US Department of State Apostille and Authentication Process
Keys to Understanding the US Department of State Apostille and Authentication Process
Anytime you need to travel abroad or need to submit official documents in a foreign country to verify your identity or conduct international business, one of the most time consuming processes includes US Department of State Apostille and Authentication for documents. Complying to standards set forth by The Hague Convention of 1961 for Apostille document verification and Department of State Authentication verification, visitors to these subscribing nations may need documents certified through the US Department of State, taking several days and costing a lot of time and money.
However, there are often many questions that people have about the Apostille and Authentication process, which countries require certain verification and how long the process can take. In order to clear up any confusion, here are a few important details about this process and how to efficiently get all documents verified.
What Type of Official Documents Need to have Apostille Verification?
According to stipulations set forth by The Hague Convention in 1961, documents which require Department of State Apostille service certification or Secretary of State certification include any public documents which fall under the following categories:
- Any document which is filed by any court, public prosecutor, clerk of any court (local, county, and state, federal) or process server.
- Any administrative documents filed by government or public companies or notarial acts
- Any official certificate which is placed on a document
- Examples of these types of certificates include a death or birth certificate, marriage license, divorce decree, school transcript/degrees or diplomas.
What is the Difference between an Apostille and Authentication for Documents?
There is a detailed list of countries that fall under the Apostille process which was established by the Hague Convention. Currently there are 97 countries that require this process be adhered to with all official documents including birth or marriage certificates, school transcripts, court documents or divorce decrees and other local, state or federal court issued documents.
The Department of State Authentication process for non-Apostille countries is conducted by the US Department of State as well. There are 81 countries that do not subscribe to the Hague Convention, but still need to have official documents verified in order to be used in those countries. The process is similar to obtaining an Apostille, however it requires the additional Embassy Legalization by the Embassy of the country in which the document is to be presented. US Authentication Services takes care of the Embassy legalization step for your documents.
What other type of Documents need to be Apostilled or Authenticated?
Besides the list above, there are other important documents which need to go through the Apostille or Authentication process by the US Department of State which include:
- Power of Attorney: this is vital if you are acting as an authorized agent on behalf of another party in foreign business
- Commercial documentation: this includes any partnership agreements, Incorporation documentation, Articles of Association, Corporate meeting minutes or other corporate or commercial documents used for international business
- Any Documents issued by US Federal Government agencies including the FBI, Department of State, and any FBI Fingerprint Clearance or Police Clearance certificates
- Educational credentials such as university diplomas, transcripts, high school diplomas, letters of work experience, etc
- Vital documents such as birth, marriage or divorce certificates or required to establish proof of identity, marriage or birth
There are many documents that require some sort of certification by the US Department of State and most people simply don’t have the time or money to travel to Washington DC to complete this process. This is where a reliable business like ours provides efficient document verification services for both individuals and corporate organizations.