News

Embassy of Guatemala change of address

The Embassy of Guatemala will be transferring its premises as of 15th June 2015 to:
105A Westbourne Grove, W2 4UW.
During the next week they will be working irregular hours and are estimating any legalisations dropped off from 3rd June 2015 will be ready within approximately 2 weeks. Given the approximation of processing during this time the Embassy have strongly recommended sending an email to consul@guatemalanembassy.co.uk to check the status of any documents prior to collecting.

Saudi Arabia, Change in Legalisation Requirements

With immediate effect, all documents lodged for legalisation by Saudi Arabia either direct or via the London Chamber of Commerce ( as agents for the ABCC) need to be accompanied by a copy of each signatory's passport ( excluding that of the Notary!)

South Africa

From June 2015 No Children may be admitted to South Africa without production of Original or Notarised Birth Certificate. Contact me for more details.

Tajikistan to Join the 1961 Convention of The Hague

Tajikistan will issue and accept Apostilles from 31st October this year, we are told. Whether this will be all that is required, remains to be seen. If so, Legalisations will be substantially cheaper from November:- The present fee is £150.00, or £300.00 if expedition is necessary.

India

The Times of India reports in January 2015 the merger of the "Persons Of Indian Origin" scheme into the "Overseas Citizen Of India" category.

"The PIO card notification has been withdrawn with immediate effect and, further, it has been notified that all existing PIO card-holders will be deemed to be OCI card-holders. Now only one OCI card with enhanced benefits is in existence," said a home ministry release.

Company Naming

At the end of January 2015 new regulations have come into force in England and Wales relating to the naming of Companies.

These are:- The Company, Limited Liability, Partnership and Business Names [Sensitive Words And Expressions] Regulations 2014 and The Company Limited Liability Partnership and Business [Names And Trading Disclosures] Regulations 2015.

They can be found on the British government website www.legislation.gov.uk

Further details can be found in my upcoming blog called "New Regulations - Company Names - A Relaxation? Or a Threat?"

Afghanistan Consulate

The fees for this consulate have just been increased [from £150.00] to £315.00 per document. This applies to Commercial documents. It seems that personal documents continue to be charged at the previous fee of £75.00 each.

New combined Visa for Britain and Ireland

Citizens of India and China [only] who are visiting both the UK and also Republic of Ireland [single, short stay general and business visas] will be able to apply to the Country to which they are travelling first for a single visa which also is valid for the other country. Saves a bit of hassle for those fairly limited numbers who are eligible. More details here

New Legalisation requirements for Brazil

It had been understood that Brazil was to join the Hague Convention of 1961 on 10th November 2014. This is NOT the case. Instead, the change is that Brazil will no longer verify signatories through its London Consulate after 10th November 2014, but will delegate this task to the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. However, the FCO verification will STILL REQUIRE BRAZILIAN CONSULAR LEGALISATION thereafter. So the process has now become more, not less, complex and expensive in both time and money.

The Bitcoin is now 'Money'

The American Courts decree that the virtual currency Bitcoin is now 'money - Read More

China

The Consulate of the People's Republic of China announces that Consular legalisation of Notarised copy Marriage Certificates will in future not be issued without the production of a copy of the parties' passports. This is so that the consulate can check that the parties are of different sexes to guard against endorsing same sex marriages which are illegal in China. Presumably because some names are asexual - Hilary, Tracy etc., the passports will enable the Consular staff to assess sex by inspection of the photographs.

Does your Company have a Branch in Russia?

Major Changes - New Russian Law 106-FZ requires re-validation of the accreditation of your Russian Branch. Depending on your present status the date for re-validation is 1st January 2015 to 1st April 2015. Full Final details are not yet known - contact me if this will affect your business.

Burundi

The REPUBLIC of BURUNDI has ratified the Convention of The Hague 1961 on 10th June 2014. It will take effect from 13th February 2015 - so that after that date Notarised Documents should not require Consular legalisation, and instead the Apostille stamp of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is required.

There are rumours that three further Countries will accede to the Convention shortly, being Vietnam, Qatar and Brasil, but I have found no definite confirmation of this as yet.

Indian Document Legalisation

Co-incidentally with my May 2014 blog about Indian document legalisation, news received today via my Notary Colleague Ram Bansal, that State Authorities in West Bengal also confirm that they do not require legalisation by the High Commission of India in England if the Papers have been Apostilled.

Marrying in Turkey

From March 2014 - Change in Turkish Requirements for British Nationals Marrying in Turkey. For more details see my Blog.

Brazilian Consulate

The London Consulate of Brazil has reduced its staffing in the legalisation office. There is currently a 4 week delay for documents. This could have serious impact on transactions in Brazil conducted from England - do not leave Brazilian matters to the last moment! It is not yet clear whether this current backlog will continue to be the normal turnaround time or whether there will be a catch-up once the Christmas and New Year backlog is cleared.

Egyptian Consulate

I am not sure whether this is strictly news but I am reminded that the usual legalisation fee charged by the Egyptian Consulate (currently £44) will not apply to documents which state a money consideration. An English Notary has reported an attempt to authenticate a loan agreement documenting a maximum loan sum in the region of 50million pounds - the response of the Consulate was to require an authentication stamp payment of £468,000.00.

Moral, see a Notary about foreign documents! (I can't promise to save you half a million every time, mind)

Iran Embassy Re-Opens

The Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran has re-opened in London.

The Address is 16 Princes Gate, South Kensington SW7 1PT and the phone number is 020 7937 5225

Nicaragua accedes to the Hague Convention of 1961

From 14 May 2013 Nicaragua no longer requires that documents Notarised in England be further authenticated by the Nicaraguan Consulate. Instead the more usual Apostille procedure now applies.

Contact me for more details

UK SETTLEMENT RULE CHANGES

A change in the rules for UK settlement or Naturalisation Applicants from 28th October 2013

Read Full Story

CROATIA JOINS EU

On 1st July 2013 Croatia has become the 28th member of the European Union � ten years after applying for membership. Two � thirds of the population voted in favour of doing so. However for the time being, Croatia will not join the Euro single currency, nor be part of the free-movement Schengen zone.

LATVIA TO JOIN THE EURO

On 01 January 2014 Latvia will drop its present currency, the LAT, and join the Euro zone, ten years after becoming a member of the European Union in 2004. This is in spite of opinion polling in the Country which indicates that over 53% of the population are opposed to the change. Those in favour point out that a year ago, opposition stood at 59%, and claim that by the date of joining the Euro the majority of the Latvian population will be in favour of the change.

Please click on an item below to view the news story: