Avoiding delays

To help us process your document as quickly as possible, please check the following before bringing your document to the public counter or posting your application to us:

For all applications:

  • will we be able to legalise your documents? Do they meet the requirements listed in the Documents We Can Legalise section?
  • do your documents need to be signed by a UK solicitor or notary public? If they do, please ensure the signature is from the individual rather than a company signature? If the document has been signed by a doctor, is it the doctor’s signature and not an assistant or secretary?

For postal applications:

  • does your application meet the requirements listed in the applications by post section?
  • have you enclosed your documents, a short note or letter with details of the documents you wish to have legalised, a self-addressed envelope, and the appropriate fee?
  • if you want your documents to be returned by special or recorded delivery (which we recommend), have you added an extra £5 to the total fee payable, or included a pre-paid special or recorded delivery envelope?
  • if you are paying by credit/debit card have you completed the payment form on the applications by post section?
  • have you included all the details requested in the payment form? If you are paying by company cheque, postal order, international money order or banker’s draft, is this made payable to “Foreign and Commonwealth Office”?
  • have you included your name, address and telephone numbers in your letter or note, or on the payment form?

We will return applications to the person or individual who sent them to us. We are unable to forward applications to other individuals or organisations. If you request us to do this, your application is likely to be delayed.