Legalisation: How to get it right – Foreign Documents


Documents issued outside the United Kingdom cannot usually be leagalised in the UK. They may need to be legalised in the country of origin.

However, the Legalisation Department of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK will legalise certified copies of foreign documents as long as the copy is certified with a separate sheet of paper, i.e. if the solicitor or Notary Public takes a copy of the original document, then stamps the same sheet of paper, the FCO will not legalise it. Just to complicate matters, this does not apply to certified copies of Academic certificates – they can be legalised without a separate sheet.

The solicitor or Notary Public must issue a separate sheet, stating “this is a true copy of the original document” or something similar; they would then need to stamp and sign this sheet and attach it to the copy of the document. The FCO will then attach the apostille on this certification.

Remember also that the solicitor must sign their own name, not the company name, as this cannot be legalised.

Points to remember:
1. Foreign documents should be certified with a separate sheet (except Academic Certificates)
2. Original foreign documents should not be attached – only copies.

Legalisation: How to get it right – Foreign Documents