Wednesday, 17 January, 2024

E-notarisation and remote notarisation are different processes.

E-notarisation is where the notarised document and notarial certificate are in secure PDF form and contain my Qualified Electronic Signature. This can be submitted to the FCDO for an E-apostille. It is a suitable process where it is known that the receiving body overseas is happy to receive the document in this form and certain other conditions are met.

I offer an E-notarisation and E-apostille service.

Remote notarisation is where a person signs a document with the notary witnessing by video conference call, not in a face-to-face meeting. The document can then be notarised either in traditional paper format or by E-notarisation. Some types of document cannot validly be executed in this way. There are a number of conditions to be met before remote notarisation can be used, which can be onerous and can involve more time and costs than in a face-to-face appointment.

FCDO Apostille charge increase

Wednesday, 3 January, 2024

As from 1st January 2024, the FCDO will be charging £40 for each paper apostille on documents submitted by my consular agent for the FCDO’s ‘Next-Day’ service. This is an increase of £10 from the previous charge.


Thursday, 14 December, 2023

There are changes to the UK Government’s apostille services as provided by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office taking effect from 2nd January 2024. The premium (same-day) service will no longer be available.

Instead, documents submitted through my consular agent are expected to be handled using a Next-Day Service.

While an Urgent Legalisation Service is being offered, this will be dependent on submitting evidence acceptable to the FCDO that (1) the document falls within certain categories (e.g. child welfare matters) and (2) the existence of a specific deadline. Such evidence would have to be submitted before 16:00 hours the day before the documents are submitted.

E-apostilles on UK birth, marriage and death certificates

Monday, 7 August, 2023

Please note that the UK Government’s Legalisation Office will not add an e-apostille to UK birth marriage and death certificates. Such documents will need to be submitted in hard copy in order to obtain an apostille.

People’s Republic of China – Legalisation

Monday, 7 August, 2023

China is joining the 1961 Hague Convention on Legalisation. This means that from 7th November 2023, documents for China will need to be legalised by apostille only. It will no longer be a requirement for the document to go to the Chinese Embassy in London. Please see: http://gb.china-embassy.gov.cn/eng/lsfw/notice/202310/t20231025_11168294.htm


Friday, 25 November, 2022

I am often asked to authenticate police checks for use overseas. In the United Kingdom these can be obtained from the ACRO Criminal Records Office, from Disclosure Scotland and the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS). Generally, for the purposes of authenticating and attesting such documents, the ACRO police certificates are easier to work with and you can ask for them to be signed in “wet ink”. In contrast the Disclosure Scotland documents are not signed and therefore more difficult to process.

See: www.acro.police.uk/Police-Certificates


Friday, 25 November, 2022

Saudi Arabia has joined the 1961 Hague Convention Apostilles. Previously, to legalise documents for this country, an apostille, an Arab-British Chamber of Commerce stamp and Saudi consular legalisation were all needed. Now, joining about 121 other countries, only an apostille from the United Kingdom Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office will be needed. This will mean a significant saving in time and costs for documents going to Saudi Arabia.


Sunday, 4 September, 2022

When a child is travelling overseas with only one parent or with someone who is not a parent, it is sometimes necessary, and usually advisable, for the adult who is travelling with the child to have an original travel consent document. This will be signed by the non-travelling parent or parents or the legal guardians of the the child. Sometimes the rules of a country through which the child will travel, or the airline or cruise or ferry company, require the document to be signed before a notary public. 

The starting point is to check if the countries or airline or other travel company require the consent to be on a specific form. If not, I can assist with drafting a travel consent declaration. This should be checked as being sufficient with the relevant immigration authorities, airline or travel company – I cannot perform that task. Also, you should check whether the notarised document needs an apostille or legalisation (please see information on this on this website).

In all cases, I need to see the non-travelling parent or parents sign in person and I need to see the child. I need to see the original passports of all parties and the child’s original birth certificate, which names the parents. Depending on circumstances, other documents may be needed too.

Travel consent documents need careful preparation and it is recommended that plenty of time is allowed to complete the process before travelling.


Wednesday, 6 April, 2022

The FCDO has recently updated its policy on providing apostilles on UK birth, marriage certificates.

An apostille is a Government certificate certifying the signature/seal of a public official, in this case a Registrar of births, marriages and deaths. In the past, the FCDO’s Legalisation Office would make checks to verify the registrar’s signature. This will no longer happen. Certified copies of the entry of birth, marriage or death must bear a General Register Office seal in order to be accepted for an apostille.

As before, apostilles will not be affixed to photocopies of such certificates.

To save time that would otherwise be lost where birth, marriage or death certificates are rejected by the Legalisation Office, customers are advised to a obtain a certified copy of the respective entry from the General Register Office – which will have the necessary seal.

Please see: http://www.gov.uk/order-copy-birth-death-marriage-certificate


Wednesday, 2 March, 2022

If you have any questions about documents that need notarising or legalising for Ukraine, please let me know. I will do my best to help support Ukrainian citizens who have notarial requirements during the current invasion of their country.