Legalisation

The Apostille or Legalisation certificate is a verification from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) of the notary’s authority to sign.  Many countries require this formality.  Some go further and require the consulate / embassy to also Legalise (authenticate) the notary.

As a general rule of thumb:

  • Countries connected with UK - basic notarisation (i.e Australia);
  • EC and Hague Convention signatories - Apostille;
  • Non-EU countries with a connection (past or present) to France, Portugal and Spain - FCO Legalisation and Consulate (i.e Brazil);
  • Middle East countries and most Asian Countries - mainly Apostille and Consulate (i.e UAE and Vietnam)


APOSTILLE / LEGALISATION CERTIFICATE - FCO Service

Standard Service:    

  • Location - Milton Keynes
  • By post and usually 5-7 working day turnaround.
  • Fee - £28.80 per document (plus £6 for special delivery return of documents).

Premium (for registered businesses only):

  • Location - London
  • SAME DAY service in London for registered business customers only.  
  • Fee - The fee is £71 per document.
  • Clients should register for the Premium Service and pay beforehand and give the FCO Receipt to the notary.  Clients can then either arrange for their own courier or send the notary the receipt and documents and who can then sort out the Apostille through the legalisation agents and couriers they have relations with.

(The courier's fee is usually about £100 plus VAT depending upon how long he has to wait at the FCO.)

The link to use for Premium Service Registration is: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/about-us/what-we-do/services-we-deliver/legal-services/Legalisation/030-Links/040-Premium-Service


CONSULATE / EMBASSY INVOLVEMENT


Timescales, procedure and formality vary considerably from country to country so it is best to make enquiries of my office or the relevant embassy (legalisation department) - see Resources.


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