What is Legalisation?
Legalisation is the process by which the signature and seal of the Notary Public are being authenticated by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office ("FCDO") and/or the foreign Embassy or Consulate of the country in which the document is to be received.
The FCDO authenticates documents by way of an “Apostille” which is a certificate affixed to the document. The legalisation requirements will always be determined by the country or state where the document is going to be used and so it is their rules that must be complied with. The legalisation requirements will therefore be different depending on which country your document is for and it will always be prudent for you to check it first with the lawyer or other professional advisor in that country.
Legalisation by way of an Apostille is usually required by countries that are signatories to the Hague Convention and normally will be sufficient for the document to be accepted by these countries. There are many places where legalisation is not required, for example current or former British Commonwealth countries and many parts of the United States.
Some other countries however also require the document to be further authenticated by their own Embassy/ Consulate. As you may appreciate, the legalisation process varies from one Embassy/ Consulate to another and can be time consuming. I am working closely with highly qualified legalisation agents in London and therefore have vast experience in dealing with the particular requirements of the Embassy/ Consulate to ensure that documents are legalised as quickly and efficiently as possible.
I can arrange for your document to be affixed with an Apostille at the FCDO on an express, same-day service (recommended) or a standard 4-5 day service. I will be able to advise you as to whether your particular document requires legalisation by the FCDO or if any further legalisation is required by the relevant embassy or consulate.
The content of this website does not constitute legal advice and is provided for general information purposes only.