How to legalize and Apostille documents issued in Argentina.
Recently I had to legalize a document that was issued in Argentina. First of all let’s have a look at the reason why documents need to be legalized. Organizations or Governments sometimes require that documents need to be authenticated before they are accepted. In my case I had a document that was issued by the South African Embassy in Buenos Aires and had to authenticate and legalize the signature of the Consulate. Thinking about it, it makes sense. Although the document was in Spanish and on a letterhead and signed, it did not prove that the document was signed by an authorized person.
It is very important to understand the difference between an Apostille and the legalization. If a document is issued in Argentina and in Spanish, it does not need to be Apostilled unless it is to be used abroad. If the document was issued from abroad and in a different language it has to be Apostilled in the country of origin and translated and legalized in Argentina. There is a difference and it is done by different departments in Argentina.
My document did not have to be Apostilled because it was issued in Argentina, in Spanish and for use only in Argentina.
Where to legalize documents issued in Argentina.
The Cancillería in Buenos Aires is the place that legalizes and Apostille documents that were issued in Argentina. The formal name is “El Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores Culto” and can be found at the following address:
- Arenales 819, 1 subsuelo, Capital Federal – Buenos Aires.
- They are open from 8:30 to 13:30.
Process to have documents legalize at the Cancilleria in Buenos Aires.
The Cancilleria is a beautiful glass building situated close to Plaza San Martin in the micro-center. There are two entrances. The main entrance and a basement entrance which is just around the corner. That is where you need to go.
Report to the front counter and show them the document that you want to have legalized. They issue you with a form to fill in and a payment slip. Go down to the basement and fill in the form.They have pens and tables where you can fill the document in. Proceed to the counter to pay. I paid 60 pesos to legalize one document.
After you receive the receipt, fall in line and wait to be helped by an official. At this window present your document and explain what you need legalized or Apostilled. The original document is placed inside a plastic envelope with a number. You get a corresponding number and asked to wait until your number is called. This process can take up to 2 hours.
When your number is called proceed to the collection counter. Here you present your number and sign for the document.
How to legalize the signature of the Consulate?
The Cancilleria has a list of all the designated people at Embassies that are authorized to sign documents. The document issued by the Embassy has to be stamped and signed by the Consulate. This document needs to be taken to the Cancilleria to have the signature legalized. The content of the document does not get legalized, only the signature.