Documentation is required to be legalised in some form before the document is considered legally valid for use in the majority of jurisdictions outside of the country in which the document originates. This is almost always true for business and official purposes but becomes even more evident in the following scenario:

  • Certificate of origin
  • Contracts / Deeds
  • Educational certification
  • Power of attorney
  • Professional licenses
  • Proof of ownership
  • Trade agreement

There are 2 different methods of legalisation which can be applied based upon the requirements between the specific jurisdictions concerned.


A large number of countries have ratified the Hague Convention of 5th October 1961 concerning the abolition of additional state and consular specific requirements for the legalisation of documents between member states. Documents for use in such a country require only to be legalised by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) by means of an Apostille in the internationally agreed format. Our legal team can process a request for an Apostille within 6 hours on the basis that:

(a) the signatory is available to our Notary in order that we may witness the signature and complete the mandatory Notary tasks required by the FCO

(b) the document has no irregularities or issues preventing legalisation.

For your security and in order to provide an efficient and secure service all our documents are transferred between locations by our own local case managers who take ownership of your documents throughout the process from receipt of your document to delivery and handover of a completed, legalised document.

Hague Convention Detailed Information.



Many countries have not ratified the Hague Convention articles concerning the abolition of state specific requirements for documentation intended for use within their states jurisdiction. These countries have varying requirements with different requirements which typically include Notary, FCO and Embassy involvement as well as in many cases other specific supporting information such as certified translations etc.

The Universal Group have a deep understanding of the requirements which need to be considered in order to legalise your document for use in any specific jurisdiction around the world and provide a completely end to end service including transport and representation of your document to the relevant competent authorities such as consul and Embassy departments.

Please click here to see the requirements for legalisation by jurisdiction. This tool identifies the considerations which need to be made when considering the requirement for the legalisation of documentation for use within the majority of jurisdictions around the world. Please note that this information is updated as and when changes to a states requirements are detected by our cases managers and while the information is believed to be aligned current requirements the information is provided for guidance purposes only.

Please contact [email protected] for confirmation if required.