Apostille Certificates and Legalisation in the UK

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Download and fill in our order form - Apostille Order Form

When do I need an Apostille?

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.

In the UK the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Legalisation Office apply an Apostille Certificate to UK-issued documnets 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.

For example:

  • Overseas students studying at UK universities may need to produce education certificates, letters of attendance or transcripts when returning to their home country
  • Proof of ID such as Birth Certificates or copies of passports
  • Death Certificates, Wills or Powers of Attorney for use abroad
  • Criminal Record checks for employment overseas (ACRO, Disclosure Scotland, DAB)
  • UK residents wishing to work abroad may need proof of qualifications
  • Company incorporation certificates when opening bank accounts, offices or 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
  • plus many, many more
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) 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 FCO.

Once you have confirmed your apostille requirements with the receiving overseas authority it is advisable to employ reputable service providers such as Apostille Certificates UK to do the work for you. This will save time and money and using someone who is familiar with all the procedures involved will ensure timely, trouble-free completion of your apostille.

What documents can have an Apostille Certificate?

An Apostille Certificate can apply to many different types of document:

Can I do the following?
  • Apostille a Birth, Death or Certificate? Yes, the original or a copy from the General Register Office
  • Apostille a University Degree Certificate? Yes, but it will have to certified by a Solicitor or Notary Public
  • Apostille a Power of Attorney or Will? Yes, as above
  • Apostille Company documents? Yes, Certificates of Good Standing provided they are signed by a Companies House official. Anything else can be certifed 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 legalised for further information.

How does the Apostille appear on my document?

The Apostille Certificate (shown right) is a paper attachment which is fixed to your supplied document. It will then be accepted as authentic in any of the Hague Convention countries (see above). 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.

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/Praciticing Solicitor (sufficient in 99.9% of cases) and then certified with a conformant apostille are accepted for legal use in all the nations that have signed the Hague Convention.

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

Or download and fill in our order form - Apostille Order Form

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

Most people will only encounter this requirement very rarely so it is quite often 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 Apostille Certificates UK.


No problem, Apostille Certificates UK are HEDD compliant and can complete Higher Education Degree Datachecks on your behalf.

Email us a scan of your Certificate and we can apostille a copy of it WITHOUT you having to post the original. We can verify your Degree with your University and then have a copy certified and apostilled.

The price for this service is £25