Authentication and Legalisation of Documents
Documents issued in Jamaica which are needed for use overseas for business or other personal reasons will require authentication and legalisation before they can be accepted for use in the country where they are intended to be used.
The Consular Affairs Department cannot tell you which documents need to be authenticated. The authority receiving the documents in the country where you intend to use them will advise you.
- Authentication. This is the process whereby the Ministry attests or certifies that the signature and stamp/seal on the document is that of the person authorised to sign on behalf of the organisation which issued the document and that the document itself does not appear to be fraudulent. The Ministry cannot attest to any other content in the document.
- Legalisation. This is the process where the consular officer in the Embassy, High Commission or Consulate representing the government of the country where the document is intended to be used attests that the signature and stamp/seal of the authenticating officer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade is legitimate. Legalisation is also done by the Ministry in attesting to documents originating in Jamaica which are authenticated by a consular representative in an embassy, High Commission or consulate in Jamaica or through a Jamaican Embassy, High Commission or Consulate attesting to documents which are created abroad so that they are acceptable for use in Jamaica.
Certification. The Consular Department can also certify photocopies of documents provided that they will be accepted in the country where they are intended to be used. The certified document must also be counter-certified by the by the consular officer in the embassy, High Commission or consulate of the country where the document is intended to be used.
- The Ministry can only authenticate or legalise documents that are executed in Jamaica
- Jamaican consular officers overseas can legalise documents originating abroad intended for use in Jamaica, once they have been
- authenticated by the competent authority in those countries
- In the case of sworn statements or declarations, the person making such statement or declaration must first sign before a Justice of the Peace (JP) or a Notary Public (NP) resident in Jamaica
- All documents to be authenticated must bear the original signature, stamp or seal from a Jamaican recognised organisation or institution
Documents the Ministry Authenticates (Most Frequently)
- Vital records (birth, marriage, death certificates) and other documents issued by the Registrar General’s Department such as Deed Polls and Certificates of No Impediment to Marriage
- Educational certificates, diplomas, transcripts and similar documents certified by the Ministry of Education
- Sworn declarations, statements, affidavits, powers-of-attorney and similar documents signed before a Justice of the Peace or a Notary Public
- Court documents
- Medical documents certified by the Ministry of Health
- Company documents, commercial certificates of free sale
- Any other document provided that they are duly signed by a recognised authority
Fees and Processing Times
Fees are applicable per document (in cash only), per document depending on the preferred currency of the applicant
- $500.00 Jamaican Dollars
- $20.00 United States Dollars
- €15.00 Euro
- £15.00 Pounds Sterling
Opening Hours of the Consular Affairs Department Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade
Mondays – Fridays: 8:30 am to 3:00 pm