An apostille is a certificate of authenticity issued by the FCDO. The apostille confirms the public document originated from the UK. The apostille also confirms the signatures on the document are genuine and from a registered notary or other approved public official.

The apostille is the result of the Convention of 5 October 1961, Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents, commonly called the Apostille Convention.

Countries that are members of the international treaty agree that an apostille issued by the originating country is sufficient proof that the document is authentic.

An apostille does not certify the document’s contents to be true and accurate.

Keep this in mind if the document is to be translated before use overseas.

The apostille only guarantees that it originated in the UK and that its signatures are genuine.

Hague apostille or apostille endorsement are other common names for an apostille.

Read our full guide: A guide to what an apostille is