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What is an apostille?

Put simply an apostille is a certificate that is attached to another document so that it will be accepted when used overseas. The certificate is approximately 15cm’s square in size and it is permanently glued to another document. Once attached the certificate and the document that it is attached to are then embossed with an official government seal. That is why you may hear the apostille referred to as an apostille seal or apostille stamp.

It is likely that you have been asked to get an apostille by an individual or organisation from another country. They may have requested that you get an apostille attached to a particular document. The apostille is requested as a way of authenticating the document.

Consider the following point – If you were sent a document today from Spain, Germany, Russia or any other country for that matter, how would you know that it was a genuine document?

The apostille certificate is only attached to documents in the UK once they have been checked to be genuine from certain government bodies, specific organisations, certified by solicitors, or signed by a public official. If a document is not genuine, for example a degree certificate from a fictitious online university, then it will not be legalised with an apostille.

If you have any further questions about apostille please read our FAQ’s. If they do not answer your question please do not hesitate to contact us.