19 July 2022

Times and costs for sworn translations, legalization and apostille services

Categoria: Asseveration

We are frequently asked about the times and costs for sworn translations, legalization and apostille services. These specific services are delivered in addition to legal translations and as such different times and costs apply.

To answer the question let’s take one step back to understand what these services actually involve. Sworn translation, legalization and apostille services are requested when a document must be submitted to a public or private authority abroad.

One of three procedures may be required for this purpose, each with their own procedures, times and costs.

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How much more time is required than for translation?

Completion of these services takes extra time in addition to the time required for translation, which varies according to the number of words to be translated and the availability of a translator for the required language combination. To understand differences in delivery times, we should consider what each service actually involves.

Sworn translation requires the translator to present themselves in court or before a notary, declare they have accurately translated from the original, and assume full responsibility to this effect. This operation takes a few hours, especially with all the complications caused by the COVID emergency, unlike with legalization.

This latter service involves a different process, which is not limited to certifying the correspondence of the translation to the source text. It confers a legal validity upon it to all effects.

This involves a complex procedure: The court clerk must sign the translation transcript; a stamp certifying the authenticity of the signature is then affixed and lastly, this step must be repeated at the respective consulate. So, it is easy to understand why this service requires more time. For example, the Court of Milan issues documents within 10 to 15 days, although this may vary according to business hours and procedures in force at each court and consulate.

Apostille is a similar service introduced to cut legalization times. Despite serving the same purpose, the service can be delivered in half the time, because the procedure is completed by affixing one stamp only, the “apostille”. However not everyone can benefit from this advantage, since the procedure is only available in Hague Convention Member Countries.

In addition to completion times for each service, it is also important to consider another aspect: Certain courts require an appointment for these procedures. Waiting times may vary, so if you require a legally valid translation by a specific date, you should request the service well in advance.

What are the costs in addition to translation?

The costs of sworn translation, legalization and apostille services mainly depend on two factors: the number of revenue stamps that must be placed on the document and the work of the appraiser.

All these services require application of a revenue stamp for every 4 pages of the envelope consisting of the translation and the report. Consequently, the greater the number of pages in the document, the greater the number of revenue stamps, and consequently the cost. There is also the fee of the appraiser who goes to the court to submit documents and the request, and then picks up the documents for delivery to the customer.

To give a rough estimate of the cost of these services, the figure may be between 70 and 120 euros for the sworn translation of a single document of a few pages, or a lump sum  estimated on an ad hoc basis to swear, legalize and/or apostille multiple larger documents together or separately, depending on the customer’s needs.

In any case, it should be noted that each of these procedures requires the work of multiple specialized professionals. Providing sworn translation, legalization and apostille services involves various professionals, including:

  • a business development manager, who identifies and responds to customer requests in a timely manner;
  • a project manager, who selects the resources required to complete the job, coordinates and supervises the entire process, and oversees final quality control;
  • a native-speaker translator specializing in the legal field, who is responsible for faithfully translating the text, while respecting underlying cultural references;
  • a reviewer and proofreader, who perform multiple checks on the translated version to ensure that it is flawless in both content and form;
  • a graphic designer and DTP operator, who ensure that the layout of the translation matches the original.

At Way2Global, sworn translation, legalization and apostille services are performed by a team consisting of all these professionals. Thanks to their expertise and teamwork, we can satisfy our customers not only with high-quality work, but also with short turnaround times and reasonable costs.


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    Laura Gori is the Founder and CEO of Way2Global, a women-led translation agency startup with a Benefit ethos. After 30 years at the helm of a small multinational localization company, Laura decided to make a fresh start and founded Way2Global to conduct business in a way that benefits society and the environment, while promoting corporate growth. A fervent advocate of Benefit Corporations and women’s empowerment, Laura takes every opportunity to spread awareness on these issues and contribute to a fairer, more egalitarian and sustainable economy for all.