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Get commercial and personal documents attested on your behalf from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), otherwise known as the British Foreign Ministry, with Gulfvisa.
Our all-in-one service ensures your documents are authenticated from the FCO simply and quickly.
We can also get them attested from a notary public and/or a solicitor.
The FCO is a UK government department aimed at protecting and promoting British interests internationally. Formed in 1968 after the Foreign Office and the Commonwealth Office merged, it is based on King Charles St in Whitehall, London. The FCO is headed by Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, commonly known as the Foreign Secretary.
The FCO has responsibilities in three main areas:
Getting legal documents attested from the UK’s highest foreign affairs organisation ensures that overseas bodies—like employers or the government—can be sure such documents are genuine. As well as requiring a signature from a country’s foreign office, attestation will typically only be complete once the document has also been attested by a solicitor (or notary public) and the relevant country’s embassy. However, certain documents are exempt from needing a solicitor’s signature, including UK birth certificates and marriage certificates.
Some countries don’t require attestations from their embassies. Known as an apostille certificate, this is a worldwide attestation admissible in countries that are signatories to the Hague Convention. This multilateral treaty was drafted with the aim of removing the need for double-certification of public documents by both the originating and receiving country. Signed in 1961, it came into force four years later.
As well as the UK, the likes of the US, Germany, and France have signed the convention. These nations accept the attestations of ministries like the FCO as enough evidence that a document has been verified. As such, rather than following the attestation process described above, such documents will simply need an FCO apostille stamp and a solicitor’s signature to be authenticated.