FCO apostille service closed coronavirus covid-19

FCO Closed - No Apostilles - Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Further to our last blog post and update, the FCO have now sent further information regarding the Legalisation Office. They are not issuing apostilles for the foreseeable future due to limited resources.Only people with immediate and urgent travel needs will be provided with an apostille in exceptional circumstances. DO NOT contact the FCO with requests for non-urgent documents.


Delays Expected With China Shipments

Due to the recent Coronavirus outbreak in China we are expecting clients receiving and sending documents in the area to experience delays with the arrival of shipments. As some areas have been placed into quarantine and with travel restrictions widely in place this is affecting all forms of transport from air cargo to road transport and sea freight.

apostille power of attorney

Notarising a Power of Attorney

When signing a power of attorney, you normally need to have the document witnessed by an independent person. This is typically witnessed by a solicitor or notary public.

When a power of attorney is ‘witnessed’ the solicitor or notary will check a person’s identity and then watch them sign the document. The solicitor or notary will then add their own signature. If the document does not already contain a ‘witnessing statement’ they may add their own certification

Chinese Legalisation

Changes to Chinese Legalisation - November 2019

As of the 8th of November 2019, the process for legalising UK documents for use in China will be changing. Applications will now be submitted to the Chinese embassy via a Chinese Visa Application Service Centre in either London, Manchester or Edinburgh.

The visa centres have been introduced to reduce the administrative burden on the embassy by handling submitted applications. The embassy will still ultimately be issuing the attestation stamps to documents and will still be in charge of decision-making with respect to the eligibility of documents for legalisation.

Who can certify documents?

Who Can Certify Documents For The Apostille?

To ensure your documents can be legalised with the apostille they must be certified correctly by a recognised legal official under the Hague apostille convention. With overseas authorities requesting the apostille for different types of documents it can be confusing to know who is able to provide certification. The following is a list of the most common officials and the types of documents they can certify for the apostille process.


Proof of Single Status with Apostille

When getting married abroad you may be asked to provide legalised documents to an authority overseas. This often includes a birth certificate as proof of identity and documentation that proves you are single and not already married.

In addition, if you have been previously married you may need to provide evidence you are now divorced. This is normally the decree absolute from a UK court. Any name changes by deed poll may also need to be legalised.

Legalising Documents for The Philippines

The Philippines Join Hague Apostille Convention

The Apostille convention will enter into force in the Philippines from 14th May 2019. This means the Philippines are the 117th party to agree to the convention which shows the increasing endorsement for the apostille legalisation process.

It is likely to take a number of months before the authorities in the Philippines will stop requesting embassy attestation as they adjust and alter their regulations. To accommodate this adjustment period the embassy should still provide attestation of documents before the service is stopped completely.