In the United Kingdom an apostille is a certificate that validates the signature and/or seal of a public officer, in this case, a Notary Public, on a document and the capacity in which the notary officer has acted and had the same effect as legalization, this certificate is issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). It is a certificate attached to the notary certificate by the foreign and commonwealth office (FCO). The apostille confirms that we are indeed a legitimate and certified notary public. It is called the ‘Hague apostille’. Being fully involved with the Foreign office it is possible for us to use either their standard or their fast track routes in obtaining your apostilles; this largely depends on how soon you would want your documents returned.

The apostille is a necessity, especially when dealing with countries that are under the agreement made at the Hague Convention of 5th October 1961 over the legalisation of public documents. In such cases, any form of the document meant for use in those countries is recognized only if legalised by the “Apostille” issued by the FCO. The countries that require the use of apostilles include the United States of America, United Arab Emirates, Australia, Argentina, Canada and quite a number of others. The list of countries under this system of legalisation is endless; hence schedule an appointment with us so we can set the appropriate procedure for your desired country running.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) charges £30 for legalising a document. The FCO also charges a postage fee for returning the document. This is £6 for addresses in the UK, £14.50 for addresses in Europe and £25 for any elsewhere in the world. The FCO offers a Premium Service in London which allows the documents to be legalised the same day. They charge £75 for this service. A visit to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s website will further inform you of the legalisation fees.

Embassy/Consular Legalisation

It is the opposite case for countries which have not ratified the Hague Convention of 5th October 1961. Documents that must be legalised in these countries must be legalised at the Consulate of the country in question. However, in some countries, it will still be important to first obtain an Apostille. In cases where the notarized document needs Consular legalisation more time is expected to be spent. This is especially true for countries where the legalisation process takes two visits to complete. Countries that fall under such canopy include; Qatar, Bahrain, Jordan, Tunisia, Taiwan, Vietnam, China and Uruguay and many more.

In essence, when my signature or stamp is on a document the individual receiving it is rest assured that I am indeed a genuine rotary because both my stamp and signature have both been duly been registered at the FCO, embassies and consulates in the UK. Hence, when my notarial document arrives at those places my signature and stamp is confirmed genuine with the records they have. Then the apostille or legalisation stamp can be issued.

Our experience in processing Consular legalisations involves understanding the many requirements coupled with the likely different time scales expected. We will do well to advise you concerning any country’s specific Embassy/Consular legalisation requirements. We will also obtain the Embassy/Consular legalisation if do want it. In case you need your documents to be legalised or apostilled the Notary public of west London Ltd is capable of forming a liaison with the Foreign Office or the appropriate embassy or consulate to achieve this.