According to the Council of the Notariats of the European Union (CNUE), in international law, legalisation is the process of authenticating or certifying a legal document so that a foreign country's legal system will recognize it with full legal effect.
If you have a document to be officially presented to authorities in a country that is not party to the Hague Apostille Convention, then the document will need to be legalised by the representative of that country in the UK, which could be an embassy, consulate or high commission.
Each consulate has their own criteria to legalise documents. Sometimes documents will first need to be authenticated by a solicitor or a Notary Public before the consulate can provide the final legalisation. Some consulates require documents to be apostilled first. Some commercial documents may need to be authenticated by a Chamber of Commerce before consular legalisation. Requirements vary quite widely among different consulates.
We have provided specific information on consular legalisation for the countries we most commonly legalise documents for. Just click on the name of the country you need documents legalised for more information and you can choose to place your order online.
If you need documents legalised for a country that is not on our list, it doesn’t mean that we cannot help, just contact us stating your requirements and we will get back to you with more information and/or a quote.
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