Simplified Procedure for Use of Public Documents from EU Countries
By Huub Kapel and Wytske Wijnnobel, LIMES International B.V.
As of 16 February 2019, the Regulation on Public Documents (Regulation 2016/1191) is applicable in all EU Member States. This Regulation aims to lower formalities and costs for citizens presenting public documents in another EU country than the country where the documents were issued, such as court documents, birth certificates, marriage certificates or a certificate on the absence of a criminal record.
Before this Regulation entered into force, public documents normally had to be authenticated with an apostille seal, and a sworn translation was also regularly required, before it was possible to use the documents in another EU member state for e.g. employment and immigration purposes. Through the implementation of stronger safeguards to prevent the use of fraudulent public documents, an apostille is no longer required. Furthermore, with the introduction of the multilingual standard form available in all languages of the EU, the translation for listed documents is also no longer required.
If authorities do suspect a fraudulent document, the Internal Market Information System (IMI) allows authorities to verify the authenticity of public documents with the issuing authority. IMI is a secure online tool through which national, regional and local authorities can communicate with their counterparts in other EU countries including Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. IMI is used, notably, for cooperation on the recognition of professional qualifications. Although the Regulation regulates the authenticity of a public document, it does not as such regulate their legal effects in another EU country; this is still subject to national law of the EU country where the document is presented. However, the right to free movement of EU citizens to an extent prevents authorities from imposing unreasonable preconditions on the recognition of a public document issued in another EU country.
In short, this Regulation is a welcome addition, and will no doubt further integrate public administrative processes in the EU. We are convinced this will contribute to smoother immigration procedures.
Huub KapelLIMES International B.V., Valkenburg, The Netherlands
T: +31 88 0899 000
LIMES International B.V. is an independent international tax consultancy firm specialising in crossborder issues. They focus exclusively on companies and expats that cross borders, providing them with a broad range of integrated solutions in tax and expat, legal, payroll, immigration and relocation, pension and insurance, HR, and VAT and customs services.
Huub Kapel is an international tax partner of LIMES International with more than 30 years of experience in assisting expatriates and their employers around the world.
Wytske WijnnobelLIMES International B.V., Valkenburg, The Netherlands
T: +31 88 0899 000
Wytske Wijnnobel is an immigration specialist of LIMES International with more than 10 years of experience in individual and corporate immigration issues..
Published: Labour Law, No. 06, Spring 2019 l Photo: ake1150 - stock.adobe.com