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Could My Apostille be a Fake?

Could My Apostille be a Fake?

Could My Apostille be a Fake?

December 12, 2023 apostille-online Comments Off

Although the Covid-19 pandemic is fast becoming a distant memory, one of the main effects of the restrictions were the impact on international travel. Workers wishing to emigrate overseas permanently, or just take up a job on a temporary basis are still experiencing backlogs and delays as organisations continue to have staff working remotely rather than in the office five days per week. This global shift into more remote working has also impacted the apostille system, complicating the process of obtaining legal authentication for government documents. It can be tempting to cut corners when it comes to getting documents checked and verified, especially when you are under pressure to take up a new employment opportunity or are fighting against a deadline to get a university place. But could cutting corners really be a good idea?

Expedited Apostille System

The recent pandemic has seen all sorts of online services offering services at a fraction of the usual cost have emerged. Some of these are absolutely genuine and save everyone time and money. However, it’s important to remember that apostille always involves physical inspection of a document by a solicitor or notary public who verifies it, photocopies it, and stamps the copy. Although the government in the UK is moving towards e-apostille services, many overseas online platforms offering digital certification and apostilles are fake. Opting for such services may result in wasted payments, delays, and the need to restart the certification process from the beginning through the official channels.

Even if you do receive documents from a non-official apostille service, this can cause huge issues if the fake apostille is not discovered until you are overseas and trying to use the documents. At best, the situation could be embarrassing and inconvenient. At worst, you could end up in serious legal difficulties.

What a Real UK Apostille Looks Like

Authentic apostilles are always physical, separate pieces of paper attached to photocopied documents. A genuine UK apostille will always have a unique reference number that can be verified on the government website, along with a Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) seal embossed on both the apostille and the document in the bottom left-hand corner.

Legitimate apostille service providers like ours will have a registered address and a contact telephone number on their website. If these details are missing, or if there is a just a mobile number or generic email address, this should raise concerns. Similarly, if a website appears to be offering the service at a much lower rate than anyone else, this is another warning sign.

Overseas Apostille

126 countries across the world currently issue and accept apostilles. However, the details of the process vary across nations. For example, in France, local courthouses issue apostilles, while in Australia, it’s the regional government. In the UK, the FCDO exclusively handles apostille services, available through in-person visits, postal submissions, or third-party representatives like Apostille Online. It’s even more important than ever to check the credentials of the company offering to act for you when you are not familiar with the process and conventions in an overseas country.