APOSTILLE AND
LEGALISATION

Once a document has been notarised, it is usually necessary for the notary’s signature and seal to be certified as genuine by governmental authorities before it can be used overseas. This process is called legalisation.

Once a document has been notarised, it is usually necessary for the notary’s signature and seal to be certified as genuine by governmental authorities before it can be used overseas. This process is called legalisation.

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What is legalisation?

Each country has its own apostille and legalisation requirements. Costs vary; they depend on whether you need legalisation, an apostille, or both. Many embassies also distinguish between personal and commercial documents, with the latter being more expensive.

Documents may not need to be legalised or apostilled if the country is a current or former member of the British Commonwealth. This is also true for parts of the USA. It’s recommended that you check with the intended recipient of the document what course of action to take.

What is an apostille?

For countries party to the Hague Convention, the notary’s certificate and seal will require legalisation by the UK government. This is done via the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).

The certificate provided by the FCDO is known as an apostille.

The Hague Convention has 83 Members: 82 separate states and the European Union. The full list of members can be seen here

Not all countries accept apostilles

If the country you need to send documents to is not listed above, consular legalisation may also be required. This can be obtained from the  relevant embassy, consulate, or high commission.

Some countries require the document to be legalised by the FCDO first and then their country’s embassy,  consulate or high commission.

Woodcock Notary Public can help guide you through this process. We can arrange the full legalisation of your documents directly or through agents – with whom we have a great relationship. 

What happens if my document is not legalised appropriately?

It is crucial that certain documents are validated, if they are to be utilised in foreign jurisdictions. Rules vary depending on the country and on the type of document. It is therefore important to obtain professional advice to ensure that documents are prepared correctly.

Find an embassy

Woodcock Notary Public can assist you in legalising your documents at your desired embassy or consulate.
We have a dedicated team of consular liaison experts who will oversee the delivery of your documents to your consulate/embassy.

We have compiled a list of embassies from gov.uk for your convenience.

Embassies inside London, United Kingdom

Embassies outside London, United Kingdom

Need advice on apostilles and embassy legalisation?

If you are unsure about the legalisation requirements for your document, you can always ask our expert team. We can discuss your legalisation requirements with you and provide the most cost-effective approach to have your documents notarised and legalised. We aim to give you a clear understanding of the requirements and fees in your initial consultation so that there are no surprise costs later.

You can arrange the legalisation of your documentation yourself with our guidance. However, Woodcock Notary Public can provide this service for you to avoid hassle and delays.

Need advice?

Call us or complete the form below.

READY FOR ASSISTANCE?

If you have any questions about our notary, apostille or consular services,
contact Woodcock Notary Public today.

Call us on 0800 049 2471 or email info@woodcocknotarypublic.com.

If you have any questions about our notary, apostille or consular services, contact Woodcock Notary Public today.

Call us on 0800 049 2471 or email info@woodcocknotarypublic.com.