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Process of Getting apostille for USA Certificates / Documents in India

US birth certificate apostille

Apostille is required for all US issued documents such as US Birth Certificate, US Marriage Certificate, US POA, FBI Background Check, US Passport Etc that are being used in India. Apostille is mandatory if you are using any US issued documents in India or anywhere outside the US.

What is Apostille ?

Apostille is a process of verifying any US document for its Authenticity, Originality and correctness. Apostille is a certificate issued by the secretary of state or by the USDOS ( US department of state ) also known as the Federal government. 

Any US document that has an Apostille is accepted as a legal document in all 117 Hague nations including India.
Here is the list of Hague Nations 

Note – If you are using a US document outside hague nation countries you need to get extra verifications from other departments in the US Read on to know more.

Why do we need to get Apostille on US certificates ?

Any US issued document that is being used in India needs to get an Apostille Attestation. Document that needs an Apostille depends on the use case.

4 Easy steps to get US Apostille on the documents

  1. Register on Apostille Portal 
  2. Collect certificates that need US Apostille
  3. Deposit the photocopies / original certificates
  4. Receive Documents with Apostille directly at your doorstep

For Overseas citizen of India OCI Application

Anyone who is applying for OCI needs to get an Apostille for relevant documents. Documents that are needed for OCI depend of the application Basis 

  1. Applying on the basis of Parents holding Indian OCI

You need to submit US birth certificate with apostille as a proof of birth and parent child relation 

  1. Applying on the basis of Marriage 

You need to submit a US marriage certificate with an apostille to obtain OCI. Any one partner must hold an OCI or Indian  passport.

If you are born or Married in the US and travelling to a different Hague nation from India you must get an apostille for Above mentioned documents.

To obtain Indian Dependent Visa for your Family

Anyone from USA applying for Indian Visa under dependent category needs to get apostille for 

US birth Certificate of children and US Marriage Certificate for Spouse.

To Marry in India 

If you are trying to Marry in India you must obtain Apostille for single status certificate issued in India 

To Apply for work VISA 

You need to Obtain an Apostille for a US Degree certificate.

What is the process of getting an Apostille for a US document in India ?

Apostille for US issued documents can be done only in the USA. So any document that needs an apostille must be sent to the US. Only the Secretary of State ( SOS ) and US department of State has authority to apostille US documents.

Apostille by the Secretary of State ( SOS Apostille)

Document such as US Birth Certificate, US marriage Certificate, US Power of Attorney, US death Certificate, Etc comes Under State Jurisdiction, Hence Apostille will be done by the State Specifically by the  Secretary of State.

There are 2 ways in getting the Secretary of State Apostille on US documents 

  1. Apostille on Original US Certificates.
  2. Apostille on Notarized photocopy of US Certificates.

Original US document Apostille

The original documents are submitted to the state in which the documents were originally issued, Respective State Secretary will apostille the documents.
Example – California Birth certificate will be apostilled by the California Secretary of State.

Before putting an apostille on the document SOS will verify all the details in the documents.

Once the details in the documents are found to be correct then the SOS will Apostille the documents.

If you don’t have the original document you can request the state government to issue you a new Document.such as Birth, death, Marriage certificates

Apostille on Notarized copy of US Documents

You have the option to obtain an apostille on a notarized copy of the US document or certificate. A competent notary authority in the state will perform the notarization, verifying the details of the original document. Following the notary verification, a Notary Public will provide copy certification through document custodian certification. The photocopy will then be apostilled by the State Government.

Note – While many Hague nations accept apostilles on photocopies, some authorities may require the apostille to be on the original document. Therefore, it’s essential to confirm with the authorities to whom you’re submitting the apostilled document whether they accept photocopies for apostillation or insist on the original document.

USDOS Apostille ( US Department of State ) or Federal apostille

Documents like FBI Background Verification and other federally issued documents require apostillation by the federal government. The U.S. Department of State (USDOS) requires the original documents to issue an apostille certificate. To obtain an apostille, you must send the documents through a courier service.

Below are the Steps Involved in Getting Apostille on the US Document

Step 1 – Obtaining Original Document / Photocopy

Step 2 – Courier the Original Document US State Secretary Office Or USDOS ( Not needed for Photocopy Apostille )

Step 3 – Get Apostille by the State Secretary or USDOS

Step 4 – Get Documents couriered back to you

How Much Time will it take to get an Apostille on a US Document / Certificate?

The time it takes to get an apostille for a US document depends on the state’s government and whether Apostille is needed for the original or a photocopy. Some states have faster processes, offering same-day or 3-4 day apostille services. If you’re unsure whether your document qualifies for an expedited process, contact apostille experts for assistance.

How much does it cost for Apostille ?

Like time, the cost also depends on the state in which the document is issued. And whether you need expedited service or not. Check here for the cost details for each state. 

US Document Legalization process for non Hague countries

For Non Hague countries you need embassy attestation along with the apostille on the document.

Below are the processes required to get embassy attestation for US Document

Step 1 – Notary attestation ( for photocopy documents only, original documents no need to go through this Attestation)

Step 2 – Apostille by state ( the state in which the document is issued will provide the state apostille on the document 

Step 3 – Authentication by the USDOS ( US department of state or federal government) also called as federal attestation

Step 4 – Embassy attestation – After all the above attestations are done, the document is submitted to the embassy of the target country and embassy attestation is obtained.

Note – In case of the Photocopy attestation Notary public attestation is mandatory for the photocopy some countries accept photocopy for embassy attestation check with the expert for the information.

For Federal documents you don’t need a State Apostille so you can skip step 2 for federal issued documents.

Suggestion – Some countries’ embassies accept direct submission after state apostille( Step 2)  for state issued documents such as US Birth certificates.in this case you can skip the Step 3 USDOS Federal authentication this will save valuable time and cost.

The complete process with 4 steps is known as full legalization, and it usually takes 8-12 weeks. The cost depends on factors like the type of document, state attestation, federal attestation, and embassy processing time. For the best advice, check with experts in apostille services.

Navigating the apostille process can be intricate, demanding a comprehensive understanding to recommend the most efficient route for a swift apostille. Connect with us or initiate the application form, and we’ll provide guidance every step of the way throughout the apostille process.


Do US documents need to be apostilled?

Yes, if you intend to use any U.S. documents outside of the United States, it is necessary to obtain an Apostille for those documents. Similarly, if you plan to use foreign documents within the United States, you also need to acquire an Apostille for those documents from their respective home country.

How do I get a document apostilled in the US?

The U.S. Apostille is granted by two governmental bodies: 1) the State Secretary for documents issued by the state, and 2) the U.S. Department of State (USDOS) for documents issued by the federal government. If the document originates from a state, the Apostille process is handled by the State Secretary (SOS), while documents issued by the federal government undergo Apostille through the USDOS.

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