Apostille - Legalisation of Documents

What is an Apostille?
Why have an Apostille certificate?
What type of document can be certified by an Apostille?
What information is contained on the Apostille?
How long does it take?
Which countries recognise the Apostille certificate?
How do I place an order for an Apostille Certificate?
How much does it cost?

 

What is an Apostille?

Put simply an Apostille certificate authenticates the signature of the public official who has signed the document. The Apostille certificate confirms the person that signed the document has the authority to do so and that the document should therefore be recognised as legal without further evidence in another member state. A member state being any country which has joined the Hague Convention. Many countries which have not joined the Convention also recognise Apostille Certificates.

Why have an Apostille certificate?

Prior to the introduction of Apostille certificates the burden on international courts and authorities to judge foreign documents as authentic was quite considerable. On the 5 October 1961 the Hague Convention abolished the requirement of legalisation for foreign public documents. The Convention reduces all of the formalities of legalisation to the simple delivery of a certificate in a prescribed form entitled "Apostille". This certificate, placed on the document, is dated, numbered and registered. The verification of its registration can be carried out without difficulty by means of a simple request for information addressed to the authority which delivered the certificate.

What type of document can be certified by an Apostille?

Virtually any document can be legalised through the Apostille process. Follow the link to a list of the most popular documents. If the document you want legalised for use overseas is not listed please email us the details.

What information is contained on the Apostille?

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 long does it take?

We aim to have your Apostille certificate issued within 2-3 working days from receipt of your documents and payment. Delivery time is dependant on the delivery service you order. Usually you will receive your Apostille certificate within a week of us receiving the documents from you.

Which countries recognise the Apostille certificate?

The following states are all members of the Hague Convention and an Apostille Certificate will be legally recognised in these countries without further legalisation.

Member Countries

AAlbania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan
B Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Burundi, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria
C Cape Verde, Chile, China (Hong Kong), China (Macao), Colombia, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic
D Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic
E Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia
F Fiji, Finland, France, FYR of Macedonia
G Georgia, Germany, Greece, Grenada
H Honduras, Hungary
I Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy
J Japan
K Kazakhstan, Korea, Republic of - (South Korea), Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan
L Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg
M Malawi, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco
N Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niue, Norway
O Oman
P Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal
R Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation
S Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Serbia, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland
T Tajikistan, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey
U Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, Uruguay, Uzbekistan
V Venezuela, Vanuatu

 

If the country you intend to present the documents in is not listed please check with the entity you intend to accept the apostille. They very often recognise an Apostille certificate.

 

How do I place an order for an Apostille Certificate?

Please contact us by phone, email or post to place an order. Alternatively you may wish to view our dedicated apostille website www.apostille.biz. One of our advisers will discuss the service you require based on the type of document. Payment can be made by credit or debit card, UK cheque or bank transfer to our UK account.

Discounts can be offered for multiple orders at the same time. We will also advise on whether multiple documents can be legalised under one apostille to avoid excess charges.

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