Legalised Translation Services

    As a certified translation agency in London, we provide legalised translation services of all types of documents for use in the UK and abroad, as well as an apostille service. Our translation and legalisation service is recognised by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and foreign authorities.

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    Our legalised translation services

    The process of legalised translation services can be a confusing one to understand, with different types of translation services seeming to overlap into one another. If you are unsure what exactly it is or whether this type is the right one for your needs, our guide will make it easy for you to navigate the complexities and understand the differences. 

    We have many years of experience in professional translation services both here in the UK and in many other countries, so we can guarantee that your documents will be translated accurately and with complete confidentiality, and accepted in whichever country you intend to use them in.

    With over 2000 accredited translators of many nationalities, we offer legalised translation services in over 150 different languages. As we are ISO-certified, our expert translators have more than 5 years’ experience working in this field and only ever translate into their native language. You can therefore rest assured that we will translate the documents you send us to the highest standards.

    Whether you are looking for a translation service provider in the city of London or elsewhere in the world, we can generally provide high-quality, official translations within one working day of you placing your order. If your documentation is more technical or complex than usual, your request may take longer. 

    When we complete your translation, we will email you a copy of your translated document, respecting the same formatting as the original. We will also post out a hard copy to you for a small fee. 

    If your need is urgent, we offer a quick express service with same-day delivery. If you request this 24-hour service you will receive your personal documents within a matter of hours. Please contact us via email or our online form, stating your desired delivery date.

    The below table provides a brief overview of our sworn translation service:

    Accepted ByConsulates, embassies, overseas government authorities, foreign-language public bodies, legal courts
    Translator CredentialsLegalised translations by sworn translators recognized and approved by government authorities
    Quality AssuranceISO 17100:2015 Certified
    PricingFixed-rate pricing starting from £90 (+VAT)
    Turnaround Time48 hours, 24 hours, Same Day Delivery
    DeliveryFree digital delivery. Postal shipping from £5.
    Supported Document FormatsPDF, JPG, PNG, WORD, and more
    LanguagesOver 200 language combinations
    Types of DocumentsLegal translation, court proceedings, contracts, ID documents, visa & immigration files, administrative documents
    Additional ServicesSolicitor certification, apostille legalisation, consultancy, maintaining document formatting
    AreaLondon, UK, Europe with international coverage

    What is a legalized translation in the UK?

    A legalised translation that is accepted in the UK is one which has been apostilled. As the UK is part of the Apostille Convention, along with many other countries, a document will be legalised via the issuance of the apostille certificate. The coverage of signatory states of the Apostille Convention is extremely wide and includes Australia, the UK and Ireland, India, the USA, and all member states of the EU. An apostille certified translation, which is a form of legalised translation, is accepted in all of these countries. 

    In the UK, apostilled documents are processed by the Foreign Office and Commonwealth Office. 

    Countries which are not part of the Apostille Convention may require a different level of legalisation. 

    What is a legally certified translation?

    A legally certified translation is one that has been completed by a translator or translation company, who can certify that the document is an accurate representation of the original. It is affixed with an  ISI  Certification Seal to attest to the fact that it is authenticated. 

    It is usually used for documents like:

    • birth and marriage certificates
    • driving licences
    • legal documents
    • immigration services papers
    • transcripts
    • contracts and reports

    They are commonly sufficient with non-governmental organisations such as schools, medical institutions and businesses.

    If you do not have a document legally certified it may be rejected by the authorities, so it is important to seek the services of an accredited translation company who specialises in official document translations

    UK government-approved translation services

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    What is the legalized translation of documents?

    Legalized translation is a process in which documents are translated in order to satisfy the specific requirements of the countries in which the documents will be used. There are multiple types of legalised translation, and the type that you need will depend on what institution or body the document is for, in which country, and why. 

    There are many types of documents that may need legalised translation, including:

    • Court documents
    • Birth, marriage or death certificates
    • Immigration papers
    • Business documents
    • Papers pertaining to legal disputes
    • Visa applications
    • Power of attorney documents
    • Criminal record disclosures

    All of these require the professional service of an accredited translator with experience in providing legalised translations.

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    How do you legalise a translation?

    Legalisation often follows the process of notarisation. Notarised documents may have to be legalised by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in the UK and sometimes additionally by the embassy of the country in which they will be used. 

    The legalisation process produces the apostille (also known as the Apostille of the Hague), which is a stamp affixed to the translated document by the issuing country. This serves to show foreign countries that the document has been legally recognised in the country of issue, and therefore can also be legally recognised in the country of use – provided that it is also part of the Apostille Convention. If the country is a signatory to this (also known as The Hague Convention of 1961), then it will require an apostille.

    What is the difference between apostilled and legalised translation?

    A legalised translation is a document which has been translated via particular processes so as to be legally recognised in another country. There are various different legalisation processes due to different countries requiring different forms of legalisation in order for a document to be accepted. One of these processes is issuing a document with the Apostille. 

    An apostille translation is one whereby the government of a country (where the document has been issued) confirms the authenticity of the signed document. This enables it to be used in any country which is also part of the Apostille Convention. 

    When a document is not being used in a country that recognises the Apostille Convention, it must undergo further processes of legalisation. It would also require legalisation from the respective embassy. For example, a UK marriage certificate for use in the UAE would need to be apostilled as well as stamped by the embassy. These stamps are often part of the process called attestation – another form of legalisation. 

    Apostilled translation is commonly used for documents such as legal certificates and foreign job applications.

    What is the difference between legalized and sworn translation?

    A sworn translation is one which is completed by a government-approved translator who has sworn an oath at a court of law to provide true and accurate translations. The translation is verified by a notary public or solicitor, and the translator is legally liable for the accuracy. In the eyes of the law, sworn translations have the same legal value as the original documents. It is common in certain countries – mostly civil law countries – like Spain, France and the Netherlands. Each country has its own rules for this type of translation, so there is no universal standard. 

    A legalized translation, on the other hand, is one where a document, after being translated, is certified true by a relevant official authority or embassy. It is often required when foreign governments are involved. The process can be lengthy and expensive – usually 50% more or double the cost of sworn translation. 

    What do our clients say?

    We pride ourselves on excellent customer service, including speedy support and comprehensive guidance from our project managers. Check out our customer reviews:

    I recently utilized the sworn translation services offered by Espresso Translations, and I must say that I am thoroughly impressed. From start to finish, the entire process was seamless and efficient.

    – David


    The translations provided by Espresso Translations were of exceptional quality. The accuracy and precision with which they translated my official documents were impressive.

    – Paul

    British Embassy

    What is the cost of a legalised translation?

    The process of attaining such a document can be lengthy and expensive, with the cost up to double the price of a certified translation. It can cost around £90.

    How much does it cost to legalise a document in the UK?

    The cost of this varies, depending on what type of document you have and what processes you want to be included. Prices typically start from £90. In the UK, a document needs to be legalised by being apostilled. This involves an apostille certificate being added to a document that is to be used outside of the UK.

    Document types include:

    • Standard
    • Company
    • Academic and personal
    • Bound

    Processes included are those such as:

    • Document checks
    • FCDO government fees
    • Admin charges
    • VAT and disbursements
    • Express service
    • Solicitor certification
    • Binding of documents

    How much does a certified translation cost in the UK?

    Standard translation rates are between £0.10 and £0.16 per word, therefore the average price for a certified translation is roughly £0.12/£0.13 per word.

    The cost of a certified translation in the UK depends on multiple factors such as the word count and complexity of the document. 

    • Word count: The more words there are in your document, the higher the cost will be.
    • Complexity: If your document contains many specialised terms or technical jargon, it may require the time and expertise of a specialist translator in order to deliver an accurate, reliable translation.
    • Language pairs: If the source and target languages are common, such as Spanish or French, the cost will generally be lower as there will be a higher number of translators available. If the languages are uncommon, such as Swahili or Maori, there may be fewer translators, hence it will be more expensive to translate documents from that language.
    • Format: Documents need to be editable, therefore in file formats such as DOC, XLS, PPT, PDF, Indesign, XML, SGML, HTML, to name a few of the most common. If the document is in an editable format then it becomes possible to process more complex files that include photos, graphs and other graphic elements. If they are editable, the cost will be lower.
    • Urgency: If you need your document translated in a matter of hours, it will cost more than one which has a longer deadline. Translation agencies may have to assign more than one translator to the project, or each translator will have to work longer hours in order to complete the project on time. More translators and/or a heavier workload means the cost will be higher. 

    As a specialised translation company with experienced, qualified translators, we offer professional certified translations at competitive rates.

    What is the typical turnaround time for a legalized translation?

    We can generally provide a legalised translation, along with a translated apostille certificate, within one working day of you placing your order. If the document has more complex formatting than usual, the translation process may take a little longer. However, it is important to note that some countries require additional steps be made, so the process could take longer as your document may also require legalisation from the respective embassy.

    We understand that sometimes a more urgent turnaround is required, which is why we also offer an expedited service with same-day delivery. With this service you can expect to receive your document within a matter of hours. 

    To get a free quote, simply email us or complete our online form and we will get back to you with both a quote and turnaround time within one hour. 

    How long is a legalized document valid for in the UK?

    A legalised document – which in the UK is apostilled – has no expiry date. Apostilles issued by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office only have a date of issue, hence they do not expire.

    However, there are some circumstances in which you may be requested to show a recent apostille – a criminal record check, for example. A potential employer may request an apostille that is less than three or six months old, due to the fact that the check on your criminal record needs to be recently issued. 

    Another document that requires an apostille to have been issued in the last three to six months is the certificate of no impediment, which relates to marriage. It is often requested for weddings in Italy and Greece to prove that there is nothing preventing you from getting legally married.

    Do I require legalized translation services?

    Different countries have different requirements, so it depends on which country your translation is intended for. Some institutions overseas may need a sworn translation, which requires a professional, qualified translator who has been officially appointed by the country in which your document will be used. 

    UK documents sometimes need to be notarized and legalized by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in order for them to be accepted abroad.

    If you are not sure which type of documents you need, you should check the exact requirements of the authorities that are requesting the translation. This will help you avoid any unnecessary costs and complications when your documents are being processed.

    Who can certify a translation in the UK?

    Certified translations in the United Kingdom must be completed by official, certified translators. These qualified professionals should be members of the ITI, or employed by corporate ITI members such as translation companies. They can affix ITI Certification Seals to documents to prove that they have been completed by official translators, assuring authorities and government bodies that the translation is accurate and authentic. It is important to choose a certified translator to translate and certify the translations so that you know they will be accepted by official institutions.  

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    Are there documents that can’t be legally translated or certified?

    There are no documents that cannot be legally translated or certified. If it is an important document used by government bodies and other official institutions, it must be translated in order to be understood by officials in other countries. The level of translation required differs: some documents may only require standard certification, while others may require legalisation and an apostille.

    What are the best legalized translation services near me?

    We offer legalized translation services in London and around the world. Finding translation services near you is not actually necessary these days as it can all be done online.
    We have a network of professional translators based all over the globe, as well as a team of notarisation and legalisation partners in several different countries, so we can help no matter where you live, with whatever you need translating. 

    Where can I get an official translation for my document?

    If you need an official translation of your document, you should contact an accredited translation agency. Accredited services can assure that your translated document will be accepted for whatever official or legal purpose you need it, as many institutions require legal translations in order to process your request.