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Apostille Stamp — Verification of Foreign Documents in Israel and Israeli Documents Abroad

Michael Decker
Michael Decker

Arielle Bosch

Incredibly knowledgeable, approachable, accessible, and evident across the board that they truly care about the people they are helping. They are quick to respond, engaged, and obviously top-notch lawyers. I couldn't recommend them highly enough. Thank you, Joshua and Itamar for your help with our Joint Life Application. You were a calming energy during a storm - always breathed a sigh of relief after speaking with you. It is so difficult to get straight answers from the Misrad Hapnim, but you guys are straight shooters. I appreciate your candor and evident integrity. Hope to work with you in the future, and will send everyone I know in need of legal aid your way. Thank you for your guidance and support.

Lauma Zariņa

This is definitely the best lawyer I know!!! very honest and super helpful he really helped me a lot dealing with immigration issues in Israel and it was very successful!
I highly recommend

Sophie Cooperman

Oded Ger did an excellent job by reviewing a modeling contract I was offered. Explained the bad clauses in the contract, and their possible consequences. Thank you for your amazing job, your professionalism, your consultation and honesty. You showed me from your experience how it can be done differently. It was the best decision choosing you as my lawyer.
I highly recommend this firm, especially Oded Ger.

Stuart Safft

I am delighted to report that my wife and I have just obtained our Israeli citizenship. We will be forever grateful for all of the help, guidance and support which Ariel Galili of Decker, Pex & Co. provided through this process.
I am a Jewish, 80-year-old American, and my wife is not Jewish. We had started the process on our own back in November 2020 via the Jewish Agency and Nefesh B’Nefesh, but soon became entangled in the delays and often-changing regulations due to Covid-19. The pandemic also caused delays in obtaining the required apostilles for various documents from various state agencies and the US State Department.
We found Decker, Pex & Co. On the internet and began working with Ariel in late November 2021. Ariel did a superb job of leading us through the process, helping us to understand which documents were essential, which would most likely be required, and which, though included on the list of required documents, were rarely required. He helped us several times to understand what was likely and unlikely to occur as “the next step.” Helping us manage our expectations was extremely useful to us.
Besides his knowing the laws, regulations and procedures, Ariel also made us feel that he was truly interested in helping us to successfully work through this process in as smooth, timely, and frustration-free manner as possible.
My wife and I strongly recommend anyone planning to go through this process seriously consider hiring Decker, Pex, Ofir & Co. and, specifically, Ariel Galili.

Tomer Hila Birnbach

I received a recommendation from friends about the firm, and indeed every word is correct, a service team, professional, welcoming, a fair price for the work I requested, I am satisfied

Yossi Montrose

Very knowledgeable and professional

Sergei m Vashkevich

We came to Mr. Joshua with so many questions (and most of all, with so many concerns and worries) …

When we explained our case to him, first of all, he calmed us down and helped us to see the big picture, which took away our fears;

Then he presented us with a detailed explanation and a few options to explore, and a timeline, how things work and necessary steps to undertake on our part,

We thank and highly recommend Mr. Joshua for showing us so much empathy, care and professionalism (!)

TarcisioePotira Freitas

I really recommend the law office's services. The service is very professional and efficient, the price is right. I am satisfied with the services I needed and happy to have known them.

Matthias Oppliger

I have been receiving services from this Law Firm for several years now and I want to say THANK YOU to the team, especially Joshua Pex. They are doing outstanding work. The services I have received for both our Israeli non profit association but also our social business have helped us solve many issues at hand and provided solutions in complicated situations. Personally, I am grateful for support in visa issues as a foreigner living now in Israel for many years.

Amir Abt

The best lawyer firm I’ve had dealt with. I would like to thank Anat Levi and Ariel Galili from the Jerusalem branch for all of their efforts and patience, we could not have been Able to reach to where we are now without them

Kfir Cohen

We were searching for a law firm that will be honest with us and really work hard for a satisfying result, it wasn't an easy task
We found them online; they were the only law firm from all of our searchings which were completely honest and NOT gave us just what we wanted to hear
Using them guaranteed honesty above all. A legal team that is friendly and cares for a superb result
They really care about helping their customers without any other interest
Nadia gave us service behind what we expected; she was professional which lead to fast and easy process with great result
We definitely recommend using them

Joshua Pex was both an amazing human being and an inspiring human rights attorney. I reported directly to him for various activities I performed as in intern. I was impressed with his incredibly solid character. He is trustworthy, fair, and goes above and beyond to advocate for the vulnerable. He is completely trustworthy and high caliber in his work. His partners and employees are very blessed to work with him. I am honored to know them.

Heather Lebrun

Marce Ruth St. Rey

Party time in the heart, my beloved husband received his residence after so much time of battles and faith. Gratitude, God has blessed us with wonderful beings who have accompanied us, including a "precious angel" who touched our hearts, our excellent and fantastic lawyer: Maria Chernin Dekel, sweet and wonderful human being, who has guided us and stayed On our side. side in this intense legal transit whom we bless on every occasion. God bless you dear Maria, you have exceeded your professional duty by containing us and collaborating with us in hard times, very hard, for that we want to thank you publicly, you are unique!!!
We bless and thank the entire team at Decker Pex Tal Ofir Law Firm.

Prima Lorenzo

I admire the Austrian citizenship team in Tel-Aviv branch! They deserve more then 5 stars!! They are very friendly and professional. I've got Austrian citizenship in 4 months for all family members which consists of 12 people! The entire team is very friendly and responsive. They are always answering questions and support during the process. I recommend to everyone. Was 100% satisfied.

Adi Katina

Great Team. With no doubt, this office is actually thee best-leading office in Israel. Simply put, if you want your case to win, just join them, hand in your documents, and celebrate the victory.

Kindest regards,
Adi k.

Morgan Jones

The team at Decker, Pex & Co have been awesome to work with in helping our US company establish banking in Israel and in providing counsel for legal needs in Israel. I highly recommend!

Genaan Abdelall

I cannot recommend Nechama enough! Her expertise, professionalism, and dedication to her clients is unparalleled. From the moment I reached out to her, she provided clear and concise communication, and helped me navigate through a complex legal issue with ease.

Throughout the entire process, Nechama went above and beyond to ensure that I was informed and comfortable with every decision. She demonstrated a deep knowledge of the law, and was able to offer sound advice that ultimately led to a positive outcome.

What sets Nechama apart is her compassionate and empathetic approach to her clients. She truly cares about the well-being of her clients, and it shows in the way she handles every case.

If you are in need of a lawyer, I highly recommend Nechama.

Priscilla Moses

competent consulting, fast processing, reliable, warm & good team. highly recommended

Sveta Vashkevich

We (myself and my husband) came to Mr. Joshua Pex – for his professional advice – and we received such human warmth and caring attitude, that our hearts melted …

His attention to our details and our situation peculiarities, combined with his professionalism and knowledge, helped us to map out what needs to be done on our part: we appreciate and recommend You, Mr. Joshua!


We had a pleasure of working with Irena Rosenberg who assisted in getting our two U.S. born children registered in Israel and supported visa process for my wife in 2021. During the pandemic, my wife and I decided to move to Israel where I am originally from after living in the U.S. for over 20 years, but we had no idea how to go about securing visas before and after arriving in Israel. Irena is knowledgeable, reliable and competent lawyer who always had answers to all our questions which made us feel confident that everything would be fine with her assistance. We are now happily living in Israel and are so grateful to have Irena who is a genuinely nice person as our lawyer.

David De La Rosa

Very friendly, professional, and effective, highly recommended

Michael and Ariellah Waizman

For Advocate Joshua Pex.

We were in a devastating situation when my wife received an order from the immigration office to leave Israel within 30 days, without any explanation, after we have been married and in the process for six and a half years. We heard of Advocate Pex through a friend of a friend. We contacted Mr. Pex and he was ready to help us when he heard of our situation.

The service is amazing! Always ready to assist without regard to the time it takes. The advice Mr. Pex gave us was great, such as what to do, he gave useful links, and advice about which officials to contact. The price for the service was great!

The process until we received the extension for another year for my wife was not long (3 months). Things started moving once Mr. Pex came into the picture.

We highly recommend Advocate Joshua Pex! We achieved our goal and the fear of deportation has been lifted!

Esty A

I had a consultation with Batya and she was very helpful. She made sure I understood all the information I needed, and was patient with me in gathering documents I needed.

Greg Olson

We highly recommend Adv. Mike Decker and have know him for many years. He has helped our family with many battles over the years. We recently received our permanent residency after 23 years in Israel. We so much appreciate Mike’s representation of us.

Michael Soffer

I would like to recommend Attorney Yehuda Elcharar. He assisted both me and my company in a complex lawsuit. He handled negotiations that led to a favorable outcome much quicker than expected.

I am extremely pleased with choosing Attorney Elcharar. Many thanks also to the office team, Oz and Chaya, for their assistance throughout the entire process.

Thanks again ????

Andreas Kelling

We have been working with Decker, Pex & Co - Law Firm in Tel Aviv for many years very well. Because we appreciated their lawyers services, we recommended businesses and individuals again and again to go there as well.

Halvor Ronning

Courteous, clear, efficient service.

Michelle Long

Josh has been helping me on and off for a few years now. I have needed legal advice and assistance with immigration due to a complex situation of mine, and he has been extremely available and responsive, honest and clear about my route and how to proceed. Very much recommended!

Dongdiet & Nellie

We are very happy with the services. Somehow they managed to translate the law lingo into language we actually understand 😉 and their outstanding YouTube videos helped us to have a better grasp of what process we had to go through. Their patience, clear explanation and experience are very valuable. It's also very nice to know that you will receive response promptly; it made us feel we can really trust their services. We recommend all those looking for immigration lawyers to get in touch.

Наталья Мажуга

Great lawyers Joshua Pex and Nechama and Michael Deker who really want to help you and I have very trustful relationships with them. All my cases they took they won. Thank you and let’s keep working together

Shurouq Hajyassin

We were very satisfied with the consultation we had.
You were very straightforward with us , You tried to help us in every way you could . we really appreciate that.
And of course the fast reply we got from you on our emails and the appointment you gave us .
You deserve more than 5 stars????

Paul Prince

The team of lawyers and assistants are incredibly professional. Aiming to give their clients the advice possible regarding the normative and the law of Israel. With well trained and professional secretary at the front desk to the lawyers team, I could say that I had one of the most professional services possible. I'm super glad of choosing Joshua Pex of Law office for immigration solution, lawyers to advise in my case, to me, it is remarkable.

Israel iluz

We were very satisfied with the service of Nehama. She was very professional in all her dealings and kept us informed all the way.
We highly recommend this law firm. They proved to be reliable, efficient and pleasant to work with.

Jacob Newberry

A really excellent firm. They knew exactly how to handle my situation effectively and efficiently, and we got the result I needed without much fuss. Adi Berger was a wonderful advocate for me and I am deeply grateful for her help!

Gáspár Erőss

If you need to solve any complicated legal issue in Israel, don't hesitate to contact them. Otherwise you will loose hours/days/weeks with things that they can solve in minutes. They helped me to obtain my expert working visa in Israel and even after that they responded further questions and gave me advices related to administrative issues in Israel which saved me a lot of time. Irena Rosenberg and Michael Decker worked on my case, they are very professional and helpful. They will not let you down, feel free to contact them.

lynn vonne

Excellent service, very friendly and helpful, fast responding and very patient. Highly recommend. I will choose them again next time if needed.

Shaltiel Devorah

Mr. Joshua Pex is knowledgeable and Professional. I really appreciate his courteous and direct approach.

Lilian Granovsky

I can highly recommend these services!
Every time we turned to Joshua we always got a professional quick and helpful respond.

Alexander P Gutterman

EU PASSPORT ! Big news! Thanks to Michael Decker and the other good people at the law office, as well as to the virtue of my ancestors, the cruelty of the Inquisition, reparations issued in the Iberian Peninsula, and etc, I am delighted to be on track for Portuguese and European Union Citizenship! A truly incredible development and one which brings me deep joy.


We were very pleased and content with the services of this law firm. They supported us 100% and solved our case successfully, we couldn't be happier.

Eden Weiss

Extrmely friendly, professional and helpful. A big thank you to Irina especially from the Jerusalem office. Highly Recommended.

Dumitrascu Cristina

Best lawyer house from Israel! I couldn’t dealt with my situation without their professionalism and effectiveness. Their dedication to every legal aspect and their drive it’s how a true lawyer house can be!
Working in European market and international now, I couldn’t dare to let myself wide my wings on countries unknown to me. Definitely they’ll be the lawyers representing me, my business at every international aspect and on personal development.
When you hear Decker,Pex,Ofir &Co, you hear 10+ class services, luxurious professionals, confidentiality and exclusive attention to your needs.

Josh W-S

The firm had a quick response to my last-minute needs, they were helpful in communicating with me in English, and they fulfilled my needs in a timely fashion.

How can you receive an Apostille stamp in Israel or abroad? Which documents require this stamp? What is the difference between an Apostille from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and one from the Magistrate Court? How can you receive legalization (verification) for foreign documents in Israel? Do the documents that were translated by a notary need additional verification with an Apostille?

Our law office specializes in the area of immigration and relocation to Israel, and to other countries. We help our clients receive the passport and citizenship of first world countries such as the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Portugal, and others. We are often required to present foreign documents before Israeli state authorities. Even more often, we need to prepare documents issued in Hebrew for presentation abroad.

For this reason, we started to specialize in the subject of notarized translations and in all the steps required to verify documents in order to present them outside of the country in which they were issued. In this article, attorney and notary Michael Decker will explain why the Apostille stamp is used, and which types of documents require this type of authentication.

Why Do Documents Need to be Authenticated for Use Abroad?

The majority of documents that need translation and verification are official documents from state institutions. The document in question was issued by the state for a particular purpose; therefore it is written in a formal and specific manner, sometimes with the seal of the pertinent official. Is that sufficient to present the document in a foreign country “as is”? If not, can the presenter of the document personally translate it into the language of the destination country? If not, then why?

When a person in Israel (or in Russia, the United States, India, Micronesia) turns to the authorities or private entities within the domains of that country and presents a marriage certificate, will and testament, diploma, etc. in Hebrew (Russian, Hindi, English), the recipients of the document have no problem ensuring that everything written in the document is correct.

The officials speak the language used in the document, thus there is no need to translate it. In addition, they know how the documents of that country look, and if something in the document does not appear correct – whether it looks suspicious or even forged – they can easily contact the authority that issued the document to confirm whether or not the information therein is correct.

Verification (Consular Legalization) of Foreign Documents

ApostilleBut what about a clerk in Israel who is required to deal with a university diploma from Japan? What about officials in the United States who are presented with a marriage certificate in Hebrew? Should they rely on the translation of the person submitting the document, or of a private translator on their behalf?

Local authorities do not necessarily have the resources and time to check the veracity and translation quality of foreign documents. Therefore, there must be an official entity connected with the country of origin that can confirm that the original document is indeed official and that the translation is accurate.

For many years, the only institutions that were authorized to perform this translation and verification were the embassy or consulate of the country of origin. However, as the globalization process has advanced, the amount of official documents that needed to be submitted increased, and the authorities could not meet the demand. Therefore, many countries signed on the Hague Convention (1961), also known as the Apostille Convention.

In this convention, the signatory member states reached an agreement to recognize foreign documents as valid if properly endorsed by an Apostille stamp, which contains a fixed legal wording and is granted by the authorized entities of each country. In effect, the Apostille Convention authorized a method of verifying international documents for those countries that signed the treaty.

Today, the legalization of foreign documents in the consulate of countries that are members of the Hague Convention is unusual. Moreover, since the consulate provides a consular approval of the document, and not an Apostille stamp, those representatives of local authorities who lack legal knowledge (or who want to make things more difficult for the applicant) can refuse to accept documents that were legalized at a consulate or an embassy.

Notarized Translation — Notary’s Verification of Translated Documents

As mentioned above, there are two processes involved in approving a foreign document. There is the confirmation that the original document is official and intact (Apostille stamp). Then, there’s confirmation that the document’s translation into the language of the receiving state is accurate. In certain countries, a “certified translator” may suffice; someone who received certification from an officially recognized translation authority that reviewed the translator’s professional qualifications.

No such entity exists in Israel; thus most of the translations of foreign documents going to and from Israel are validated through a certificate of notarized translation. A notary public is an experienced and reputable lawyer whom the state trusts to not misuse their position by authorizing incorrect translations.

There are two types of notarized translation:

A) The notary’s (who speaks both the language of the original document and the language it is translated into) confirmation that the translation is correct.

B) A notarized translator statement regarding the document, which was presented before the notary; complete with confirmation of the translator’s professional qualifications, wherein the translator pledges that the document was translated accurately.

Most of the countries in the world do not differentiate between the two types of notarized translation, and even in Israel both types are acceptable for most purposes — except for in submitting documents to the Ministry of Interior. Officials there are usually, in accordance with the Ministry of Interior’s procedures, unwilling to accept a certified translator’s statement. Rather, they require a translation confirmation by a notary who speaks both languages.

Does a Notarized Translation Need an Apostille Stamp from the Magistrate Court?

Only for the purposes of submitting the document abroad. Let’s reiterate what was written above concerning the difficulties and complications associated with validating documents outside of the originating country; if a notary in Israel approves the translation of the document to Hebrew, any Israeli authority could easily check to find out if this notary exists, is authorized to approve translations, and speaks the relevant languages.

But for an official in far away Indonesia, there is no way to know if the notary in Israel actually exists or has any authorization whatsoever. Therefore, a notarized translation certificate that is sent abroad must receive an Apostille stamp from the Magistrate Court, which confirms that the notary is authorized to approve it. In other countries, a notarized translation will usually receive an Apostille stamp from the Department of Justice, and not necessarily from a court. 

Does the Apostille Stamp Require a Notarized Translation?

If the foreign document is received from abroad with an Apostille stamp and a notarized translation of the document is required, most of the time the stamp will need to be translated as well. With an official document from Israel, it is better to stamp it with an Apostille prior to it being translated and include the stamp in the translation of the document.

An Apostille stamp of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is issued in both Hebrew and English. If English is an official language of the destination country, there is no need to translate the stamp. If the foreign document is in English, sometimes there is no need to translate it; but if you are required to translate the document, the stamp is part of that translation.

Apostille from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

As mentioned, the notary confirms the translation as correct or that he received a pledge of its quality. However, he is not obligated (and sometimes cannot) confirm that the document itself is official, original, “complete”, and accurate. This is done at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs office in Jerusalem, where the document receives an Apostille stamp that confirms that it is an official document issued by Israeli authorities.

It is important to stress that while the notarized translation can be based on a copy of the document, an Apostille from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs can only be placed on an original document; one which was properly prepared and signed with no errors by an official of the authorities issuing the document.

What is the Cost of an Apostille?

The cost of an Apostille (as of April 2020) is 35 NIS, including VAT. It is possible to pay in advance online and then come to Ministry or Magistrate branch to receive it.  Alternately, you can pay on the spot, with a credit card or verified cheque.

In addition to the cost of the Apostille, one must also take into account the costs of traveling to Jerusalem (for approvals from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Education, or the Ministry of Religious Services) or to the nearest Magistrate Court, as well as the waiting time.

What About Documents Such as Passports and ID Cards?

Generally, an Apostille must be placed on every original official document, not a photocopy. For documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc., it is always possible to obtain additional copies from Israeli authorities. This copy should be stamped with an Apostille and attached with a notarized translation. But what about documents such as drivers licenses, identification cards, and passports?

In this case, an additional copy of the document obviously cannot be obtained merely for the purposes of submission abroad. Therefore, a notary’s signature can be put on the copy of the identification, which confirms that it is a true copy of the original. Then an Apostille stamp from the Magistrate Court in Israel can be affixed to the notary’s approval.

Signature Verification at the Ministry of Religious Services or the Ministry of Education

In order to place an Apostille stamp on a diploma, professional certification, or a teaching certificate that was issued by the Ministry of Education, the document must be authenticated at the Ministry of Education office in Jerusalem.

To receive an Apostille on marriage certificates and similar documents, a special ratification must be obtained from the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

Verification of Documents from Foreign Countries Without Leaving Israel

If you received a foreign document without an Apostille stamp and the Israeli authorities require one, the easiest and simplest way is often to request a reissue of the document in the country of origin. But if you can’t contact the authorities of the country in which it was issued, there are two additional options.

A) You can contact the consulate of the issuing country for a consular verification of the documents. You may be forced to wait a few months for your turn.

B) Our office is able to receive documents stamped with an Apostille — which will be sent to Israel by registered mail — from many countries in the Western hemisphere and the former Soviet Union. Contact us to find out prices and timeframes.

What About Countries That are not Signatories to the Apostille Convention?

If these countries recognize the State of Israel and its laws, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will usually issue a document verification seal that is not an Apostille. The question of whether this approval will be accepted or required, must be checked with the government entity that will be receiving the document.

An updated list of signatory countries can be found on the official website.

What about documents for use in the United States?

Clients often inquire about finding a US notary practicing in Israel, having been given the impression that only a US notary or a US embassy consulate can notarize documents for use in the States. Furthermore, as US notaries are only qualified to notarize documents in a single US state, some clients believe they are required to find an Israeli notary with a notary license in Montana, Alaska, etc.

That is not the case. You are not required to find a notary licensed in the US (much less a specific state) to notarize US documents. The US department of state expressly recommends the notarization of US documents with a local notary, followed by authentication with an apostille seal.

What About Unofficial Documents?

Documents between two parties, be they individuals or companies, generally do not require notarization or authentication with an Apostille. A contract or will can be translated without any certification. On the other hand; if there is a dispute about what is written in these documents, related to the wording of the translation, certifications may be needed to confirm the accuracy of the translation.

In Conclusion – Which Documents Need What Certification?

Documents from abroad that are presented before Israeli authorities, have to be stamped with an Apostille stamp when issued abroad and receive notarized translation in Israel. If you are able to find a Hebrew speaking translator, or if the Israeli authorities agree to accept an English translation, a notarized translation can be done while abroad.

Documents from Israel that require submission to foreign state authorities must have an Apostille from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that authenticates the document (on the original document, with all the signatures or signature authentications required in order to receive the Apostille), a notarized translation, and an Apostille from the Magistrate Court authenticating the translation.

We generally ask our clients to bring the original document to our Jerusalem office. At that point we can send the document to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, translate it and notarize it, and send the translated document to the Magistrate Court. After the document is translated and received the required stamps and seals, we deliver the document to the client. Alternately, we can post the notarized document directly to the recipient abroad.

Contact Us for a Price Quote for a Notarized Translation and Apostille

Our offices in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem specialize in notarized translation. Call us to receive a price quote for document translation and notarization, complete with apostille. We should note that the costs for notarized translation are fixed by law, per the word count of the document. If you attach the scanned document and the estimated word count, we can give you a quote even faster.

And of course, if you encounter any other problem during your immigration to or from Israel, we are happy to help.                        

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