A legalisation is when one or multiple government bodies authenticate a document, stating that they believe the document is legitimate, valid and the contents on the document to be real.
The process was established with the formation of the Hague convention, which is an understanding between countries that a document can be apostilled. In the case of documents administered in the United Kingdom, they are sent for apostille at the FCO in London. Prior to this most documents (see below) would need to either stamped by a solicitor or by a public notary.
When a document has been apostilled by the FCO or typically a ministry of Foreign Affairs, then the document can be used as a legal document in another country which is also a member of the Hague convention.
Saudi Arabia Legalisation Rules
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is not a member of the Hague convention of countries, therefore, for foreign documents to be used for visa, employment, registration, contractual or other reasons in Saudi Arabia, all documents will need to be legalised by the Saudi Arabia embassy in London first. For the Saudi embassy to legalise the document however, different documents will require implementation of steps beforehand. The nature of your reason for legalisation will also determine what will be needed.
How the Saudi Arabia Document Legalisation Process works:
1. Firstly we advise all clients to contact us with your query, document type, requirement of the document, where it will be used, and who will request it. This is important especially if you are applying for a Saudi Arabian work visa, Saudi Arabian family visit visa, Saudi Arabian tourist, Saudi business visa with our company as legalised documents might be needed to support your application.
2. Once we have received your request, we will advise on whether it will need a a) solicitor stamp, b)Apostille c) Cultural bureau verification to get the KSA legalisation of the document.
3. We will advise the cost and fee of the legalisation, and whether we need a copy which can be emailed that can be printed out (eg for documents that are already publicly available such as a companies house certificate) or if you need to send us the original document.
4. You then complete the order form for payment, and then send us the documents accordingly.
5. Once received we shall undertake the necessary steps to legalise your documents, and upon completion, return them back to you.
Please see our Saudi Arabia legalisation fees page for more information on costings.
Saudi Arabia Legalisation Requirements Per Document
These are first required to be verified by the Saudi Arabian Cultural Bureau in London, where they will contact the certificate issuers to confirm the content and details on the certificate/letter etc. Documents from exam providers, universities, schools, colleges, professional bodies such as the GMC, ACCA, etc will need to be attested first by the SACB.
Once the SACB has verified the document (time frame is typically 2 weeks to 2 months), this will then be stamped by a solicitor to confirm the SACB verification before being legalised by the Saudi Embassy in London where they will stamp its authentication.
Letters from Official Providers
If an applicant has a letter from an official body, for example the NHS, a University and so forth, then this will also need to be verified by the SACB who will contact the main issuing body and confirm the authenticity of the letter before they will authorise it.
Once SACB authenticated, the letter will then need to be apostilled before being attested at the Saudi Embassy. Please note that the requirements might vary, and different countries might have their own variations of the SACB, we advise applicants to contact the Saudi embassy in their country, we have a list of KSA Saudi embassies which you can see from our directory. The information above is accurate for documents to be ratified in London.
Documents requiring SACB Verification and FCO Apostille before Saudi Arabia Legalisation
- Degree documents, including bachelors, masters and diploma certificates.
- GCSE certificates along with the expired CSE and O Level certificates
- Any Professional Qualifications
- Training Certificates
- Transcription documents
- Letters from all professional bodies
Documents requiring FCO Apostille only for Saudi Legalisation in London
- Corporate documents such as Incorporation Certificate,
- Shareholder certificates,
- Appointment reports,
- Memorandum and articles of associations,
- Companies house certificates,
- Minutes and resolutions,
- Patent certificates,
- HMRC letters,
- No impediment certificate, Decree nisi
- Police reports in the form of ACRO, CRB, ACPO and police letters,
- Court documents,
- Other Solicitor or notarised documents.
Saudi Arabian Medical Reports
If you are intending to apply for a Saudi Arabia Work visa, then you will need to book an appointment at an approved clinic to undertake the medical where a visa medical form from the embassy is utilised. This Saudi visa medical needs to be solicitor certified and then FCO Apostille before it will be accepted by the Saudi embassy for legalisation.
Saudi Arabia Work Visa Application
For applicants for a Saudi Arabia work visa, please see our dedicated requirements page which will show the large list of documents (contracts, identity documents etc along with the Saudi visa medical) requiring the apostille from the FCO and also verification by the Saudi Arabian Cultural Bureau.
For any immediate queries, please email us firstname.lastname@example.org where one of our consultants shall aim to assist as soon as possible.