What Does ‘Apostille’ Mean? 
 
Certain documents need a particular kind of attestation known as an ‘Apostille’. It is a kind of attestation by which you can legalise documents in a specific format that is recognised by countries that have signed the Hague Convention. It is an international attestation that is recognised and accepted in around 105 nations with most countries in the western world accepting it. 
 
An apostille stamp is square and computer-generated that is generally stamped on the back of any required document. It has a unique identification code that enables any nation to check its validity online. When a document is apostilled, there is no requirement for an embassy to check it further. 
 
Why Do You Need A Document To Be Apostilled? 
 
An apostilled document removes the requirement of needing a legal authorization to be made when travelling overseas. This could be for educational purposes when applying for a student visa, seeking employment for which a work visa would be needed, planning to relocate on a temporary or permanent basis, need to travel abroad for business purposes, etc. In these instances, it is mandatory to have certain documents apostilled when planning to visit those countries that are signatories of the Hague Convention. 
 
Where Can I Use My Apostilled Document? 
 
Apostilled documents are needed for a variety of reasons. The most common four areas where an apostilled document is in use are: 
 
For administrative purposes where documentation is needed. 
In legal areas where any document that has been submitted has to be authenticated. 
For notarial acts by which any official documents need to be certified 
Other areas where apostilled documents are frequently used include verification of education certificates for studying overseas, travel and international business, etc. 
 
Who can legalise a document in the UK? 
 
Those wanting to get official documents legalised in the UK will need to apply directly or through a third party to the Legalisation Office for the legalisation of any document. The legalisation office will then confirm that the seal, stamp, or signature is from a UK public official. This is needed when you are asked in any other nation to furnish a document from the UK that must be legalised. When the document arrives at the Legalisation Office, they scrutinise the document to confirm the veracity of the seal signature or stamp. Once satisfied they affix a stamped certificate known as an “Apostille” on top or behind the document. This can only be done for documents issued within the UK or in the country where they were issued. 
 
Contact details for the UK Legalisation Office: 
 
Legalisation Office 
legalisationenquiries@fcdo.gov.uk 
Telephone: 03700 00 22 44 
Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm 
 
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