Apostille Information

When do I need an apostille certificate?

You will need an Apostille Certificate, also known as the Hague Apostille, legalisation, attestation, when a foreign organisation has requested that you have UK-issued documents legalised as proof of authenticity.

What is an apostille certificate?

In the UK the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), Legalisation Office apply an Apostille Certificate to UK-issued documents only and, once granted, they will be usable overseas.

There is a reciprocal agreement between countries signed up to Convention 12 of the Hague Convention stating that member states will accept paperwork apostilled in any of the other member states.

What can an apostille certificate be placed upon?

- Students based overseas after studying at UK universities may need to produce education certificates, letters of attendance or transcripts for further studies or work opportunities and visas

- Proof of ID such as Birth Certificates or copies of passports

- Death Certificates, Wills or Powers of Attorney for use in cases were property is owned overseas and the owner has passed away

- Criminal Record checks for visas and employment overseas (ACRO, Disclosure Scotland, DBS)

- Companies House Incorporation Certificates are vital for opening bank accounts, offices and trading abroad

- Certificate of Good Standing (COGS) for companies trading overseas

- Certificate of No Impediment for marriage overseas

- Divorce documents from the UK for name change on overseas passports, getting married abroad or registering divorce

Plus many, many more

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) Legalisation Office will apply Apostille Certificates to documents if they have an identifiable and verifiable UK stamp or signature which they can trace and confirm.

Otherwise, the document will have to be certified as a true copy and signed by a UK Solicitor or Notary Public before presentation to the FCDO.

How can I get an apostille certificate?

Once you have confirmed your apostille requirements with the requesting authority, it is recommended to use a reputable service provider such as The Apostilles Group to do the work for you.

This will save time and money and using someone who is familiar with all the procedures involved ensures timely, trouble-free completion of your apostille.


What documents can be legalised?

Birth, Death or Marriage Certificate?
Yes, the original or a copy from the General Register Office

Yes, it will have to certified by a Solicitor or Notary Public and we can arrange this for you

Yes, as above

Companies House documents?
Yes, Certificates of Good Standing provided they are signed by a Companies House official. Anything else can be certified by our solicitor prior to apostille.

Any good service provider will be able to advise what other documents may have an Apostille attached, see also Documents that can be apostilled for further information.

How does the apostille certificate appear on my document?

The Apostille Certificate is a small paper attachment which is fixed to your supplied document.

It is glued and embossed with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Apostille Seal so you may wish to apostille a certified copy so that the original remains unchanged.

It will then be accepted as authentic in any of the Hague Convention countries.

The certificate contains the following information:

- Country of Origin
- Name of Signatory on the document
- The capacity in which that signatory has acted
- If the document has been sealed/stamped instead of signed then the details of the authority
- Place of certification
- Date of certification
- Issuing authorities details
- Certificate number
- Stamp of issuing authority
- Authorised signature of authority

How do I pronounce apostille?

Simple: a-poss-teal

Apostille is a French word that means 'a certification'.

It is commonly used in English to refer to the certification of a document for international use under the terms of the 1961 Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents.

Documents that have been notarised by a Notary Public, or a UK Registered/Practicing Solicitor (sufficient in 99.9% of cases) and then certified with an apostille certificate are accepted for legal use in all the nations that have signed the Hague Convention.

Common mis-spellings are apostle, apostile, appostile, appostille.


What we do

Our aim is to simplify the process of document legalisation, also known as having an Apostille Certificate or Apostille Stamp. In the UK this means getting the Apostille from the FCDO Legalisation Office.

Most people will only encounter this requirement rarely, and it can be the first, and only, time you will need to know about it.

We will discuss why you may need to have it done and how to go about it but for definitive information and to get the process under way please visit The Apostilles Group.

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