Apostille Service - Christmas Opening Times

The run-up to Christmas is often a busy period for the Apostille Service. Many customers contact us trying to legalise documents before the holiday closures begin. We recommend all customers submit documents to us as soon as they can. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office, solicitors, embassies and other government offices will all close for statutory holidays and many do not reopen until the New Year. 

Below you will find more information on our services and estimated processing times.

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What is a Certified Translation?

When presenting documents overseas the need for a translation will often arise. Not all translations will be accepted at face-value and different authorities overseas will stipulate how they expect a translation to be prepared.

In many cases we are asked if we can provide a ‘certified’ or ‘official’ translation. The meaning of this is contentious as different translation systems exist in countries with different legal frameworks.

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Who can Issue the Apostille?

When applying to legalise a document with the apostille for the first time it can be confusing as to who can actually do this. It is a common misconception that the apostille can be issued by a solicitor, a notary or a registrar. Whilst such individuals may claim to be able to do so this can be misleading.

The UK apostille is issued by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Any individual or organisation obtaining the apostille for a given document will ultimately be submitting this to the FCO.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

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Can the UK Apostille be issued to a Document Prepared in a Foreign Language?

As per the terms of the Hague Convention, the Apostille is issued to a document originating from one country in order for this to be legally recognised in another member country. For example, a UK birth certificate that has been issued with the apostille should be legally recognised in the USA.

Overall, this does prove to be an effective system to simplify the circulation of documents throughout countries that are part of the apostille convention. However, one clear caveat of this is the fact that there is not a common language shared by all of these countries.

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Relocation of the European Medicines Agency

As of March 2019, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) will be relocating from their London headquarters to a new address in the Netherlands. The decision to relocate was made as a direct consequence of the United Kingdom’s planned withdrawal from the European Union.

What Documents are issued by EMA?

The EMA issue certificates relating to medicinal products for human and veterinary use. The certificate issued by the EMA, on behalf of the European Commission, confirms the product is compliant with good manufacturing practice (GMP) regulations.

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