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?
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.
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.
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.
The certificate contains the following information:
We aim to have your Apostille certificate issued within 5 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.
The following states are all members of the Hague Convention and an Apostille Certificate will be legally recognised in these countries without further legalisation.
A Albania, Andora, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan (from 02/03/2005)
B Bahamas, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria
C Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic
E El Salvador
F Fiji, Finland, France, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
G Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guyana
H Honuras, Hong Kong (SAR), Hungary
I Ireland, Israel, Italy
K Kazakhstan, Kiribati
L Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg
M Macau (SAR), Malawi, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco,
N Netherlands (including Aruba; Netherlands Antilles), New Zealand, Niue, Norway
P Panama, Portugal (including Madeira)
R Romania, Russian Federation
S Samoa, Serbia and Montenegro, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines, San Marino, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain (including the Canary Islands), Sri Lanka, Surinam, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland
T Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, Tuvalu
U Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America (including Puerto Rico)
V Vanuatu, Venezuela
The following countries have also adopted the Apostille Certificate as proof of legalisation and in most situations the certificate will be accepted. We recommend you consult the entity you intend to present the document to before ordering our Apostille service.
A Affars and the Issas, Andorra, Angola, Anguilla, Aruba
B Bermuda, Brazil, British Antarctic Territory, British Virgin Islands
C Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, China, Comoros Islands
D Denmark, Djibouti
E Egypt, Estonia
F Falkland Islands, French Guiana, French Polynesia
G Georgia, Gibraltar, Guadeloupe, Guernsey (Bailiwick of), Guyana
J Jersey, Jordan
M Malaysia, Martinique, Montserrat , Morocco, Mozambique
N New Caledonia
S Sri Lanka, St. Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, St. Helena, St. Pierre and Miquelon,
T Turks and Caicos
V Virgin Islands
W Wallis and Futuna
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.
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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