An apostille is a certificate that is attached to your document. It is issued by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) in the UK. The FCDO is sometimes referred to as the Foreign Office.
The apostille bears the stamp and embossment of the FCDO and is signed by one of their officers. It is affixed to documents that contain an official signature or seal. An official signature is a signature subscribed to a document by a public official such as an officer from the General Registry Office or Court Official.
If your document does not contain an official signature it will need to be notarised. A Notary is a public official who will subscribe their signature to a document following verification of its contents. Once a Notary has signed and sealed your document, it will be deemed to have an official signature and can therefore have the apostille certificate attached to it.
Following notarisation, the document will have to be physically submitted to one of the FCDO counters for apostille. Depending on your time constraints we offer two speeds of service for apostille:
We will keep you updated on your documents progress and notify you as soon as they are completed. We will email you digital scans of your documents and can then post them to any UK address of your specification or courier them abroad on your behalf. We can also retain the documents at our offices if you would like to pick them up personally. We often get asked what the difference is between apostille and legalisation. An apostille is the certificate that is attached to your document, and legalisation is the process of obtaining the apostille. Following legalisation of your document with the apostille, your document may also need to go to a consulate or embassy for further legalisation. This is a service we can undertake on your behalf. Consular legalisation may be required if the country your document is destined for is not part of The Hague Convention.
At iNotary, we understand that the legalisation process is confusing. Our clerks have vast experience with legalisation and will be happy to help you. They have personally visited a lot of the embassies and consulates in the United Kingdom and are versed in the apostille process. Please give us a call on 02070199007 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to advise.