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Date : 12/11/2013
Author : Nathalie - Marseille (France)
What is an Apostille?
The Hague Convention specified the modalities through which a document issued outside the United Kingdom can be legalised: the Apostille is a certificate which provides an authentication of the signature used by the public official who has signed a document in your home country. It confirms his/her authority and enables the document to be recognised in another state member of the Convention. However many non-member countries do recognise the Apostille certificate as an authentication.
Benefits of the Apostille
With the Hague Convention the whole legalisation process has been deeply simplified by the delivery of a standard certificate entitled: “Apostille”. Authorities of the State where the document was issued must place the certificate on it; it will be dated, numbered and registered. This makes the verification and registration much easier to be finalized: a request of information to the authorities who forwarded the certificate.
List of countries which recognise Apostille certificates
The Hague convention has currently over 60 countries as members; furthermore many others will also recognise an Apostille certificate.
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 countries listed below have approved the Apostille Certificate as proof of legalisation. Although it is likely to be accepted most of the times, a consultation with the legal entity supposed to receive it is recommended
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
Information enclosed in the Apostille
What categories of documents can be legalised by Apostille?
The following are just an example of the wide range of documents we can certify either for existing UK and overseas clients running a business in the United Kingdom.
How to order an Apostille Certificate?
Please contact us by phone, email or post to place an order. One of our advisers will discuss the service you require based on the type of document.
The time frame
It usually takes 8 working days (from receipt of your documents and payment) for the Apostille certificate to be produced. Once the documents have been notarized they are sent to The Legalisation Office at Foreign & Commonwealth Office in London. An express service is also provided upon request.