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What is an Apostille Stamp?

An Apostille is a form of confirmation issued to documents verifying the genuineness of the signature and/or seal of a public officer. This certificate is usually requested by foreign governments and organisations to use overseas. Once an Apostille has been affixed to your document, it will be valid in member countries of The Hague Convention. We can assist you with UK and Ireland Apostille stamps. The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office was previously called Foreign & Commonwealth Office. The merger was announced by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in 2020, announcing the FCO and Department for International Development (DFID) to be one; now known as FCDO.

It is often a requirement by foreign authorities that documents are legalised before they can be used for official purposes in their country. Legalisation does not certify the authenticity of a document or give foreign and commonwealth office approval of its content. The legalisation office is the only competent authority in the UK to provide an apostille service according to the requirements of the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961, and to deliver a legalisation service to those countries not party to the Hague Convention.

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The Apostille stamp can be issued in two methods: one is a paper-based certificate and the other is an electronic version called an e-Apostille, which was introduced in late 2022. As the e-Apostille is relatively new, officials in foreign countries may not accept the electronic version and may require the traditional paper-based Apostille.

APOSTILLE SERVICE

Aspire Attestation provides an apostille service through the UK FCDO legalisation office. Duration to obtain an apostille vary from same day through the premium service to 3-4 working days. The legalisation service can be undertaken for various documents including and not limited to; company documents, Police ACRO and power of attorneys. Certain documents must be certified with a signature and seal or stamp by a Solicitor or Notary Public. Public documents issued from the General Register Office or GRO will be signed by a UK public official and will not require further certification in order to obtain the official UK apostille. If you are unsure, Aspire can provide you with advice and guidance on obtaining the apostille stamp.

OUR MOST popular APOSTILLE LEGALISATION SERVICES

Documents issued from UK Crown Dependencies and UK Overseas territories:
UK Crown Dependencies (Documents issued from UK Crown Dependencies and UK Overseas territories: UK Crown Dependencies (CD) includes Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey UK Overseas territories (OT) includes Anguilla, Bermuda​, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands (BVI), Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, St Helena and Dependencies, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands and Turks and Caicos Islands.

If your document is from one of the UK Crown Dependencies or British Overseas territories mentioned above, we will notarise your document by a UK Notary Public, which will incur an additional fee. The Hague Convention extends to Crown Dependencies (CD) and Overseas Territories (OT). Each CD or OT can issue their own apostilles. Documents with apostilles affixed from UK Crown Dependencies or Overseas Territories will still require a UK FCDO Apostille stamp to be accepted for embassy legalisation.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT the Apostille Stamp

An Apostille is a form of confirmation issued to documents verifying the genuineness of the signature and/or seal of a public officer.
This certificate is usually requested by foreign governments and organisations to use overseas. Once an Apostille has been affixed to your document, it will be valid in member countries of The Hague Convention. We can assist you with UK and Ireland Apostille stamps.
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office was previously called Foreign & Commonwealth Office. The merger was announced by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in 2020, announcing the FCO and Department for International Development (DFID) to be one; now known as FCDO.
It is often a requirement by foreign authorities that documents are legalised before they can be used for official purposes in their country.
Legalisation does not certify the authenticity of a document or give foreign and commonwealth office approval of its content.
The legalisation office is the only competent authority in the UK to provide an apostille service according to the requirements of the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961, and to deliver a legalisation service to those countries not party to the Hague Convention.

To verify your apostille, you will need to visit the following link:
https://www.gov.uk/verify-apostille

You’ll need:
The date the Apostille was issued
The Apostille number

The Apostille Convention facilitates the circulation of public documents executed in one Contracting Party to the Convention and to be produced in another. With this, it replaces the formalities of a full legalisation process between the parties in the convention.

The countries in the Hague Convention as follows:
Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Macedonia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Saint Kitts and Nevis, San Marino, Servia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Zimbabwe

No,
A legalised document will not expire. Both the certification and apostille stamp do not hold expiry dates and are valid indefinitely.

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) is the only authority to issue the apostille stamp in the UK. There are two services available, Milton Keynes (standard service and for the general public) and Westminster (express service for registered businesses only)

A UK embassy cannot provide you with an apostille.
The document can be certified by a consular officer, but the apostille must be obtained by the FCDO legalisation office.

No, an apostille is not the same as a notary. An apostille is a form of authentication issued by the FCDO for documents to be used in foreign countries that are part of the 1961 Hague Convention. A notary public is a person authorised to witness signatures and notarise documents. With a notary seal and stamp, the document can then be submitted for an apostille.

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