Legalisation & Apostilles


In order to be accepted abroad, documents often need to be ‘legalised’ or ‘apostilled’ after they have been notarised.  This requirement often appears complicated and confusing, but it is really quite a straightforward process once you understand what is going on.

The simplest method of legalisation is the ‘apostille’, which is issued by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) at their offices in Milton Keynes and London.  The apostille is a certificate which provides the document’s recipient with official confirmation of the signature or seal of a ‘public official’ (which includes notaries).

Some countries also require documents to be stamped by their embassy or consulate in addition to, or instead of, getting them apostilled, but on the other hand some countries don’t usually require documents to be legalised at all and will accept an English notary public’s signature at face value.

I can deal with all your legalisation requirements, either by dealing directly with the FCDO and/or the appropriate embassy/consulate, or by instructing specialist legalisation agents.  Turnaround times and costs vary considerably depending on the service chosen and the country concerned, but even very short deadlines can usually be met.  I can advise on the best option for you – please ask.