We can arrange the legalisation of all UK certificates including birth, death, marriage and degrees.

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FCO Legalisation

FCO Legalisation

There are several ways that individuals can get Apostille services and certificates that are hassle-free, affordable and efficient.  British Embassies, in various participating Apostille certificate approved countries, as well as individuals in the United Kingdom in need of such services, all agree that if you want such services then you need look no further than the services offered by FCO legalisation or the Foreign and Commonwealth Office legalisation services.

The FCO legalisation services offer a wide variety of legal consultation services for the average individual in need of such services.

FCO legalisation services include:

  • Consular services.  Advice on travel and living abroad is one of the most sought after knowledge that any individual, foreign national or otherwise, seeks from a consular service.  FCO provides all of this for the individual who wants to travel overseas for business of pleasure.
  • Legal services.  Legal document search and the issuance of a certificate of Apostille are only some of the legal services the FCO can provide as well as legalisation of documents.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office – Legal document search services

There might come a time when an individual might need to search for legal documents, especially if they live overseas.  FCO also provides legal document search services for those currently living in the United Kingdom as well as for those living overseas.  Documents that are usually subject for legal document searches are birth, marriage and death certificates.  Also in rare cases, certificates of good conduct can be obtained from the country of choice by the individual with help from the FCO legalisation services.

The FCO guide to Apostille and legalised documents

FCO legalisation services offer both legalisation of documents as well as issuance of an Apostille certificate for legal documents.  Can a document be legalised and issued a certificate of Apostille at the same time?  Yes, it can.  Legalisation basically means that the Ministry for Foreign Affairs deem all of the signatures and stamps found on a particular document to be genuine, while issuance of a certificate of Apostille makes a document exempt from legalisation.  In special cases when a particular document is required to be legalised as well as be certified by an Apostille certificate, then this is permitted by the British embassy and other governing authorities.

Sending documents to the FCO – A brief guideline

It is now becoming clear that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is the only authority any individual should consider if they want a reliable source on where to get Apostille certificates, stamps and legalized documents.  The FCO legalisation service has a clear and easy to understand process when it comes to the authentication of documents so that everyone who wants to avail of their document authentication services and for individuals who need a certificate of Apostille.  Below you can find the simple steps you need to follow:

  • Make sure to check all of the requirements needed by the requesting party.  The FCO will not be responsible for any missing documents submitted application form
  • The FCO has a short list of documents that they offer to legalise, which can be found on their website.  Any individual who wants to make a submission must make sure that all of the legal documents are on the list and are formatted as per FCO legalisation guidelines
  • Make the necessary payments.  FCO allows clients to pay via online payment or any of the traditional payments (business cheque, postal orders, bank drafts etc.).  Paying online will allow the individual to save on additional fees which include special return fees.
  • On the FCO website, the applying individual may download, print and fill-out the required Application for Legalisation form.  The individual must make sure to include all of the necessary details so that there will not be any delays in the processing of their legalisation requests
  • All the necessary forms, documents, payments (in the forms stipulated above) should be posted to the FCO's postal address (indicated on their website) in an A4 sized envelope

Extra care should be taken to double check all of the necessary documents that should be included before posting.  It is very understandable for any individual, especially now that we are too used to sending emails and scanned documents electronically, to leave out minor documents.  For easy reference, below you can find a list of what to include as well as what not to include in the envelope to be posted to FCO:

Please make sure to include the following:

  • All of the documents to be legalized ONLY (may be originals or copies depending on the clients preference and requirement)
  • FCO's Legalisation Application Form
  • Printed out online payment status (for online payments) OR bank drafts, postal orders or business cheques (for non-online payments)
  • A4 sized envelope, pre-paid, in case the individual has not paid or has not included any payment for postage in the legalisation fee
  • All documents should be neatly included inside an A4 sized envelope

DO NOT include the following

  • Any form of cash and/or personal cheques(payments of fees are only acceptable via the methods outlined above)
  • Any additional documents not intended for legalisation and document authentication.  Inclusion of any document may result to a delay in the processing period
  • Any form of ID or personal Identification

It is very important that all of these instructions and checklists be reviewed thoroughly so as not to cause any delay in the procurement of a certificate of Apostille for the documents.  Any delay in the authentication of documents might mean a great amount of wasted time on the part of the applying individual.

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