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What is an Apostille and what is Legalisation?

Having completed the document and Simon having now placed his signature and seal on the document, the next stage in the process is Legalisation.

Legalisation is the official verification of Simon's signature and seal such that when the document reaches the foreign jurisdiction, his signature and seal and hence your document will be accepted.

Essentially there are two types of Legalisation.

Standard Legalisation.  Most countries of the world are signatories to The Hague Convention of 1961.  This is commonly known as the Apostille. Consequently the Apostille that is applied to your document, by the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office is all that is required. Simon will advise you of your options and costs in relation to how your document may acquire its Apostille.

The second type of Legalisation is therefore for countries who are not signatories to The Hague Convention. Those countries require not only the Apostille, but in addition the seal of the individual country’s consulate. This additional process is commonly called Consular Legalisation. There is normally a fee chargeable by those countries for each seal. Simon can arrange those seals for you as well. Simon uses trusted agents who are constantly submitting documents for Consular Legalisation.

Some Consulates take longer than others to add their seals. Some consulates will close for religious festivals and at other times. It is worth ensuring you allow as much time as possible for this process as it is sometimes possible to expedite the process, but the costs charged by the Consulates and agents can increase dramatically.

What do I need to bring to my appointment? 

For all appointments, Simon will require proof of your identity and proof of your address. Please bring along to your appointment a valid passport/ photo driving licence and a utility bill or bank statement with proof of your address. Please bring copies of your identification and proof of address.

Don't forget your document for Simon to notarise!

In some cases Simon will require other documents. This will be discussed prior to your appointment depending on your matter. For further information on specific matters please see the relevant information page from our dropdown 'Services I Offer'  above. 

How Long will it take for my documents to be ready?

For most straightforward matters, where an Apostille or Legalisation is not required, Simon can complete and issue the notarial certificate during your appointment.


If your matter is more complex or needs an Apostille or the document requires Legalisation, then Simon will let you know the process, and the likely timescale for this. 

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