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FAQ About Legalisation

Can I use your translations for a Visa application at the Home Office?

Yes, all our translators hold the professional qualifications to be able to sign translations that will be used at the Home Office (e.g. for Visa applications).

Do you deal with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as well?

As FCO business customers, we attend their offices in person every week instead of sending any documents by post.

Our experience has shown us how important is to comply with the FCO specific requirements to be able to legalise each document. For this reason, we offer a comprehensive translation and legalisation service which includes the FCO legalisation.

If you are in a real hurry, we can also take your documents the FCO Premium Service offices and speed up the legalisation process.

How long are the documents valid for once they have been legalised by the Cuban Consulate?

For legal purposes in Cuba, documents issued in the UK must be legalised by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and by the Cuban Consulate. If the original document is in English it must be accompanied by a Spanish translation. This translation needs to be notarised, legalised by the FCO and by the Cuban Consulate.

If I get married abroad, will my marriage be legal in the UK?

You should consult a lawyer to check as sometimes marriages conducted in other countries aren’t recognised in the UK.

What documents can the FCO legalise?

The FCO can legalise most UK documents as long as they bear an original signature or seal from a UK public organisation or official practising in the UK. A UK document means that it originated or has been executed in the UK.

The FCO cannot attach an apostille, under any circumstances, directly on to an original document produced or executed in a foreign country. However, they can legalise a photocopy of a foreign document if it has been certified by a UK notary public or solicitor practising in the UK, or if the original is attached to a notarial certificate.

If a UK notary public or solicitor practising within the UK is signing a document, they should state clearly what exactly it is they are certifying in relation to the document. They must sign in their own name and not use a company signature. They should clearly print their name and their firm's name under the signature.

What is a notary public?

A notary public is a solicitor who holds an internationally recognised public office. Their job is to prepare, attest, authenticate and certify documents (e.g. translations), for use anywhere in the world.

What is certification?

It is normally a legal requirement that a translation is certified by a competent professional to prove its accuracy and authenticity. There are several types of certification depending on where the translation is going to be used. In Spain it has to be certified by an "Intérprete Jurado" or Sworn Translator; in Cuba a notarial certificate is required; for other countries like Mexico or Dominican Republic, a certification by a professional translator member of a recognised association (like ITI or IOL) is needed. In every case, we can help.

What is legalisation?

Legalisation is the official confirmation that a signature, seal or stamp on a document is genuine.

Who does the legalisation?

The Legalisation Office at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office is the department that carries out the legalisations of all UK documents. They attach an apostille to each document. The apostille itself is signed by an officer and bears the seal of the FCO. It confirms the authenticity of the signature or seal on your document.

The FCO is only able to legalise or provide an apostille service for UK public documents. Personal documents may therefore need to be signed in the UK by a UK practising solicitor or notary public before they can be legalised.

Can TLC UK do the statutory declarations for us?

No. This is done by either a notary public or a solicitor.

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