Legalisation of documents at the Foreign and Commonwealth office during the lockdown

Legalisation of documents during the confinement

Legalisation of documents at the Foreign and Commonwealth office.

One of our core areas of work in our Spanish team is to deal with Notarial and public documents for their use in Spain. This means powers of attorney, death and birth certificates, Wills and, among others, certificates of law and affidavits. As you will find out if you contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to legalise a document for its use in Spain (and hence obtain the stamp called Apostille) the legalisation department is currently closed. If you go to the FCO relevant website you will come across the following message:

“This service is not available at the moment because of coronavirus. If you need to send a document to the Legalisation Office, search online for ‘UK legalisation services’ or ‘UK apostille services’ and check that the provider is registered with the Legalisation Office as a business customer.”

However, all the legalisation agents are also experiencing the same problem as the legalisation is only possible for urgent matters. Furthermore, the said website then states:

“Customers with urgent and exceptional requirements for legalisation, who have been unable to obtain agreement for the submission of documents without an apostille, should contact UrgentLegalisation@FCO.Gov.UK, or call our telephone helpline on 03700 002244 (Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm).

But what are the urgent circumstances that would justify the legalisation of a document? The website does not provide this information but we have been informed in a particular case that the following are some of the circumstances in which, perhaps, an urgent legalisation would be approved:

  • Death/bereavement i.e. documents relating to the repatriation of a body
  • Potential imprisonment
  • Potential deportation
  • document relating to the export of medical supplies

Please note that the above is some guidance as to what may be considered an urgent document but this should not be considered as a confirmed list provided by the FCO. This information is for guidance only and should not replace the confirmation that you will receive if contacting the FCO directly.

If you are in need of an urgent legalisation please contact the FCO directly or a lawfirm or legalisation company versed in this type of matters and they will be able to guide you.

For further information on this matter contact us

“Action is the antidote to despair” Joan Baez



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