Daily Mail 15th May 2014 “600,000 Parents Stopped at Britain’s Borders” Best Advice – Carry a Notarised Consent to Travel

Daily Mail 15th May 2014 “600,000 Parents Stopped at Britain’s Borders”
Best Advice – Carry a Notarised Consent to Travel

This month the Daily Mail reported on the phenomenon I have been mentioning in my blogs for some time now.

People are getting stopped and investigated at national borders [not only UK borders] when they are travelling with minors of a different surname, even when those minors are their own children, travelling with both parents. Even more likely to be stopped, if there is no or only one parent travelling.

Whether or not you believe everything printed in the Daily Mail [And Yes, 600,000 seems a very precise number and it is not stated whether they were all stopped yesterday, every week, every year, or since the dawn of time – and Yes also, “Stopped at the Border” would presumably include a delay of only five minutes] there is no doubt that Border and Immigration Officials are increasingly concerned to prevent child kidnap.

Their problem in today’s world is that the classic nuclear family comprised of Mum and Dad and their 2 point 4 children all with the same surname is getting harder to find in UK.

There are over two million “single – parent” families in UK and nearly another two million unmarried parents living together with their children. There are no figures at all on how many children a year fly abroad with only one parent or with a granny or family friend.

So when the Border officials are given the job of preventing child kidnap, it should be no surprise that they will stop so many people. No doubt for many of them the matter can be resolved in five or ten minutes. Even that can be long enough to lose a connecting flight or train.

For others there is a very real prospect of being detained for very much longer, with the flight missed, the holiday entirely ruined and the cost of it maybe thousands of pounds down the drain

So I am writing again to remind you – the answer to all this is a Notarised Certificate of Parental or Guardian Consent, best with Birth Certificates annexed. Especially if your children do not share your surname (see the Sunday Telegraph article by Alex Polizzi whose children are “Miller” – and she was detained trying to get back into UK AFTER their holiday!) or if they are travelling with only one parent, or with a more distant family friend, then I strongly recommend that you contact me

Please share this point with your colleagues and friends and spread the news, and Please do contact me whenever you need Notarial certification or Legalisation – at http://www.atkinsonnotary.com or phone me on 0113 816 0116 (internationally 0044 113 8160116)

Links referred to above are
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2629266/Parents-stopped-Britains-borders-officials-think-theyve-kidnapped-children.html and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/columnists/alexpolizzi/10314887/Alex-Polizzi-on-Wi-Fi-charges-chain-hotels-and-theft-by-guests.html

Indian High Commission Makes Unnecessary Stamps Harder To Get!

For documents notarised in England for use in India an Apostille is needed. No Indian High Commission [IHC] stamp is needed- see earlier Blogs. The message is beginning to get through to lawyers in India but many still ask for the IHC stamp. Now the Indian High Commission in England is resisting involvement by adding cost and complication

As I have mentioned, there is no basis in International Law for any Indian Lawyer or Administrator to request that a document notarised in England for use in India should be further endorsed with the Stamp of the Indian High Commission.

This is because India has for many years now been a signatory to the 1961 Convention of The Hague. Accordingly, an Apostille stamp of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office after Notarisation is the only legalisation needed before the paper can be accepted in India.

Ever since India first joined the Convention, some lawyers and Registries in India seem to have been unwilling to accept that the law has changed. They continue to require that the Indian High Commission in London or Birmingham should issue its stamp. In order to enable commerce to continue, the IHC has broken the logjam by agreeing to add its stamp

But the problem is, that the original, pre-Convention, use and purpose of its stamp was to confirm the identity of the English Notary. Since the signing of the Convention, Notaries no longer prove their continuing existence with the IHC annually, so in fact the IHC has no idea whether a given stamp and signature is that of the Notary or not.

Accordingly the Indian High Commission is now asking for additional documentation when posting or presenting in person to the High Commission. In effect, this is a second “Notarisation”

And in the case of a Company document, this week the IHC announced that it will require
* Original Request letter from the client, signed by a Director with a company stamp
* Notarised copy of the Director’s passport
* Copy of Company Certificate of Incorporation notarised and endorsed with Apostille

It seems to me that the message is beginning to get through to the Indian authorities and lawyers that they should not require the IHC stamp. I do suspect that the IHC itself is trying to reinforce that message, by imposing more and more stringent and of course expensive preconditions, making it harder and harder, and costlier and costlier before it will add its stamp – which is of course, unnecessary in any event.

Please do contact me whenever you need Notarial certification or Legalisation – at http://www.atkinsonnotary.com or phone me on 0113 816 0116 (internationally 0044 113 8160116)

Arranging your Marriage in Turkey just got Easier

Simplification of the Rules for British Nationals Resident in UK To Marry in Turkey

Many English Couples marry abroad, combining their Marriage with their Honeymoon as well as making the day an unforgettable foreign holiday for Family and Friends.

My own view is that there are many cost and logistical benefits in having your actual marriage take place in England, followed by a blessing ceremony abroad [not least that this will give you a UK Marriage certificate which will be easily recognised, and written in English language and easily understood by future Banks and Employers and all the other people to whom you may need to prove that you are married].

Nevertheless for many the idea of a Marriage in a holiday paradise is irresistible, and the good news is that a Marriage in Turkey just got easier.

From 1st March 2014, there is no longer any requirement for British nationals marrying in Turkey to obtain a Certificate of No Impediment To Marriage from your local Registry of Births Death and Marriages. This Certificate is a secular equivalent to reading the Banns of Marriage, and takes several weeks to get. Also it cannot be obtained by a British Citizen who is not actually resident in UK.

Instead you now simply make an affidavit before a Notary Public. Once this has been further endorsed with a Foreign Office Apostille, it will be accepted in Turkey as the necessary evidence that you are single and free to marry.

Please do contact me whenever you need Notarial certification or Legalisation – at http://www.atkinsonnotary.com or phone me on 0113 816 0116 (internationally 0044 113 8160116)

Notarization Verification of Degree and Other Educational Certificates – an update

Verification of Degree Certificates – an update

The point has already been made in an earlier blog that Notaries are often asked to “add a certificate” to a copy degree certificate. Typically our client is intending to travel to take up employment in a foreign country and the foreign country wants to have recorded evidence of the client’s academic achievement.

The problem for the Notary is that, whilst we understand that we should do what the receiving jurisdiction requires, it is hardly ever made clear what the receiving jurisdiction actually does require!

The choice is between
1. Making a photocopy of the paperwork produced by the client and certifying that the resulting photocopy is a true copy of the client’s paperwork or
2. Checking with the issuing University or College that the degree certificate produced is genuine and then making a photocopy and marking upon the copy a certificate to the effect that ”The original document of which this is a true copy is genuine”.

The certificate in 1 above is all that is required by many jurisdictions. They will use the resulting notarised document in the same way as employers typically use a reference letter – that is they will put it in a paper file and forget about it until their new employee shows an incompetence in their new job. At that stage the certificate will be investigated and if the original is found to be a forgery then the employer has good justification to dismiss the employee.

However most jurisdictions actually require alternative number 2 – that is that they wish to be certain at the outset that the person has a degree. They are relying upon the Notary to verify this for them.

The problem Notaries have is that the distinction between these two alternatives seems to be very hard for clients and foreign jurisdictions alike to understand. All we are told is that “we must add our certificate” – which is hardly helpful.

Furthermore in many countries the view is taken that a Notary’s Certificate can only be a warranty that the original referred to is genuine and properly issued to the person named, whatever wording the Notary actually uses.

And further still,  if we specifically say that we have not verified the authenticity of the original then this may be rejected by the receiving country even if we were not actually required to make the verification.

There is also the philosophical question as to what “an Original” actually is – it is very easy – a trite truism – to say that any photocopy document must always be a copy of an original but surely the Notary is being asked to say something more than that he has a photocopier in his office.

For this reason I and most notaries take the view that we must always verify that the original certificate is genuine before certifying a copy (with the exception of medical certification for Australia, where the AMC have clearly stated that they only require option 1 above)

This conclusion is reached not only after philosophical consideration of the meaning of the word “original” but also because, on a practical level, in this country and internationally the falsification of degree and other certificates is rife.

The role of the Notary is to prevent such fraud and forgery and simply to mark a copy of anything whatsoever as a true copy of the original – without checking the original – is really doing nothing to ensure that a forgery has not taken place. On the contrary, it may well be assisting a forger.

Please do contact me whenever you need Notarial certification or Legalisation – at http://www.atkinsonnotary.com or phone me on 0113 816 0116 (internationally 0044 113 8160116)