Legalisation

Legalisation is the verification by the Consulate of the destination country or the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the signature and seal of the notary (or other public officer) on a document in order to evidence to the appropriate authorities in the destination country that the notary is indeed a notary.

Select from the list below to find out what sort of legalisation is required for each country, and approximately how long it takes to obtain it. Times given are for obtaining consular legalisation only and are in addition to the time required to obtain the apostille, where applicable. Please note that most consulates are only open to receive documents in the morning.

Some Arab countries require legalisation through the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce (ABCC). In this case, we take the documents to the ABCC and they deal with the relevant consulate themselves. The ABCC charges a fee in addition to the consular fees. The information provided below is based on our own experience and may be subject to change.

Select from the list below to find out what sort of legalisation is required for each country, and approximately how long it takes to obtain it.

 

Albania

Apostille only.

Afghanistan

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Allow 24 hours for consular legalisation.

Algeria

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Allow 2-3 weeks for consular legalisation. The consulate is closed on Mondays.

Andorra

Apostille only.

Angola

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Allow 1-4 weeks for consular legalisation. Documents can only be deposited for legalisation on Mondays and Tuesdays. A Portuguese translation of all documents is also required.

Antigua & Barbuda

Apostille only.

Argentina

Apostille only.

Armenia

Apostille only.

Aruba

Apostille only.

Australia

Apostille only - but legalisation is not usually required.

Austria

Apostille only.

Azerbaijan

Apostille only.

Bahamas

Apostille only.

Bahrain

Apostille only.

Bangladesh

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Allow 24-48 hours for consular legalisation.

Barbados

Apostille only.

Belarus

Apostille only.

Belgium

Apostille only.

Belize

Apostille only.

Benin

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Documents can only be deposited on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Consular legalisation can usually be obtained within a day.

Bolivia

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Allow 2 weeks for consular legalisation. Consulate only open for legalisation on Thursdays.

Bosnia & Herzegovina

Apostille only.

Botswana

Apostille only.

Brazil

Apostille only

Brunei Darussalam

Apostille only.

Bulgaria

Apostille only.

Burma (Myanmar)

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Allow 1 week for consular legalisation.

Cambodia

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Allow 1 week for consular legalisation.

Cameroon

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Allow 48 hours for consular legalisation.

Canada

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Allow 1-3 days for consular legalisation.

Cape Verde

Apostille only.

Chile

Apostille only

China (Peoples Republic of)

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Allow 48 hours – 1 week for consular legalisation.

Colombia

Apostille only.

Congo (Republic of the)

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Consular legalisation can be obtained within a day.

Congo (Democratic Republic of the)

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Allow one week for consular legalisation.

Cook Islands

Apostille only.

Costa Rica

Apostille only.

Croatia

Apostille only.

Cuba

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Allow 1-3 days for consular legalisation. All documents should include a Spanish translation.

Cyprus (Republic of)

Apostille only.

Cyprus (Turkish Republic of Northern)

Apostille plus consular legalisation.

Czech Republic

Apostille only.

Denmark

Apostille only. In most cases, legalisation is not required if the documents have been certified by a notary.

Dominica (Commonwealth of)

Apostille only

Dominican Republic

Apostille only.

Ecuador

Apostille only.

Egypt

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Allow 24 hours for consular legalisation. Please note that if legalising a bill of sale, the consulate will charge a percentage of the sale price as legalisation fees.

El Salvador

Apostille only.

Equatorial Guinea

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Allow 2-3 days for consular legalisation.

Eritrea

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Allow 24 hours for consular legalisation.

Estonia

Apostille only.

Ethiopia

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Allow 48 hours for consular legalisation.

Fiji

Apostille only.

Finland

Apostille only.

France

Apostille only, although legalisation is often not required.

Gabon

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Allow one week for consular legalisation.

Gambia

Apostille plus consular legalisation.

Georgia

Apostille only.

Germany

Apostille only.

Ghana

Apostille plus consular legalisation.

Greece

Apostille only.

Grenada

Apostille only.

Guam (USA)

Apostille only.

Guatemala

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Allow one week for consular legalisation.

Guyana

Apostille only.

Haiti

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Consular legalisation obtained through the Jamaican High Commission or Paris. Documents must be in French.

Honduras

Apostille only.

Hong Kong

Apostille only.

Hungary

Apostille only.

Iceland

Apostille only.

India

Apostille only. Although India has ratified the Hague Convention, there are some parts of India where consular legalisation is still required.

Indonesia

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Allow 72 hours for consular legalisation.

Iran

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Consular legalisation obtained through the Iranian Embassy in Ireland. Allow 3-5 days for consular legalisation. Please note that the procedure for obtaining legalisation through Ireland can be costly. Please contact us for further details.

Iraq

Apostille plus Arab-British Chamber of Commerce plus consular legalisation. Allow up to 5 days for consular legalisation.

Ireland

Apostille only.

Israel

Apostille only.

Italy

Apostille only.

Ivory Coast

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Allow 24 hours for consular legalisation.

Jamaica

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Consular legalisation can be obtained within a day.

Japan

Apostille only.

Jordan

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Allow 72 hours for consular legalisation.

Kazakhstan

Apostille only.

Kenya

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Allow 48 hours for consular legalisation.

Kiribati

Apostille only.

Korea (South)

Apostille only.

Kuwait

Arab-British Chamber of Commerce plus consular legalisation for commercial documents. Allow 2 days for consular legalisation. Please note that if legalising a bill of sale, the consulate will charge a percentage of the sale price as legalisation fees. The consulate will not legalise U.S. documents. Degree certificates should be legalised by Apostille plus consular legalisation.

Kyrgyzstan

Apostille only.

Laos

Consular legalisation only. Allow 48 hours.

Latvia

Apostille only.

Lebanon

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Allow 48 hours for consular legalisation.

Lesotho

Apostille only.

Liberia

Apostille only.

Libya

Apostille plus Arab-British Chamber of Commerce. Allow 7 – 10 days for consular legalisation. All documents should include an Arabic translation.

Liechtenstein

Apostille only.

Lithuania

Apostille only.

Luxembourg

Apostille only.

Macao

Apostille only.

Macedonia (The Republic of)

Apostille only.

Madagascar (Democratic Republic of)

Apostille plus consular legalisation.

Madeira

Apostille only.

Malawi

Apostille only.

Malaysia

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Allow 24 hours for consular legalisation.

Maldives

Apostille only.

Malta

Apostille only.

Marshall Islands

Apostille only.

Mauritius

Apostille only.

Mexico

Apostille only.

Moldova (The Republic of)

Apostille only.

Monaco

Apostille only.

Mongolia

Apostille only.

Montenegro

Apostille only.

Morocco

Apostille only.

Mozambique

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Allow 3 days for consular legalisation.

Namibia

Apostille only.

Nepal

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Consular legalisation can be obtained within 24 hours.

Netherlands (including Netherlands Antilles)

Apostille only.

New Zealand

Apostille only but legalisation not usually required.

Nicaragua

Apostille only.

Nigeria

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Allow 3 days for consular legalisation.

Niue

Apostille only.

Norway

Apostille only.

Oman

Apostille only.

Pakistan

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Allow up to 24 hours for consular legalisation.

Palestine

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Consular legalisation can be obtained within one day.

Panama

Apostille only.

Paraguay

Apostille only.

Peru

Apostille only.

Philippines

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Allow 48 hours for consular legalisation.

Poland

Apostille only.

Portugal

Apostille only.

Puerto Rico (U.S.A.)

Apostille only.

Qatar

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Documents can only be deposited at the consulate on Mondays and Thursdays. Allow 3 days for consular legalisation.

Romania

Apostille only.

Russian Federation

Apostille only.

Samoa

Apostille only.

San Marino

Apostille only.

Sao Tome & Principe

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Consular legalisation can be obtained within a day.

Saudi Arabia

Apostille plus Arab-British Chamber of Commerce. Allow up to 8 days.

Senegal

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Allow 3 days for consular legalisation.

Serbia

Apostille only.

Seychelles

Apostille only.

Sierra Leone

Consular legalisation only. Allow 48 hours.

Singapore

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Allow up to 24 hours for consular legalisation.

Slovakia

Apostille only.

Slovenia

Apostille only.

Solomon Islands

Apostille only.

Somalia (Federal Republic of)

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Allow 48 hours for consular legalisation.

South Africa

No legalisation required if documents notarially certified.

Spain (including the Canary Islands)

Apostille only.

Sri Lanka

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Allow 1 week for consular legalisation.

St. Kitts & Nevis

Apostille only.

St. Lucia

Apostille only.

St. Vincent & the Grenadines

Apostille only.

Sudan (North)

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Allow up to 24 hours for consular legalisation.

Sudan (South)

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Allow 3 days for consular legalisation.

Suriname

Apostille only.

Swaziland

Apostille only.

Sweden

Apostille only.

Switzerland

Apostille only.

Syria

Apostille plus Arab-British Chamber of Commerce. Allow 2-3 days for consular legalisation. Please note that if legalising a bill of sale, the consulate will charge a percentage of the sale price as legalisation fees.

Taipei (Taiwan)

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Allow up to 2 days for consular legalisation. The consulate will only legalise documents emanating from England and Wales.

Tajikistan

Apostille plus consular legalisation. The consulate is closed on Fridays.

Tanzania

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Allow at least 24 hours for consular legalisation.

Thailand

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Allow 2-3 days for consular legalisation.

Togo

Apostille only.

Tonga

Apostille only.

Trinidad & Tobago

Apostille only.

Tunisia

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Allow up to 1 week for consular legalisation.

Turkey

Apostille only.

Turkmenistan

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Allow up to 5 days for consular legalisation. The consulate is closed on Wednesdays.

Tuvalu

Apostille only.

Uganda

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Allow 3 days for consular legalisation.

Ukraine

Apostille only.

United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Ras el Kaimah, Umm al Qaiwain, Fujairah)

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Allow 3 days for consular legalisation. Please note that company documents are charged at £500 per document and each document must be legalised separately. Bills of sale must be legalised through the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce. A percentage of the sale price may be charged.

United States of America

Apostille required only for the following states: Arkansas, California, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia, Wyoming

United States Virgin Islands

Apostille only.

Uruguay

Apostille only.

Uzbekistan

Apostille only.

Vanuatu

Apostille only.

Venezuela

Apostille only.

Vietnam

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Allow up to 1 week for consular legalisation.

Yemen (Republic of)

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Allow 48 hours for consular legalisation.

Zambia

Apostille plus consular legalisation. Allow 2 days for consular legalisation.

Zimbabwe

Apostille only.