Coronavirus (COVID-19) - FCO Stop Issuing Apostilles

The FCO sent an update on the Legalisation Office apostille service. Due to limited staffing levels they can no longer provide apostilles for the general public or business customers (like us). They can only assist people with immediate and urgent travel needs with exceptional circumstances. DO NOT contact the FCO with requests for non-urgent documents.

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We Have Moved Office

The Apostille Service are pleased to announce that we have succesfully moved into our new office. The new location is just a few hundred meters from our old address in the centre of the city.

Having completely refurbished our new office we are now settled in our new home and continue to process all documents as quickly as possible. Customer service has not been affected and we continue to answer all of your enquiries by phone, email and online chat. Please send all new orders to the following address.

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Coronavirus - Impact on Delivery Times

As of January the 23rd the authorities in Wuhan, China have imposed a city-wide quarantine due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus. As a result, there are expected to be transport restrictions for both imports and exports in Wuhan, the surrounding regions and potentially China as a whole.

This will likely impact return delivery time scales for both our DHL and international airmail services for items being sent to China. The extent of this remains to be seen. Please bear this in mind when sending your documents to us and also when asking for your order to be returned to China.

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Who can Issue the Apostille?

When applying to legalise a document with the apostille for the first time it can be confusing as to who can actually do this. It is a common misconception that the apostille can be issued by a solicitor, a notary or a registrar. Whilst such individuals may claim to be able to do so this can be misleading.

The UK apostille is issued by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Any individual or organisation obtaining the apostille for a given document will ultimately be submitting this to the FCO.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

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Can the UK Apostille be issued to a Document Prepared in a Foreign Language?

As per the terms of the Hague Convention, the Apostille is issued to a document originating from one country in order for this to be legally recognised in another member country. For example, a UK birth certificate that has been issued with the apostille should be legally recognised in the USA.

Overall, this does prove to be an effective system to simplify the circulation of documents throughout countries that are part of the apostille convention. However, one clear caveat of this is the fact that there is not a common language shared by all of these countries.

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Relocation of the European Medicines Agency

As of March 2019, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) will be relocating from their London headquarters to a new address in the Netherlands. The decision to relocate was made as a direct consequence of the United Kingdom’s planned withdrawal from the European Union.

What Documents are issued by EMA?

The EMA issue certificates relating to medicinal products for human and veterinary use. The certificate issued by the EMA, on behalf of the European Commission, confirms the product is compliant with good manufacturing practice (GMP) regulations.

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Multilingual Forms to Replace Apostille for EU Nationals

In a previous article, we discussed plans to replace the apostille within the EU for certain public documents. The legislation for this has been finalised and the changes are expected to be implemented on the 16th of February 2019. Once these changes are in effect, certain public documents will no longer need the apostille or an official translation. 

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Apostille for NHS Employment Letters

According to a recent parliamentary publication, 5.6% of NHS staff are EU nationals; a total of approximately 63,000 people. We regularly hear from clients who need to legalise their NHS employment document with the apostille. This is often required to prevent double taxation in the UK and in the home country of the employee in question; particularly Spain and Greece.

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