What is an apostille? An apostille is a sticker attached by the U.K Foreign Office which confirms that a document has been signed by a notary or other public official and that the notary or public official is a notary (or Companies House officer, Birth and Marriage or Death registrar, etc.)
We are happy to arrange this for clients at either of the two offices the Foreign Offices operates. We do so every day. The apostille costs £30 per document using the slower service and £75 per document for the one day service.
The reason for the apostille is that on seeing the apostille, the receiving party, whether an individual or a business, can be even more confident that the document has been properly notarised.
Essentially, as clients have put it to us : The notary confirms that the person or people signing the document understands it and confirms their identity by seeing passport or other acceptable proof of identity and a bill or other official document to confirm address. Then, the Foreign Office confirms the document has been signed by a notary, and puts on the apostille as proof of that fact.
Once notarised, the document then needs to go to the legalisation department of the UK Foreign Office. This is located in Milton Keynes. Documents can be posted there. Visits to this office are no longer possible.
We are happy to arrange apostilles at either of the two offices the Foreign Office operates- which are located in Milton Keynes and Centre Point in London.
We do so every day. The apostille costs £30 per document for the slower service and £75 per document for the one day service. We will add our fees on top of this. The speed of return from the Milton Keynes office depends on the volume of work at that office.
The Centre Point office in London is reserved for notaries and some other businesses.
The apostille system was created by a treaty called the Hague Convention on the abolition of consular legalisation and many but not all countries have signed the treaty.
However even those countries that have not signed this treaty still require notarisation then apostille, but then also ask for the documents to be stamped at their own embassy. The UAE, and many other Arab states do this, as does China. A few other countries such as Brazil only accept notarisation then stamping at their consulate. There is a guide to this under our Services heading on the Home Page.