужбина могат да удостоверяват датата, съдържанието и подписите на частни документи, които не подлежат на вписване, верността на преписи и извлечения от документи, представени от български граждани, и да съставят нотариални завещания на български граждани. Подписите на чужди граждани се заверяват само ако документът е предназначен да произведе действието си в Република България.

If you don't understand Bulgarian and/or the implications of private documents NOT subject to conveyance/registration/inscription (call it whatever), to which group company formation papers do not belong being public AND subject to conveyance by the respective registering court, seek advice from your nearest consulate.

To make triple sure go to the webpage of the Bulgarian Embassy in London and follow the link to Consular Services on http://www.bulgarianembassy.org.uk/ where documents, which can be procured and certified by the Consul are listed in great detail.

CP wrote: In fact, the Hague convention enters into force for Bulgaria April 29, 2001, you can check the following link:
http://travel.state.gov/law/legal/treat ... l#bulgaria


In effect the Convention was ratified at the end of October 1999 with a provisonal clause of an 18 month period prior to enforcement to allow smooth transition due to a number of reasons which are irrelevnt to this thread.

In the end of the day I am simply right. As I have said on many previous occasions the notarial functions of consuls are strictly limited, they are NO substitute for legalisation and should be used as a last resort only.

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Postby CP » Sat Dec 03, 2005 6:57 pm

Bo wrote: Yes, so no legalisation there, right? LEGALISATION as per the definition of a public document issued on the territory of country, party to the Hangue Convention, to be used on the territory of another country party to the Hague Convention? Or am I on the wrong thread??


A precise definition Bo. Of course it is not legalization, where in my posts I said it was? This is not a scientific forum where to discuss legal terms, this is a forum for people that bought or will buy property in Bulgaria and for them is important to know what options they have to make documents valid to meet the requirements of Bulgarian legislation. Using the Bulgarian Embassy is not a legalization, but a different way to do it with absolutely the same result as legalization, with some advantages and disadvantages that we discussed, but these pros and cons have something to do with the procedure, not the result, which is absolutely the same! Would you tell us in a straight text that people cannot use the Bulgarian Embassy to get the same result as with legalization? You were speaking of misleading people, I think misleading is to deprive people of options, even involuntarily :D

Bo wrote: If you don't understand Bulgarian and/or the implications of private documents NOT subject to conveyance/registration/inscription (call it whatever), to which group company formation papers do not belong being public AND subject to conveyance by the respective registering court, seek advice from your nearest consulate.


Thank you for the advise to seek help. I'll turn to you when it comes to legalization :D

Company formation papers are not public documents, they are private. They become public when a notary (Bulgarian or English or the Consul) certifies them. Other public documents are those issued by the institutions. No one of the company formation documents that need the above certification is subject to court inscription in the sense a title deed for example is registered in court. Of course, there are other types of documents being certified like POA's etc, not only company formation documents.

Bo wrote: In the end of the day I am simply right. As I have said on many previous occasions the notarial functions of consuls are strictly limited, they are NO substitute for legalisation and should be used as a last resort only.


We are speaking Bo about documents connected with buying property in Bulgaria. For ALL of these cases the Consul can do the same job as the legalization process through an English notary and Apostille. We are not speaking about legalization in broad sense, where let's say an English institution's ruling is needed to be legalized for some purposes in Bulgaria. We are speaking about people that buy in Bulgaria, who need to have some documents signed and attested.

Bo

Postby Bo » Sun Dec 04, 2005 7:45 am

I have answered the original question several pages back in my first post on this thread and have not started any theory exercises either.

People should indeed have as many options as possible available to them and are also perfectly free to discover which of these is the one to legitimately use at their own risk of failing to meet requirements :roll:


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