Complete Document Apostille Services
For Any Document and Any Country
Important Information: All documents require solicitor certification. This is included in our service at no additional cost. We will require the original document, where the solicitor will certify that they have seen the original document, after which it is taking to the FCO Foreign Office for the Apostille legalisation. The Apsotille stamp is sufficient authentication for use within Hague Convention countries. For non Hague Convention Countries, the Apostille stamp is sufficient enough for an embassy to accept it for an embassy legalisation.
Please see the process as below that we follow:
Send Us the
We quality check
The document is
solicitor certified and then
Apostilled 24 hours.
If required, we take the
document to the required
embassy for legalisation
Back to you Domestically
The Most Common Services
Standard Personal Documents
Corporate Business Documents
Frequently Asked Questions
The Hague Apostille Convention of 1961; officially known as the The Hague Convention of 5 October 1961, Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents, was drafted by the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH). The convention specifies the ways in which a document issued by a signatory member nation can be made fit for legal use in other signatory states.
It abolished the requirement for consular legalisation of documents, and, instead, introduced the apostille certification for documents. All public documents that need legalisation for use between member nations, for various purposes, can be legalised with an apostille stamp issued by a competent authority of the nation in which the document originates. This apostille certification would suffice, with no further requirement of Embassy legalisation.
The convention aimed to make cross-border transactions and paperwork easier. Now, all participating nations can accept a document that is apostilled, easing the burden of certifying documents according to the different laws and standards of each nation. Over 110 nations are part of the 1961 Hague Convention, including The United Kingdom. In the UK, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London is the designated authority for the issuing of apostille certificates to documents for legalisation.
Documents need to be submitted to the legalisation office of the FCO in Milton Keynes. Most public documents to be used in another country will require an apostille certificate, including birth certificates, death certificates, marriage certificates, police background checks, power of attorneys, company incorporation certificates and so on. These documents are also required by visa applicants to work and reside in another country, for business travellers to conduct international transactions or to participate in company legal proceedings in foreign courts and many other such instances.
Please note that in order to get a document apostilled, it needs to be issued or certified by an officer or authority recognised by the London FCO. This means that certain documents that have not been issued by the UK Registrar’s Office will need notarisation by a UK Notary Public or solicitor before it can receive the apostille certificate.
An apostille is a long form certificate issued and attached to a document by a State’s foreign office or any other designated authority. This certificate grants the document legal status, for all countries that are signatory members of the 1961 Hague Convention. When you submit a document for an apostille certificate, the London FCO will verify the authenticity of the document by searching for the signature of a recognised authority, stamp/seal and any other key security features to prevent duplication or fraud.
After verification, the FCO will attach an A5-sized certificate, which has 10 sub sections, stating the country of origin, designation of the issuing officer, date of issue, unique identification number, place of issue and the seal/stamp of the authority. This certificate is permanently glued to the original document, on top of which a red seal with the UK government crest is embossed. This is the apostille seal or the apostille stamp.
It is to be noted that the apostille design and style varies across countries. Whilst the UK issues a paper certificate, along with the embossed seal, other countries may use an ink stamp or an adhesive sticker.
Documents that require apostille certification need to be submitted to the legalisation office of the FCO in London. The FCO might require certain documents to be certified by a notary public or solicitor in the UK, prior to attaching the apostille certificate. Legalisations.org.uk can assist you in all the steps required for document legalisation.
Step 1: Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 0845 224 9482, stating your requirements for apostille certification of documents. Our consultants will guide you through all the steps and quote the total fees and turnaround times, accordingly.
Step 2: Send us the required documents, either in-person at our London office or through courier. If you are living outside the UK, you can courier your documents through DHL or UPS international delivery. Our consultants will check the documents to ensure that they are in the correct format, prescribed by the FCO in London.
Step 3: We will get your documents certified and signed by our in-house UK solicitor, if needed.
Step 4: Our consultants will submit the documents to the London FCO for apostille certification.
Step 5: The documents will be collected by our consultants from the FCO office and returned to you safely via courier or handed over to you personally at our office.
The FCO typically takes up to 2 business days for apostille certification. Legalisations.org.uk can provide you same-day services as well, with the required charges.
If the local authorities of the country where you intend to use the documents require them to be legalised, you will need FCO legalisation and Embassy legalisation (in certain cases). Technically, any type of document to be used in a country other than the one in which the document originated would require legalisation.
Usually, document legalisation is required for the following categories of documents:
Standard Personal Documents
- Birth and death certificates
- Marriage certificate
- HMRC letters
- UK Police clearance certificates (ACRO, ACPO)
- No Impediment Certificate
- Court documents, such as personal power of attorney
- College degree certificates
- Master’s, Doctoral and Diploma certificates
- GCSE, CSE, O-Level certificates
- Training certificates
- Professional Qualifications
- School letters
- Academic transcripts and reports
Corporate Business Documents
- Company Certificate of Incorporation
- Appointment reports
- Memorandum of Association/Articles of Association
- Company letters
- UK Companies House certificates
- Minutes of Meeting & Resolutions
If you have queries regarding legalisation of any of these documents or if the document to be legalised is not in the above list, kindly contact us at email@example.com. You can also call us at 0845 224 9482.
There are various reasons for which a document might require apostille certification by the London FCO. Document legalisation is a requirement for visa applications, legal proceedings abroad, purchase of property in foreign locations, research work in foreign countries, international adoption processes, cross-border marriages, overseas employment and education, and so on.
Some instances where you might require FCO apostille and Embassy legalisation include:
- If you are seeking employment outside the UK, you will need to obtain an employment visa and a residence visa. In such cases, the sponsoring company will ask for certain documents, such as your birth certificate, academic qualification certificates, previous employment records and more to be legalised.
- If you are relocating abroad for work or academic purposes, you will need to get your academic certificates legalised, along with your personal documents, such as birth certificate, marriage certificate, UK police certificate and so on. If your family is also relocating with you, you will need to legalise these documents for them as well. In that case, school letters and other educational certificates of your children will also have to be legalised. In many cases, your driving license in the UK will need to be apostilled, to serve both as identity proof as well as to enable you to apply for a driving license in the destination country.
- Document legalisation is also sought by corporate professionals participating in international business transactions. This may include negotiating contracts with foreign companies, purchasing company properties abroad, trade negotiations, legal proceedings and many such reasons where company and commercial documents will need legalisation.
The Hague Convention of 1961 had 117 signatory members as of July 2019. If your destination country is not a part of the convention, your documents will require Embassy legalisation, after being issued the FCO apostille stamp.
In that case, the documents will have to be submitted to the legalisation office or consulate department of the respective Embassy in London, after the London FCO issues the apostille certificate to the documents. Only after the Embassy legalisation will the documents be acceptable in the destination country.
We offer two packages for document legalisation. Both will vary in price depending on which country and documents you require to be Apostilled. We offer a standard package and a premium package which ensures we can have the documents returned to you in a shorter time frame.
Our fees include the charges for submission, collection, solicitor stamp and free re-submissions.
To legalise your documents, you will need to find out whether the destination country is a member of the 1961 Hague Convention. If it is, then the documents will only require the apostille stamp issued by London FCO. In other cases, Embassy legalisation will be further required, after the FCO apostille stamp. Kindly check whether the documents have been legalised for any prior use.
Legalisations.org.uk can complete the entire process on your behalf in just a few steps.
Step 1: Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 0845 224 9482, stating your requirements for document legalisations. We will guide you through the further steps, give you a free quote and inform you of the turnaround time.
Step 2: You will need to send us the required documents, either in-person at our office or through courier.
Step 3: We will get your documents certified and signed by our in-house UK solicitor, if needed. The London FCO does not issue an apostille stamp unless the document is issued by an authority it recognises or has been notarised.
Step 4: Our agents will submit the documents to the London FCO for apostille certification.
Step 5: The documents will be collected by our agents from the FCO office. In case the documents that need further Embassy legalisation, we will submit the documents to the respective embassy in London and collect them after the process is completed.
Step 6: Your documents will be delivered to you safely within a few days.
The FCO typically takes up to 2 business days for apostille certification. Embassy legalisation can take anywhere from the same day to 5 working days, depending on the consulate department’s rules and regulations.
In certain cases, documents need to be translated into the official language of the destination country, before the embassy legalisation process. This depends on a number of factors, such as the reason for use of the document abroad, protocol of the Embassy, language of the document and so on. Mostly, embassies in London do not require documents to be translated. However, there are certain exceptions. For instance, the Embassy of Cuba requires documents to be translated into Spanish before legalisation.
Legalisations.org.uk provides certified translation services, as and when required. We have FCO approved language experts in Spanish, French, Arabic and Mandarin. Our translators will carefully review your documents for spelling errors, format, punctuation, grammar and sentence structure, so that the translated documents remain true to the original.
The design may vary across countries, but the certificate should have 10 vital points. The UK-issued apostille certificate is an A5-sized document, which is permanently attached to the reverse of the original document. It contains the following 10 sub-sections:
- Country: The United Kingdom
- Has been signed by: Solicitor or UK FCO official
- Acting in the capacity of: The signer’s capacity as an authorised signatory
- Bears the seal/stamp of: Might be blank
- At: Place of issue
- The: Date of certification
- By: Her Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
- Number: The number of apostille registration
- Seal/stamp: The red embossing seal is applied here
- Signature: The issuing officer will put his/her signature here
On top of this certificate a red seal, featuring the crest of the Government of the United Kingdom, is affixed through an embossing mechanism.
Countries that are not signatory members of The 1961 Hague Convention will require embassy legalisation of documents, after the FCO’s apostille certification.
The design and format of the stamp will vary across different embassies. Usually, the embassy stamps the original document, next to the FCO apostille stamp. This stamp will be dated, often with a seal, along with the signature and capacity of the issuing authority, in the embassy in London.