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- Apostilles can only be affixed electronically,
- Whereas legalisations can be issued both on paper and electronically.
In order for the Legalisation Service of the FPS Foreign Affairs to issue the e-apostilles and e-legalisations, a special elegalisation website has been created, which is only accessible to accredited partners of the FPS Foreign Affairs (such as municipalities, notaries, other fpss,…) and not to private citizens.
1. if an apostille is required for your document
- Since 1 May 2018, apostilles can no longer be affixed on paper. Apostilles can only be affixed electronically.
- No document signed by a notary, for which an apostille is required (see 'search criteria'), can be submitted at the office of the Legalisation Service of the FPS Foreign Affairs. These applications must be submitted by the notary via the elegalisation website (see point 1 above).
Two procedures are possible for lodging an e-apostille application
- The application can be made directly by the authority that issued the document, at the request of the person concerned.
The recognised accredited partner (municipalities, notaries,...) Submits the application via the elegalisation website
Payment is made directly online and the 'link' to the document with apostille is sent directly to the applicant by email. The processing time of the applications is short (within 48 hours normally) and does not involve any additional costs. The entire procedure can be done online. You do not have to go in person to the office of the Legalisation Service of the FPS Foreign Affairs.
For more information, see the eLegalisation website
- Request at the office of the Legalisation Service (Karmelietenstraat / Rue des Petits Carmes 27, 1000 Brussels, from 9 a.m. Till noon).
Documents containing LESS THAN 4 (four) pages will be processed immediately. Documents containing more than 4 pages must be deposited and will be available for collection the next working day.
The apostille can be consulted on and downloaded from the website LegalWeb by using the number of the apostille and the date on which it was affixed.
2. if a legalisation is required for your document
If your document needs to be legalised, it must also be legalised by the embassy or consulate of the country of destination.
So please check first whether the foreign embassy or consulate can accept the electronic legalisation.
- If so, the authority that issued the document can submit the application for legalisation via the elegalisation website, at the request of the person concerned, as is the case for the e-apostille. You will receive an email with the link to the legalised document.
- If not, you can always obtain a legalisation on paper at the office of the Legalisation Service (Karmelietenstraat / Rue des Petits Carmes 27, 1000 Brussels, from 9 a.m. Till noon).