On 12th October 2023 the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office announced that with effect from 29th December 2023 the Premium Legalisation Service operating from Sanctuary Buildings, Westminster, London will close.
The FCDO’s Premium Legalisation Service has been delivering the Same-Day apostille service to registered business users, and it has been relied on by a vast array of clients who are looking for the most efficient way of obtaining apostilles.
The decision to close the central London’s business counter was met with some disappointment by many users, who are concerned about the effects that it will have in the instances of tight deadlines and urgent transactions requiring completion. However, in compensation for the lost Same-Day service, the FCDO are revising their requirement for use on the Next-Day apostille service, that is based at Hanslope Park, Milton Keynes. These new requirements will come into effect from 1st January 2024.
The criteria for access to the Next-Day service is similar to the one for the registration with the current Same-Day Service, and is tailored to the business that regularly submit at least 5 documents for visit.
Notable Notaries is a current registered business for the Same-Day Service. From January 2024, we are looking to offer a 2-day turnaround service, using the dedicated counter at Milton Keynes.
In addition to the Next-Day service, the FCDO continue offering the Standard Service (at Notable Notaries we are making this happen within 3-4 working days), as well as Digital (Electronic ‘e-Apostille’ Service). The latter requires the notarial certificate, that is to be apostilled, to be produced in electronic form too, which might not be accepted in every foreign jurisdiction or by every foreign authority. In addition, certain types of documents, such as birth/death/marriage certificates issued by the GRO, ACRO or DBS certificates cannot currently be accepted for an e-Apostille.