UK E-Apostille will speed up the legalisation of documents

6 December 2022

Private Clients, Expat Assistance

The UK Legalisation Office has expanded its digital services and can now receive documents online. It will therefore be able to issue e-Apostille certificates quickly and efficiently.

Previously, customers have had to send physical documents to the UK Legalisation Office by post or courier and won’t receive the documents back until several days later. On return, a paper certificate known as an аpostille is attached.

Following the first issue of a UK e-Apostille on 15 December 2021, the option to apply for an e-Apostille is now open to everybody.

To access this, customers need to upload their documents as PDF files. These files must have a qualified electronic signature (“QES”)  by a UK notary, solicitor or Commissioner for Oaths. 

QESs fulfil  the same objectives as physical witnessing and attestation. A QES offers the highest level of trust through a face-to-face ID verification process by a Qualified Trust Service Provider. This may be from either the UK or the EU. The resulting digital certificate is then created with an electronic signature device.

There are limitations to the e-Apostille system. Certain documents such as birth, death, marriage certificates, ACRO police certificates cannot get an e-Apostille and will continue to require a paper-based apostille.

However, notwithstanding these limitations, the e-Apostille is a potentially faster and cheaper alternative to the standard paper-based ones. The cost is still £30 per apostille, but there are no additional courier charges and transmission delays. Currently e-Apostilles are only slower than the same-day premium service offered to business clients.

First, it is important to  check with the relevant authorities as to whether an e-Apostille will be accepted. So far, UK e-Apostilles have been accepted by authorities in Italy, the Netherlands, Panama and the Philippines. Under an international agreement over 100 countries that are signatory to the Apostille Convention will also  accept e-Apostilles.

If you need a document legalised in the UK, our team is here to help you. If you also need assistance with legalisation of documents issued in Bulgaria, our specialised team is here to help. You can learn more about the process of legalisation in Bulgaria by reading this article.

In addition to legalisation services, we can also offer translation services for both foreign and Bulgarian documents.  

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The Bulgarian and dual-qualified lawyers of New Balkans Law Office are regulated by the respective Bar of their registration. New Balkans Law Office is a brand name of Legal Services EOOD, a company registered under Bulgarian law. Reg’d No. 202331677. Further details are available here.

© New Balkans Law Office 2024