What is an Apostille?
The Apostille is a stamped certificate affixed to UK issued documents by The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (which is also commonly referred to as the FCO). The FCO will check the document has been issued by a UK public notary/official and verify whether the signature, stamp or seal is genuine.
The word is derived from the French word “Apostille” meaning “a marginal note” – itself derived from the Latin post (“after”) + illa (“these”) + verba (“words”).The term began to refer to the authentication of documents following the Hague Convention of 1961. Signatory countries to the convention agreed to recognise public documents issued in other signatory countries if they are authenticated by the attachment of an internationally recognised form of authentication known as the “apostille”.
The Apostille is required for use in the vast majority of countries worldwide. Typically, Commonwealth countries do not require the Apostille on documents notarised in the UK, however on occasion it is still asked for.If a country has not signed up to the Hague Convention of 1961, the Apostille will be required before a document is legalised by the consulate of that country.
If you need an Apostille urgently we are here to help. We guarantee to have your document legalised within 24 hours. One of our team will personally submit, wait for and collect your document(s) from the FCO’s London counter. We will keep you updated if there is any issue or delay whilst at the FCO. We offer both a morning and afternoon same day legalisation service.
› For collection by 13.00, the latest we must receive your document is 11.00.
› For collection by 17.00, the latest we must receive your document is 15.00.
We offer a regular legalisation service for non-urgent matters. We will submit and receive your document(s) by secure post at the FCO counter in Milton Keynes. This typically takes 4-5 working days to complete however in busy periods, the FCO can take up to 10 working days to process document(s).