22 March 2019

EUROPEAN UNION: Streamlining the document recognition process

EU Regulation 2016/1191, effective now, was a regulation brought in to help to streamline the document recognition process within the EU. It does this by removing a complex and time consuming step relating to documents issued in an EU member state that are then submitted in another EU member state.

It is now no longer necessary for civil documents (such as birth, death or marriage certificates) to be affixed with an apostille, as long as they originated in an EU member state. The regulation also abolishes the requirement of submitting a certified copy with an official translation, instead there is a new standard form to use.

Even though this is a positive step, some countries have been slow to implement it fully. As such, foreign nationals travelling to Italy and Spain, for example, should expect to be requested to still apostille their civil documents in order to submit them to authorities.

How Does This Affect the Client? 

This should be positive news for employers as the lead time in the registration process for eligible foreign nationals should be reduced significantly.

They should, however, be aware that for a few select countries, including Italy and Spain, they should double check at the beginning of the process for the time being whether documents still need to be affixed with an apostille. This in order to avoid issues with registration and disappointment if the documents when presented are rejected. It also remains easier to arrange the apostille in country rather than arrange from abroad.



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