Exciting News: Faster, Easier, and Greener Document Legalisation
Great news for those seeking document legalisation! The UK Legalisation Office, part of the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, now accepts digital submissions and issues electronic 'e-Apostille' certificates. This new process ensures a quicker, more cost-effective, and efficient service for potentially millions of people worldwide.
Traditionally, customers had to send physical documents by post or courier to the UK Legalisation Office, waiting several days for the return with a paper Apostille certificate attached. But now, with the e-Apostille initiative, applicants can simply upload their digital documents, saving time and effort.
To maintain security and validity, the documents must be signed using either an Advanced Electronic Signature or a Qualified Electronic Signature, which we provide with our solicitor and notarisation partners. The Apostille is then issued as an attachment to a PDF, digitally signed by the Legalisation Office at the FCDO, to ensure integrity. The customer's own electronic signatures are also preserved.
This digital solution offers numerous benefits, including faster processing and simplified record-keeping. While most documents will be eligible for e-Apostilles, a small number, such as police records, will still require paper-based Apostilles for specific security reasons. Here are a full list of excluded documents:
All General Register Office (GRO) documents, including birth, death, marriage, civil partnership and adoption certificates
ACRO police certificates for England and Wales
Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) certificates for England and Wales
Disclosure certificates for Scotland or Northern Ireland
Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) membership certificates
The international acceptance of UK e-Apostilles is growing. Authorities in countries like Italy, the Netherlands, Panama, and the Philippines have already recognized them. Moreover, over 80 countries participating in the Apostille Convention should equally accept e-Apostilles. However, it's essential for users to verify the specific requirements of the requesting organization or individual before applying.
This ground-breaking development marks a significant milestone in improving user experiences and providing a fully digital service. The Apostilles Group is committed to enhancing the system further to meet the diverse needs of its customers.
The e-Apostille service not only benefits international trade and commerce by offering security and convenience but also contributes to reducing the environmental impact caused by circulating hard copy public documents worldwide.
If you have any questions or need assistance, please feel free to reach out.