European Life Certificates

Many senior Australian citizens and permanent residents receive a foreign pension from an Eastern European or Balkan country upon retirement from the workforce.

In order to continue receiving this pension, a “Life Certificate” needs to be completed on a regular basis and returned to the country from which the pension is received. The Life Certificate is issued to pension recipients for them to fill out and prove that they are still alive at the time of the receipt of the Certificate.

A Notary Public can help complete a Life Certificate by verifying your identity and witnessing your signature. Note that your Life Certificate can still be notarised even if it is not written in English.

Each country’s Life Certificates and requirements are slightly different, but all require that the pension recipient proves that he or she is still living.

When requesting a Notary to notarise your Life Certificate and verify your identity, you must bring personal photographic identification such as an Australian Driver’s Licence or a passport.

Before sending your completed Life Certificate to the relevant authority, you should check whether you require your certificate to be authenticated by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). Depending on the country, this will consist of having an Apostille stamp or an Authentication stamp applied to the Life Certificate. Many Eastern European and Balkan countries are signatories to The Hague Apostille Convention – this means that applying to DFAT for your Life Certificate to be stamped with an Apostille is sufficient for it to be legally recognised.

Our firm is happy to notarise Life Certificates for clients who receive a foreign pension from countries that they have previously worked and lived in. If you require assistance with your Life Certificate, please contact our office and we will be delighted to help you.