Consular Legalisation, also known as attestation, is the process of authenticating a document at the Embassy/High Commission of the country where a document is going to be used. Legalisation is mostly carried out by the consular section of an Embassy or High Commission.

This is the third and final stage in the authentication process. The first stage is typically getting the document notarised. The second stage is getting an apostille from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

The requirements, fees and lead times for consular legalisation vary according to the country. It is common for consulates to distinguish between commercial and personal documents and the fees and requirements will differ according to the type of document.

Why it's needed?

Consular legalisation is required if a country has not signed up to the Hague Apostille Convention.

In 1961 the apostille was introduced. This abolished the need for consular legalisation between contracting member states. Since then, 121 countries have become contracting parties to the convention. The most recent being Indonesia.

Although some countries have not signed up to the Hague Apostille Convention, those countries still require a document to have an apostille before their Embassy/High Commission will legalise it.

What we offer

We are a one-stop shop and can help you with all requirements to get your document legalised by an Embassy/High Commission. We can do the notarisation, obtain the apostille, arrange a translation, and get the document legalised by the consulate.

Our location in the heart of London’s diplomatic enclave, together with key embassy contacts built up over the years, means we can offer a fast, discreet and smooth process for getting your documents attested.

For consular legalisation, we don’t charge per document. We charge a fixed handling fee to complete the job. Each consulate will charge their own fee which can vary depending on the type of document. We will pass on the exact cost charged by the consulate as a disbursement.

Certain consulates require additional administrative paperwork to be submitted together with the document. We will advise you on the outset of what we need, and provide templates if required. If there is any issue with the document raised by the consulate we will work with you to resolve it as quickly as possible. If we need to make multiple trips to the consulate to complete your job we will do so without extra cost.

Once everything is complete we will share PDF scans of the document with you. We can then post, bike or courier the document to an address of your choosing.

Country legalisation guide

For more information on individual country requirements and current consulate fees, check our Country Requirements List

FAQS

  • What countries currently require consular legalisation?

    Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Bangladesh, China, Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Kurdistan Region, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mozambique, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Sudan, Sudan, Taipei (Taiwan), Thailand, UAE, Vietnam, Uganda.

  • What countries will I need to translate the document for?

    Angola, Cuba, Libya and Mozambique.

  • What countries require a stamp from the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce?

    Commercial documents going to Iraq and Saudi Arabia will require a stamp from the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce before the consulate will legalise the document. We will handle this step for you.

    Commercial documents going to any other Arab state can also be stamped by the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce if you would like it.

  • Why has the document taken longer than estimated?

    We try our best to provide accurate lead times based on our experience. However occasionally lead times can differ. This can be for a number of reasons, including the consulate being short-staffed, suffering technical difficulties, and due to closures.

    Consulates regularly change the fees and processes. This can sometimes be at short notice. We do not have any control over this, and will advise you of any changes as soon as we are aware.

  • Will the consulate accept bundled documents?

    Each consulate has their own rule on bundled documents. Whilst acceptable for many consulates, others will not legalise more than one document bundled under one notarial certificate.

    Notable consulates that will not accept bundled documents include Qatar and the UAE.

  • Can I get my document legalised quicker than estimated?

    We can make a request to the consulate to expedite the legalisation. However this is completely at the discretion of the consulate. We cannot guarantee that they will oblige.

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