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Making documents for use overseas legally valid

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Making documents for use overseas legally valid

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Certified copies and documents requiring a witness or authentication for use overseas should be signed before a notary public. There have been recent cases where a solicitor in England or Wales has offered to certify a document and the client has opted for their service believing it will save a little money. The document has subsequently been rejected in the foreign country, costing the client even more money and time spent in starting the process again.

Using a notary ensures that the document is accepted in the receiving jurisidiction. Some countries have even more stringent requirements that a notary can advise you on. For example, documents for France, Germany and Spain require an apostille, which is a stamp from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. This stamp can be affixed to documents signed and sealed by a notary public. Documents for Brazil require legalisation at the Brazilian Consulate in London. The signature of the notary must be registered with the Brazilian Consulate or the document will not be accepted. Documents for Indonesia or the United Arab Emirates require both an apostille AND legalisation at the relevant consulate. Consulting a notary on the requirements for your document to be accepted abroad is a sensible step and at Notary Express our advice on the steps required is FREE.

Make sure you leave plenty of time for the process because the Foreign & Commonwealth Office or Consulate may take several days to legalise the document. Notary Express provides apostille and legalisation services and can advise on the timescales and charges for both. Contact us for further information.


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