Apostille FAQs

These are the most frequently asked question by our clients. If your questions are not addressed here please feel free to get in touch.

What is an Apostille?

When a document is to be used in another country lawfully, it is required to be attached with an apostille which is a certificate that confirms the validity of official signatures or seals on the document it is attached to. It is issued by the Competent Authority of the place where the document is originated.  The Competent Authority in the UK is Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

Does IMEX issue Apostille?

No, we lodge applications on behalf of our clients. In the UK, the only competent authority is Foreign, Commomenwealth and Development Office (FCDO). You may arrange your apostille application directly to FCDO, however, if you do it through IMEX, we make sure that your document meets the legal requirements for an apostille. We also have access to FCDO business counter which means your application is dealt with expeditely when you are in a hurry.   

How can I get an apostille?

That depends on what types of documents you need for an apostille. For some documents, you can get them legalised if they have been issued in the following ways:

  • court and sealed with a wet ink court seal
  • public registry, such as a birth, marriage or death certificate, or a company certificate issued by Companies House
  • government department and signed by an official, such as a letter of confirmation of tax registration
  • registered doctor, such as a medical certificate signed by a doctor


Some other documents certified by a UK solicitor or notary can also be legalised. We are a group of legal professionals and competent to carry out the certification if your documents fall into this category.   

If you are not sure whether you document needs to be certified before legalisation, please Contact Us.

Can you apostille multiple documents?

When you have multiple documents to be legalised, for example, when you submit your universty application you are asked to submit your educational documents altogether, we can make a bundle for you to avoid paying expensive rate for legalisation; or when an overseas authority requests Certificate of Incorporation, Memorandum & Articles of Association, Register of Directors, Certificate of Good Standing of a company under the same name, our normal practice is that we make a bundle of all these documents and then create a certification page listing what are included in the bundle before submitting for legalisation. However, this practice is not recognised by all foreign authorities, such as United Arabic of Emirates where the multiple documents are required to be legalised separately. Many other overseas authorities have rules in this respect differently. We strongly suggest that you may contact the person or unit that requests the legalisation to find out the exact requirements of the legalisation.    

Does my document require embassy attestation / legalisation?

Apostille is recognised by all the contracting parties of the Hauge Convention (CCH 1961 Apostille Convention). Since it was first signed, over 120 contracting parties joined the Convention, one of the most recently joined member of states is China that joined on the 7th March 2023.  If your document is going to be used in the place that is not a member of state, a further legalisation / attestation at that embassy is required. You may find more information about the Hague Convention Member States here.   

Can I order apostille online?

Yes. You may find it quicker and easier to place your order online on our website which is designed to speed up the process of your request.

Can I apostille my passport?

Yes. Before sending the documents to us for apostille, please make sure the passport holder is duly signed on the relevant page. 

How can I delivery the document to you?

In some circumstances, we will require the original documents, such as Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate that were issued in the UK whereas for others, we can process them electronically. The delivery address is IMEX, 25 Wilton Road, London SW1V 1LW and the email address is if you want to send it by email.

How do you process differently when the documents are delivery to you electronically comparing to when the documents are delivered to you by post or in person? 

Sometimes, it may cause inconvenience to you if sending us the original documents for whatever the reasons. You may prefer to send the documents by email or to upload the documents when you place the order. Upon the completion of the whole process, you will receive an apostille certificate that is not different to the ones that you may receive in any other circumstances expect from the certification wording by adding "seen by me electronically". 

How long does it take to get an apostille?

The standard turnaround time is 3-5 working days. However, we offer 1 day or next day service (depending on when your document(s) is delivered to us)  when your requirement is extremely urgent.

For the Standard Service, we are one of the few service providers that have access to Milton Keynes Drop Off Service which means that we can provide the service for you much faster but with a lower rate, whereas for the Express Service we are one of the registered companies that have exclusive access to FCDO Premium Service in centre london.  

Do you offer Same Day service?

Yes, most of the documents can be processed on the same day basis. FCDO offers Premium Service to some approved businesses and we are one of them. Our office is literally 5 minutes walk distance from the FCDO office. Therefore, we encourage our clients to make sure the documents reach us by 11.00am to have a guaranteed completion and collection by 4:30pm.

Do you provide Certified Translation following the above legalisation service?

Yes, the Certified Translation is upon request. You will need to indicate that a translation is required during the ordering process. We will contact you to arrange this service during the process of your relevant required services. The Certified Translation serive is available for most major language pairs.