If your document needs to be apostilled for use abroad, we need to first take the hard copy original document(s) to the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office(FCDO) which issue and affix the apostille. An apostille is a sticker affixed to the underside of the notarial certificate, sealed and signed by an officer of the FCDO, which confirms the Notary’s seal, signature and current practising status of the Notary and validates the document to be used abroad pursuant to the 1961 Hague Convention. If your document has been signed by a registrar at Companies House or the General Registry Office or by an officer of the HMRC or ACRO in the UK, you may be able to have your document apostilled without it first being notarised–please send a scan of your document to [email protected] and we will confirm this for you.
If the country you need to use your document in is a Commonwealth member (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, etc.) it may be that you do not need an apostille or legalisation stamps at all – please check with your foreign adviser who asked you to have your documents notarised.
On the contrary, if the country you need to use your document in is not a Commonwealth member and also has not ratified the 1961 Hague Convention on Apostilles (such as Lebanon, Thailand and Mozambique), you may need to have the document stamped at the Embassy or Consulate of the country the document is to be used, on top of the apostille – this process is called ‘consular legalisation’. You can check the list of countries which have ratified the convention here:
The process for legalisation differs for each country, please send us the draft of your document by email and we will revert with the full process as quickly as possible.