The question for this week is, “Do my legal documents require U.S. Department of State and/or Embassy Consulate Legalization?”
Countries who are members of the Hague Apostille Convention rarely require Embassy or Consulate Legalization. The only exception to this rule is for certain documents going to India, Ecuador, Italy, and Spain.
We know from experience that a power of attorney notarized in California and destined for India will require Indian Embassy or Consulate legalization. The same is true for a Social Security Income and Benefits Statement (SSA) for Ecuador. Italy and Spain require certain documents to be legalized (Apostille FBI background check w/translation) to be submitted with additional paperwork to the local Consulate office. Keep in mind that some countries have several consulate offices throughout the United States. If you are planning to move, obtain dual citizenship, or study in Italy or Spain, you should contact the local Consulate for more information.
For all other documents destined for member countries, all you will need is the State apostille. For U.S. Federal Government documents, your document will need an apostille from the Secretary of D.C. or the U.S. Department of State. These documents include FBI background checks, Social Security documents, FDA, USDA, and other documents issued by the U.S. Federal Government.
For countries who are NOT members of the Hague Apostille Convention, there are additional authentication and legalization steps that must be completed before the country requesting your documents will accept them. For example, if you are planning to work in Dubai, the country of the United Arab Emirates will request your diploma to be authenticated by the State, U.S. Department of State, and the UAE Embassy in Washington, D.C. There are also additional requirements that must be met at the Embassy level. You may be asked to provide a copy of your passport, power of attorney letter, diploma accreditation certification, etc…
Some countries only require the State certification and Embassy/Consulate legalization. For example, Brazil, Chile, Guatemala, Indonesia, etc… do not require U.S. Department of State certification. For example, for the country of Brazil, they only require the State certification and Consulate legalization.
Before mailing in your documents, please call us for a good faith estimate and processing time. With office spanning six states and the District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.) we have the experience and knowledge to process your documents quickly saving you time and money.
This weekly apostille talk has been written by:
Richard M. Johnston, President
California Apostille services in San Francisco & Los Angeles
International Apostille Services, Inc. is the leader in document authentication services. We process documents from all 50 U.S. States including documents issued by the U.S. Federal Government. Our in-house California notary has at least 10 years of notary experience. Call us anytime from 8am to 7pm Monday through Saturday.
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