What is the change? A regulation designed to ease document authentication requirements for European Union nationals relocating within the EU has been finalized and is set to take full effect Feb. 16, 2019.

What does the change mean? Once the regulation takes effect, EU nationals will no longer be required to authenticate most documents when moving to another member state. The regulation will ease intra-EU relocation by eliminating onerous apostille and legalization processes. It will also simplify translation requirements by allowing EU nationals to request standard-issued multilingual forms to attach to public documents such as birth and marriage certificates, among others.

  • Implementation time frame: EU member states have until Feb. 16, 2019 to adopt the new rules.
  • Visas/permits affected:Official public documents, such as birth, marriage and death certificates, among others. Diplomas are not covered.
  • Who is affected: EU citizens moving to, or residing in, another EU member state.
  • Impact on processing times:The rules will significantly reduce document preparation time.
  • Business impact: The changes will makes it easier for companies to send EU nationals to work and live in other EU countries.

Background: The European Parliament approved the regulation in June, and it has since been finalized and published. As it stands now, EU nationals moving to, or residing in, another EU member state must obtain authentication stamps on public documents when submitting them to authorities in the new state. The regulation will remove these requirements, as well as those to submit a certified copy and certified translation of documents in question.

The regulation will apply to documents related to a person’s birth, death, name, marriage, divorce, legal separation or marriage annulment, registered partnership, dissolution of registered partnership, parenthood, adoption, domicile or residence, nationality, absence of a criminal record and right to vote. Diplomas and certificates of formal qualifications will not be covered and, at least initially, will be subject to the same authentication rules as they are now.

BAL Analysis: The regulation will reduce bureaucratic hurdles and improve mobility for EU nationals and ease the relocation of employees within Europe.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in the United Kingdom. For additional information, please contact

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