EUROPEAN UNION – New Regulation Simplifies the Recognition of Public Documents Across the EU
Regulation (EU) 2016/191, published on 26 July 2016, aims at promoting free movement of citizens by simplifying the requirements for submitting certain public documents issued in one European Union (EU) country in another EU country.
The Regulation covers public documents such as birth, marriage, and death certificates, residence and nationality certificates and certificates of absence of no criminal record issued in EU countries.
The Regulation will enter into force on 15 August 2016; Union countries have two years and a half from then to adopt all necessary measures to allow for the smooth application of the Regulation at the end of this period.
What are the benefits?
- The public documents covered by the Regulation will no longer require an apostille stamp to prove their authenticity. This applies also to certified copies.
- The EU Country where the document is submitted cannot require a translation if the document is in one of the official languages of the EU country or in another non-official language that the EU country can accept.
- In addition, the Regulation introduces multilingual standard forms, issued in all EU languages, which can be used as translation aids. The relevant form attached to a public document will exempt it from translation.
- Finally, a mechanism based on an existing IT system will be in place to fight against fraudulent public documents.
This European Commission factsheet gives examples of how freedom of movement will be enhanced by the new regulation.
What documents are covered?
- Apostille will no longer be required for documents concerning: birth; a person being alive; death; name; marriage, divorce, legal separation or marriage annulment; registered partnership, dissolution/legal separation/annulment of a registered partnership, parenthood; adoption; domicile and/or residence; nationality; absence of a criminal record and the right to vote and stand as a candidate in municipal elections/elections to the European Parliament.
- Multilingual forms will be issued for documents concerning: birth, a person being alive, death, marriage, registered partnership, domicile and/or residence and absence of a criminal record.
- Please note that the new regulation is effective from 15 August 2016 but not enforceable until two and a half years after that date.
- Check with your immigration provider how the new Regulation affects your current or future assignees in the EU.