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Legalisation

Legalisation is the process by which the signature and seal of the notary are authenticated by the Foreign Office and the Foreign Embassy. Many countries require this. Documents going to countries which are, or have been, part of the British Commonwealth may not need legalisation nor do documents for some of the States in the US. 

Most countries accept one certificate from the Foreign Office called an Apostille which is affixed pursuant to the Hague Convention. Some countries however require a certificate from the Foreign Office and one from their own Embassy. 

We can arrange for the necessary Legalisation for an additional fee, or you can deal with this yourself if you prefer. However it will usually be much quicker if we deal with it. The process is relatively straightforward. Before arranging your own legalisation, please ensure you check the FCO website under “Legalisation” for the most up to date information. 

By Post 
You will need to download the legalisation application form from the FCO Website, and then send the completed form, together with the documents which have been notarised, the payment and an A4 sized envelope to the The Legalisation Office, PO Box 6255, Milton Keynes, MK10 1XX. The cost is £30.00 per document plus £6.00 postage or additional postage if you would like the document(s) sent by Fedex direct to their destination. The FCO will accept payment on line, or you can pay by business cheque, bankers draft or a postal order. The FCO will not accept a personal cheque. The documents should be returned to you within 1 week but there is no guarantee of this and it can take longer. 

Business Clients Only - Premium Service 
This same day counter service in Central London is only available to registered business customers with business related documents. You must be registered before you can access the Premium Service. You can register online. Payment must be made on line and the fee for such legalisation is £75 per document. You will need to show proof of payment in order to enter the office. 

Our Service 
Postal applications made though us tend to be quicker. In urgent cases we can use Agents at extra cost to obtain the Apostille. There are two options: 

  1. The premium service. We send the documents to our agents who then arrange for legalisation the next day. This FCO charge £75 per legalisation for this service. Our Agents can return the document to us for you to collect or can courier the document to its final destination, if you prefer. We charge £30 plus VAT for organising this, the agents charge £75.00 plus VAT in addition to the £75 fee payable to the FCO per document. The normal courier fee is approximately £65 plus VAT but varies depending on the destination. 
  2. Our agents also have a drop off and collection facility at the Milton Keynes Office so can arrange for legalisation more quickly at the reduced standard fee of £30 per document plus £6 postage. This service will normally take 3-4 days. We charge £30 plus VAT for organising this and the agents charge £40 plus VAT. Again the documents can be couriered as above if requested. 

Additional Requirements 
Note that some countries require one certificate from the Foreign Office and one from their own Embassy. This will take longer and the time taken can be unpredictable. A fee will be payable to the embassy and there will be additional charges from our Agents. We can provide an estimate of costs once we know the country involved, the number of documents and the degree of urgency There are other procedures that apply to only a few countries and there can be problems if a document is to be used in a country with which the United Kingdom does not have diplomatic relations. 

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