What is Apostille/ Legalisation / Legalisation?
This is the official confirmation that the signature, seal and stamp of the notary is that of a genuine, practising UK notary public.
Stage one: involves the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO): they verify the notary’s signature and attach an ‘Apostille’ to your document or to the Notarial Certificate prepared by the notary.
Stage two: some countries require a further verification process from their embassies or consulates. M M Karim Notary Public can do all this for you just ask.
Apostilles authenticate the seals and signatures of officials on public documents such as birth certificates, notarials, court orders, or any other document issued by a public authority, so that they can be recognised in foreign countries that are parties to the Hague Convention.
An Apostille in the United Kingdom is a certificate issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office which verifies the signature and/or seal of a public officer, e.g. a Notary Public, on a document and the capacity in which he or she has acted and has the same effect as legalisation.
Our notaries are well experienced in producing these certificates. Having an apostille is very beneficial; as it will speed up any situation where you are told that you have to prove your identity. A seal of approval from our notaries will be recognised by any organisation all over the world.
It takes us a short amount of time to obtain apostille certificates from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. We also work with all the embassies in the UK to provide a fast and efficient service for you.
M M Karim Notary Public provides a full apostille / legalisation service. We take care of the whole process for you. Once apostilled / legalised, your documents maybe collected, couriered back to you or sent on to their final destination. We can handle all these steps for you at our East London office. You will find that we are very easy to talk to and we place great importance to any worries you may have.
Where urgent legalisation is required we provide a premium day service at a competitive rate where you will receive your document back on the same business day. We can arrange for legalised/notarised documents to be couriered directly to your representatives or agents overseas.
M M Karim Notary Public has a great deal of experience in obtaining legalisation on its client’s behalf.
We can obtain:
– legalisation by “Apostille” at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO);
– legalisation at foreign Consulates, (Embassies and Diplomatic Missions) in the U.K.
One of our dedicated team of messengers attends the FCO or particular Consulate in person.
Many countries have ratified the Hague Convention of 5th October 1961 on the legalisation of public documents. Documents for use in such countries only require legalisation by “Apostille” at the FCO.
Apostilles are required for a number of different countries around the world. This includes USA, UAE, Australia, Argentina, Canada (to name a few). The list of countries are many so please call us and book an appointment at our East London office so we can identify the correct procedure for the country you are concerned with. If you have a personal or business issue abroad you will almost certainly require an apostille.
M M Karim Notary Public offers a two-tier service for obtaining an Apostille:
1) PREMIUM SERVICE – obtained from the Legalisation Office in Central London.
The FCO offers this “same day” service to which we have access as registered users. This means documents ready to be lodged by our messengers (at an additional fee) by early afternoon on any working day should be returned to us before close of business on the same day. The FCO currently charge £75 for each Apostille issued in Central London. What does this mean for you? M M Karim Notary Public can provide a same-day Foreign and Commonwealth Office legalisation service. If you are able to get your documents to us by 12pm, we can get this stamped by the (FCO) and back to you later in the day (usually by 4:30pm);
2) STANDARD SERVICE – obtained from the Legalisation Office in Milton Keynes.
We can arrange legalisation by Apostille through the Milton Keynes Office within 3-5 working days. The FCO currently charge £30 for each Apostille issued in Milton Keynes Office and we charge a minimal administration fee per apostille.
The list of countries that are currently signatories to the Hague Convention and therefore an Apostille will be required is as follows:
Antigua and Barbuda
Bosnia and Herzegovina
China (Hong Kong)
Macedonia (FYR of)
Republic of Kyrgyzstan
Republic of Moldova
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Sao Tome and Principe
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Trinidad and Tobago
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK)
United States of America (USA)
For countries which have not ratified the Hague Convention of 5th October 1961, documents must be legalised at the Consulate of the country in question. For some countries it will still be necessary to first obtain an Apostille. If the notarised document needs Consular legalisation more time is needed. Particularly in connection with some countries where the legalisation process requires two visits. Such countries include UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Jordan, Tunisia, Taiwan, Vietnam, China and Uruguay.
We are highly experienced in the process of Consular legalisation; we understand the various requirements and know the likely time scales involved. If the notarised document donor is a company, the legalisation process can be more complicated as in the case of documents for Saudi Arabia. Documents for Saudi Arabia often have to be presented to the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry and/or the Arab Chamber of Commerce. We can advise, just ask.
M M Karim Notary Public is familiar with all the procedures which can be many and varied, and can obtain legalisation whatever the intended country of use.
For information regarding the legalisation procedure for a particular country please see our Requirements for Individual Countries page.