If you ever need translations of official documents in Portugal or abroad, you’ll be asked for a certified translation. This type of translation might also be called a legalised translation or official translation. Translations going by any of these names may involve any one of the following: certification, legalisation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or at an embassy, or a Hague Apostille).
You may need a certified translation to open an account with a foreign bank, get married in another country or enrol your children in an international school. Each country and institution determines what languages they need the documents to be in.
If your documents are in a language other than that accepted, then you will need a certified translation – a legally-validated translation proving the document is an accurate representation of the original; that it contains no falsehoods; and that the original was issued by an official body (government, school, etc.).
What language is your document in and what language(s) do you want it translated into?
In addition to the language(s), you must mention the country(ies) you plan to use the translation in. This is important because the same language may have regional variants. One example is French, which differs between France, Belgium and Canada. The same is true of Portuguese, which is different in Portugal and Brazil.
Before proceeding with the translation, you should contact the institute requesting the document and ask them what they need. This will let you know if the entire document needs to be translated and which documents you must supply. This will help you avoid unnecessary travel and expenses. If you need to translate the whole document, then when requesting a translation quote you must provide both sides of each page of the original (or a certified copy), including the Hague Apostille and any other attached documents, if applicable. If you have several documents requiring certified translation, each document will be certified separately.
We can only provide a quote after reviewing your documents. Please send a scan/photo of the documents, making sure they are legible and of the best quality possible. Note that if you accept our quote and wish to proceed, you will need to provide us with paper copies of your documents.
When a translation is certified and/or legalised, the original document will be stamped, initialled and attached to the translation. It must not be separated after certification. If you would prefer not to put the original document through this process, we suggest you request an authenticated (or certified) copy of the original document in addition to the translation. This copy has the same validity as the original.
The process of certifying/legalising a document varies from institution to institution, so you must ascertain exactly what is required. First, find out which of the following you will need:
In these cases, you will need:
Note that the procedures may change without notice. All that is required for processes to change is for a new directive to be issued. We therefore suggest you make sure you have the latest information from your institution whenever you are asked to provide a new certified translation.