We can notarise any other document for use abroad & can assist in obtaining the Apostille from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) and liaising with foreign consular offices in the UK.
In order for most public documents to be accepted in the relevant Foreign jurisdiction, further formalities, known as legalisation or consularisation, may be required.
What is legalisation and what is an Apostille?
The authorities in a foreign jurisdiction rely on a notarial certificate because they see notaries as people who can be trusted to make sure that documents and facts have been properly authenticated.
However, when the document is received in the foreign country, the foreign authorities have no idea whether our signature and seal are those of a Notary, and have no easy way of checking. The only way in which this can realistically be done is by a process known as legalisation. This is a process by which the Foreign and Commonwealth Office here is able to confirm that the signature and seal that appear on your document are from one of our solicitors and that they are a Notary. This involves sending our certificate to The Foreign and Commonwealth Office where they will legalise it by signing and sealing it.
It is likely to take at least 3 days for it to be returned to us. There is also a premium service which is a same day service, which only we can undertake, and which is more costly, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and which usually requires the services of a courier to take the documents to the London office of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Many countries are parties to the Hague Convention which means that they will accept the Foreign and Commonwealth Office certification, then known as an Apostille, without any further steps being required.
However some countries require that, in addition to our notarial certificate being legalised by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, their embassy confirms that our signature and seal and/or the Foreign and Commonwealth Office legalisation is authentic, which they do by applying the seal of their own Embassy in this country and signature of an Embassy official.
We offer a professional and quick legalisation service assisting clients and legal practitioners.
We obtain Apostille certifications at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office at the FCO Premium facility in Central London, or at the main Legalisation office in Milton Keynes.
We can obtain Consular/Embassy legalisations at all London based Embassies.
We can save you hours of queuing at Public Counters and days (sometimes weeks) of waiting for the return of postal applications. Our legalisation agents are well versed in the requirements of all the London–based Consulates, so we can help you comply with all the formalities, minimising any delay.
It is imperative that everything is done in our presence:
Any instructions which have been given by the lawyer who has prepared the document. These can include unusual requirements, for example, having to sign each page or even the colour of the ink.