FCO Document Legalisation with Apostille Certificates
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) legalises certain documents by providing an Apostille Certificate, also called an Apostille Stamp at their Legalisation Office in Milton Keynes. If you’ve been asked by an official of another country to present UK documents to them you may need this.
You cannot legalise documents from outside the UK through the FCO – they must be legalised in the country the document originated from.
You will need a Notary Public to confirm that the document is genuine – the FCO then confirm that the signature of the Notary Public is genuine, thus legalising the document and making it eligible for use within the legal systems of signatories to The Hague Convention. Some countries who are not signatories of The Hague Convention may require the further step of getting the document authenticated by their Consulate or Embassy with the UK.
It usually takes 2 days to process the Apostille Certificate. However, when there are large numbers of applications it can take 10-14 days. There is also a premium 24 hour service charged at £75/document. It is also possible to verify an Apostille Certificate.
The government has some more information on its website. However, many prefer to act via a Notary Public in this matter.
The HCCH who created the Hague Convention name the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as the authority competent to act for legalisation.
The Legalisation Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
P.O. Box 6255
MILTON KEYNES MK10 1XX
Back to My Notary Public London