Whether you are relocating to another country, or traveling abroad for vacation, going on an official business trip, you will need a variety of documents to verify personal and professional details about yourself. While in the United States department-issued documents and notarized copies are automatically considered official, the same does not apply for when you present the documents outside of the country. In these situations you need to further verify the authenticity of the documents in order for them to be considered authentic and acceptable, which is where Apostille service in Washington DC comes in.
Use these frequently asked questions to help you better understand the purpose of Apostille, documents that require this form of authentication, and the countries where Apostille is accepted as a form of verification.
What is Apostille?
The word "Aspostille" comes from a French word that means "certification". This term is used to mean the process by which documents are legalized for international use. This process came under use after the 1961 Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents. During this convention countries agreed to accept documents using the Apostille.
What is the purpose of an Apostille?
An Apostille Certificate is a seal of authenticity that verifies the document was properly drawn up and obtained. This legalization makes it so that the documents will automatically be accepted in any of the other countries included in the agreement without the need for you to go through other processes to verify your documents. The purpose of the Apostille is to demonstrate authenticity in one simple way in order to make legal and business transactions in foreign countries smoother and easier.
When is an Apostille needed?
Apostille certificates are not needed in all situations. Generally this form of legalization is only needed in circumstances involving business dealings, real estate transactions, settling of the estate of a deceased person, or academic purposes. Documents requiring this type of legalization are often the same types of documents that require notarization in the United States.
What types of documents require an Apostille?
The documents requiring an Apostille vary depending on the country and the situation, but some of the most common documents include birth certificates, marriage certificates, Powers of Attorney, death certificates, passports, transcripts, and wills.
Do all countries accept an Apostille?
Not all countries accept Apostille Certificates as a form of official certification. Countries that were not members of the Hague Convention or who did not agree to the terms of the convention are not party to the Apostille and therefore require other forms of legalization. For example, when attempting to obtain Apostille, Philippines is not a country you could use this type of verification in for your documents. Instead, you would need to obtain Embassy Legalization.
Are all Apostilles the same?
There are different types of Apostille and these must be obtained in different ways to ensure their authenticity. For example, a State Department Apostille is required for documents issued by U.S. Federal agencies such as naturalization documents, Certificates of Free Sale, background checks, and IRS documents. Trust us to not only help you determine which type of Apostille is appropriate for your needs, but also to go through all of the steps of the process for you so that you get your Apostille as quickly and easily as possible.
Get in touch with us to discuss your travel and let us help you organize your documentation so you do not encounter stressful and frustrating delays.