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FCO Legalisation

FCO Legalisation

There are indeed quite a handful of Apostille certificate services and legalisation services available to the average individual who is wondering where to get Apostille services and certificates that is hassle-free, affordable and efficient.  The British embassy throughout 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 all of the services then you need not look further than the services offered by FCO legalisation or the Foreign and Commonwealth Office legalisation services.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office – Services offered, legalisation and searching for legal documents. 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 pleasure, business, work or other personal matters.
  • 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.
  • Trade and investment in the United Kingdom.  FCO also provides business investment guidelines in the UK as well as export and import opportunities
  • United Kingdom implemented sanctions.  As implemented by the United Nations for making sure that peace and order is observed within the UK
  • ATAS.  ATAS is short for Academic Technology Approval Scheme, which provides post graduate education in the UK

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 legalized 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.  On special cases when a particular document requires itself to be legalized as well as be certified by an Apostille certificate, then it is completely allowed by the British embassy and other governing authorities.

Sending documents to the FCO – A brief guideline

It is now becoming perfectly 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 perfectly 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 not requested and presented in the submitted application form
  • The FCO has a short list of documents that they offer to legalise and can be found on their website.  Any individual who wants to submit must make sure that all of the legal documents fall on the list and is formatted in the accepted format 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 return special 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 on the processing of their legalisation requests
  • All the necessary forms, documents, payments (in the forms stipulated above) should be posted to the FCO provided postal address (indicated on their website) in an A4 sized envelope

Extra care should be taken on double checking 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 provided 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 and closely so as not to cause any delay in the procurement of a certificate of Apostille for the documents.  The authentication of documents is a very legal and serious matter and any delays might cost a great amount of wasted time on the part of the applying individual.

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