Never heard of the apostille? Not sure how to get an apostille? We understand that you may need more information and want answers to your questions online. Below you will find a range of questions that we are regularly asked. If you cannot find the correct information here please get in touch so that we can help you with your queries.

Would you like us to process the original document or a copy of the document?

Some documents can only have the apostille on the original document (e.g, birth and marriage certificates, criminal record checks), whereas other documents can have the apostille on a copy (e.g. academic documents).

When you are ordering online we will ask for your preference as we do not want to stamp an original document without your permission to do so.  If you ask us to do the original you must send the original document to us, if you do not your order will be delayed while we request the original from you. 

For academic documents if you ask us to legalise the original it will damage/deface it a little as the solicitor certification and legalisation are stamped and signed on the actual document. We will try to do this to the back of the document where possible but it may still be visible on the front. If we make a copy and legalise the copy it avoids us having to damage a valuable original document.

If you select the option for 'Other' please specify your order requirements in the document details section of the checkout process. If it is not clear what is needed this can delay the order.

If you are unsure which version of the document requires the apostille please check this with the person or authority requesting your document. 


Is the Apostille Official?

The Apostille is an official document which is recognised in all members of The Hague Convention and also a number of other countries. The apostille is ultimately issued by the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office based in Milton Keynes. They no longer open their doors to the general public although do still deal with orders placed through the post. We are a service provider that is recognised by the FCO. We are approved for hand delivering documents to the FCO each day to ensure a safe and fast apostille service. 

What is the apostille certificate?

The apostille certificate is a small certificate approximately 15cm wide by 17cm long. It is attached to recognised UK documents that need to be used overseas in official matters. The apostille confirms the validity of official signatures or seals on the document it is attached to. Under international law many countries have agreed they will both issue and accept Apostille from each other to allow documents to cross boarders more easily. We can obtain the apostille for most UK documents in just 1-2 days

You can find a more detailed explanation of what is an apostille at this webpage here.

Is the apostille guaranteed?

We guarantee to issue the apostille on any genuine UK document that is correctly presented. If your document has not been signed, stamped or certified correctly we will work with you and provide assistance or advice to ensure we can legalise the document. If for any reason we cannot issue the apostille on your document we guarantee to refund the apostille fee.

What is embassy attestation?

Embassy attestation is only needed if your document is being used in a country that is not a member of the Hague Convention. If your document is being used in a country that has adopted the Hague Convention for issuing and accepting apostilles then you will only need an apostille certificate. You can find a list of countries that accept the apostille certificate by clicking here.

Full embassy attestation can be a complicated process and it is important that documents are prepared correctly. We can assist you with our full embassy attestation service.

Why use The Apostille Service?

We make document legalisation simple. Using our apostille and embassy attestation service is the quickest and most simple way of getting your documents legalised for international use.

Safely hand processing your documents and using secure couriers we liaise with solicitors, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and many of the embassies based in London. We do all the running around and include all costs in our charges.

How do I order an apostille?

We have made ordering an apostille as simple as possible.
  1. Print and complete the order form
  2. Post the document to us
  3. We return the document with an apostille
For more information visit our how to order page.
Some documents can be emailed to us. We legalise many UK company documents from emails or as downloads direct from Companies House. If you need advice please email a copy of your document to us.

How do I deliver my documents?

Your documents are important so we always recommend that customers use a guaranteed or secure delivery method when sending documents to our office. Royal Mail offer special delivery whilst other UK courier firms will offer a next day or signed for delivery option. If you choose normal first class post please remember that you cannot track missing documents and there is no insurance.

When we return documents we recommend clients choose one of our courier deliveries.

How long does it take to get the apostille?

We aim to complete all orders in around 1-2 working days. In some cases this may not be possible and delays could occur with your document although a member of the team will contact you to confirm this, and will advise how to proceed. Processing times will depend on when the documents arrive at our office and whether the document has been prepared correctly.

Occasionally some documents are delayed. This is normally because the document is not signed correctly or the signatory is unknown to the FCO.

We also recommend that clients with urgent orders use a guaranteed postal service when sending documents to us, this will help ensure the documents do not take too long in the post.