We can help with urgent Apostille requirements on the same day. Please call now for help.
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What is an Apostille?
An Apostille is a certificate attached by the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, confirming that a document has been signed by a notary public or other public official. It confirms that the notary public or public official is, in fact, a genuine notary public or public official authorised by the UK Government.
The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office is the only Competent Authority in the United Kingdom for issuing Apostilles. They sign and place their seal on the Apostille and attach this to the Notarial document or other public document which confirms its authenticity. It is a further layer of verification.
The Hague Convention governs the issuance of Apostilles. It also specifies the procedure through which a document issued in one of the signatory countries can be certified for legal purposes in all the other signatory states.
‘Apostille’ is French for ‘certificate’ is comparable to notarisation in domestic law and supplements the local notarisation of the document. Click here for a link to a list of signatory states. If your country is a signatory to the Hague Convention, then usually certification by a UK notary along with an Apostille will make the document legal in the destination country. Wikipedia also provides a useful summary.
How can we help?
We visit the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Legalisation Office twice daily so if time is of the essence, we can do it.
Our first run to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office sets off around 09.00am which will usually see your documents ready for collection from our office around 1.00pm. Our second run leaves around 1.00pm and typically sees documents returning around 4.30pm.
You can get an appointment to see one of our Notaries from 08.30am.
Call us today for a your free telephone consultation.
Do I need an Apostille?
It is difficult for us, as UK Notaries, to advise on the specific requirements of specific transactions within a certain country or territory.
Your document provider or the document recipient is the best source of confirmation as to whether or not you require an Apostille. We almost always advise our clients: if in doubt, obtain such confirmation.
As a rule of thumb, if your document will eventually be lodged with a public institution such as a Land Registry, Court or other Government Office, then the chances are, it will require an Apostille.
Our Country Guide lists countries which usually require an Apostille. It is not meant to be a definitive, but general guide.
Do I need anything else in addition to the Apostille?
Not all countries have signed the Apostille Treaty. Where this is the case, even those countries that have not signed this treaty still require notarisation then an Apostille. After the Apostille has been applied by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the documents may need to be stamped at the country’s United Kingdom embassy or consulate. Visit our Country Guide for further details.
We arrange legalisation every day. So if you need things done urgently – get in touch with us and we will guide you through the process and take the pain out of the process by handling embassy and consulate processes.