Notarise – Then Legalise. Sounds Easy? Full of Pitfalls!

Notarise – Then Legalise. Sounds Easy? Full of Pitfalls!

One of the services that we offer here at AtkinsonNotary Limited is dealing with legalisation of documents. This is the process of obtaining Apostilles and Consulate stamps. Depending on the Country where your documents will be used, different requirements will apply as to legalisation. We know what to do and are very happy to assist.

When you have a document to Notarise, only a Notary can do that.

After that, once Notarised, your documents will usually require further legalisation before they will be accepted in the foreign Country for which they have been prepared. It is not essential that you instruct me to deal with y our legalisation, but I strongly suggest that you do.

We have recently been asked to deal with a large file of ten Notarizations for the second time, because the Angolan Consulate has rejected them when our client has applied direct. This after our client has spent hundreds of pounds in my original fees and wasted a lot more money in attempts to legalise them herself.

The sad irony is that the client is a student with not much money and was trying to save money by not instructing us to deal with the Consular stamps and to “do it herself”. As she has found, the process is fraught with difficulty.

It is important to note that each Consulate can have varying instructions as to what they will accept to enable them to legalise the documents. In the case of Angola the Consulate has a very specific procedure that needs to be followed otherwise you will be wasting valuable time and incurring serious expense to do so.

The Angolan Consulate will not legalise documents that are not in the Portuguese language.

So if you have an English written document that requires the Angolan Consulate stamp then we will do all of the work for you:-
The English document needs to be Notarised first of all.
Once the Notarisation formalities have taken place we can then send a scan of this to our translators for the Portuguese, the official language of Angola.
Once we have received the translation this would then need to be annexed [bound] to the Notarised English-language document. The Portuguese text MUST be bound first – then the English document goes after.

I will at that stage sign and place my stamp and seal upon the official translation.

The bound document is then ready to be submitted to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for its Apostille.

It is important to note that the Angolan Consulate requires that the Apostille stamp is placed on the reverse of the translated Portuguese document only and NOT on the English text. If this does not happen then the document will be rejected. We will ensure this is done right.

Once the document has its Apostille this is now ready to be submitted to our Agents in London to take to the Angolan Consulate in person to obtain the official Consulate stamp.

For all your requirements with Notarisations and subsequent Legalisations, please contact me– at or phone me on 0113 816 0116 (internationally 0044 113 8160116)