You are so excited about the offer to work in a foreign country, you have sent all the documents you were required to send — or so you thought. Then just to be sure, you called your new employers inquiring if there’s anything else they may need from you. Out of the blue, they said no — they threw a word you’ve never heard before to you — legalisation. You are expected to legalise your documents and send it back to them.
You began to wonder, what is document legalisation? In simple terms legalization (attestation, verification, certification, Apostillisation — we might as well get all the other terms in) is a process used by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to verify the identity and authority of a certified notary public. This process is required by governments, organizations, groups and individuals to verify that documents from a foreign country is signed and stamped by a genuine and practising notary.
Is Legalisation And Apostillisation of Documents The Same?
No, they are not the same. Due to differing procedures from different governments, where some require that you notarise and also get an Apostille document, others may need you to be verified by their embassies.
Legalisation in general term is the verification of your documents by either the FCO or the embassy of the country in which the document is to be used. However, when you are required to stamp your documents at the embassy/consulate of the receiving country, it is only called legalisation.
The Apostille, on the other hand, is a process where the documents are verified by the FCO and a small certificate attached at the back of the documents. This certificate (Apostille) is only issued after duly diligence has been carried out to ensure that the signature on the document is from a recognised public notary.
The Apostille originated from the Hague Convention 1961 hence you may come across such term as Hague stamp, this is the same as Apostille. The aim of the Apostille is to streamline the process of document flow between member countries.
How Much Does Getting An Apostille Certificate Cost?
The fees you pay is dependent on how fast you want your documents back. The Foreign Office charge the following fees:
For the standard two working day service, you pay a processing of £30 per document.
In addition to these fees from the FCO, bear in mind that the notary will also charge you a service fee for obtaining the legalisation on your behalf.
Other Things to Know
It is important to know that certain countries will still require that your documents get certified by their embassy.
This means that after the Foreign Office has issued you the Apostille certificate, your documents get passed to the concerned consulate for further certification with its new charges to be paid.
If you need further information, feel free to leave your question in the comment box or contact us directly, and we will strive to respond to you as soon as possible.