What happens to your documents?

When documents are legalised they are checked and processed with the UK government and then submitted to the relevant embassy if required. During the service your document will have additional certificates and stamps applied.
Providing the apostille service and attesting documents with embassies will always involve some changes to your document. Every document that is legalised with the apostille will have a square certificate permanently glued to the back of the document. Once the apostille has been attached the document will then be embossed with a government seal. This creates a raised impression on the document.

Embassy attestation

If your document is also being attested at one of the embassies in London then further additions to your document will be made. Depending on the embassy this may be an ink rubber stamp, small postage stamps, embassy stickers, holograms, additional pages or just hand written text. Each embassy has its own methods of attesting documents.

Solicitor Certification

When a document is certified by one of our solicitors there are two different methods used. The first simple method uses ink stamps to add text to the document. The second option involves binding the documents into one set with legal fasteners and a cover sheet being attached. Each method is suitable for the apostille service.

Oversize Documents

The vast majority of documents that we process are A4 size. Occasionally we receive larger documents that are up to A3 in size. Examples include academic certificates or qualifications. Whenever possible we will produce certified copies to keep your original documents in their present condition. However, if you need to have your original document attested we may have to fold the document in half for security and handling reasons. When we submit documents to the FCO we hand deliver these in a clear A4 folder to adhere to their security procedures. Unfortunately larger documents have to be submitted at the same time.
Every effort is made by our legalisation team to keep documents in good condition. Documents are stored securely and handled with the care you would expect. However, we ask customers to understand that at times they will be handled by government employees and embassy staff. During this time they may be folded or creased as the relevant stamps are attached.
If you would like more information on our service and how your document will be legalised do not hesitate to contact us. Every year we successfully legalise thousands of documents. On completion there will always be additional certificates and stamps added to the document. If you have any concern regarding this we recommend you obtain official replacements or certified copies before proceeding.
About the Author

The Apostille Service are pleased to provide advice on a wide range of document legalisation matters. Our team of advisors contribute to the blog.