Frequently Asked Attestation Questions

Below are some commonly asked question about the attestation process. If you have a query, please send it to

What is meant by 'Document Legalisation'?

The process of legalising a document is to add an 'Apostille' to the reverse of the document. This is a signed declaration that the document has been officially been reproduced by the correct authority. In addition to the declaration, a raised seal is placed on the document. This process is carried out by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in the UK, or by the relevant governing body in the country of your choice. 

Do I need an Apostille/Legalisation?

Legalisation of a document is typically required where there is a need to present an official certificate to a country other than the one that issued the certificate. You are likely to require this any time you are presenting the document to a non-British authority. This would include applying for a Visa, Drivers Licence, Passport, Medical Registration etc in your home country (outside of the UK). It is our experience that you would not typically need legalisation if you are applying to an overseas British authority such as a British embassy or High Commission. If in doubt you should check the requirements with whoever you need to present the document to.

We offer both UK (Apostille) and overseas consular legalisation.

Which Countries accept an Apostille?

The following countries recognise and issue Apostilles for the international legalisation of documents. These are collectively known as 'member countries of the Hague Apostille Convention'.

Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, China (Macau & Hong Kong), Colombia, Cook Islands, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Republic of, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Republic of, Monaco, Morocco, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niue, Norway, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia and Montenegro, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, FYR of Macedonia, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela.

What is the difference between Legalisation and Attestation?

These terms are used mutually to mean the same thing. Essentially this is the process of validating documents by one country or another. Frequently this will need to be carried out by multiple countries on the same document such as the country of issue and the country where the document is being presented. If in doubt, contact us for more details or to discuss your individual requirements.

Which documents can you legalise?

Our service will allow you to legalise, or attest, any officially Issued document from one of our partner countries for use in the UAE. This includes the following document types:

  • Birth, Marriage, Death or Adoption Certificates
  • Decree Absolute or Divorce Documents
  • Probate, Wills, Affadavits and Letters of Administration
  • Education Certificates including Degree Qualifications, GCSE, GCE, A-Level and O-Level Certificates
  • Certificate of No-Impediment (CNI) or Single-Status Declarations
  • Criminal Records Bureau or Disclosure Scotland Certificates
  • Notarised Power of Attorney
  • British Passport (Certified Copy of the photo page
  • Companies House Documents
  • Export Certificates
  • Translations (Signed by a Notary Public)
  • Medical Documents
  • County-Court Documents

How do you handle my information?

Vital Certificates respects your privacy and will NEVER misuse or pass personal information to any 3rd-party. If you would like to read our Privacy Policy, you can find this here.