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Process of obtaining US Department of State Apostille or Federal Apostille

US birth certificate apostille

For all Federal issued documents that you are submitting to foreign country, you need an Apostille from the Federal Government. Federal Issued documents will be verified by the USDOS before Putting Certifying the document with Apostille.

What is Apostille Attestation?

Apostille is a certificate issued by the US Department of state for all Federal issued documents. Any Document that has Apostille is considered as a genuine, Document and it is verified by the Authorities for its authenticity, Originality and correctness. Documents with Apostille are considered as a Legal document in all 117 Hague Nations.

Hague Nations are the Group of Nations that have come together to make the attestation process easier by reducing the steps involved in legalizing the document. According to the Hague Apostille Convention any US document, if it has an Apostille certificate will be accepted as a genuine document in All Hague member nations.

Apostille prevents fraudulent documents submission to foreign countries and increases trust among the Hague nation countries.

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

What is Legalization

Legalization is a Broader term it simply means to Make any document legal for international use. Legalization is a process of making documents legal for Hague as well as countries that are outside Hague convention. 

Legalization process for Hague countries is known as Apostille 

Legalization process for Non hague countries is known as Embassy Attestation 

The Apostille process is a lot easier than Embassy Attestation.

Below are the Documents that come under USDOS 

FBI Background check

U.S. Federal Court Documents

U.S. Bankruptcy Court

Petition for Name Change
Certificate of Naturalization

Certification of Documents – Form G-24

Certification of Nonexistence of Record

There are mainly 2 organizations that have authority to issue Apostille in US 

  1. Secretary of State – SOS
  2. US department of State – USDOS – Federal 

Depending on which Department issued the document the apostille will be done by that department.

Since the above documents are issued by the Federal government, apostille will be done by the US department of State Hence the name SOS apostille or state apostille or secretariat of state apostille.

Process of getting Secretariat of state apostille

There are 2 ways you can get apostille on the Federal issued document 

  1. Apostille on the original Federal issued document 
  2. Apostille on the Photocopy of the Document

Below are the steps for Apostille on the Original State issued document

  • You need to submit original Federal  issued document 
  • US department of State will check the details for correctness and if the corresponding entry is available in the registrar for the document then the document will be moved further to USDOS attestation department 
  • Attestation department will verify the documents and finally provide the USDOS Apostille on the document.

Below are the steps for apostille on Notary Attested Federal issued document

  • Present the photocopy of the original document along with the original document to Notary Public 
  • Notary Public will cross verify both the original and photocopy if both found to be correct Notary attestation will be provided 
  • Submit the Notary Attested copy to the State Secretariat office since notary attested document comes under state department 
  • State secretariat will apostille the photocopy on the basis of notary public attestation 

Most Hague countries Accept both types of Apostille but however some countries mandate Apostille on the original document hence it is always advisable to verify with the authorities to whom you are submitting the document, whether they accept photocopy attested documents or not. 

If you are Submitting any federal issued documents to countries other than that are mentioned in Hague nation list then the process is different and more complicated than that of Hague country apostille

Below are the Process of attesting Federal issued documents for Non Hague Countries also known as Embassy Attestation

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

Step 2 – Apostille by state ( Only for Notary attested documents)

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 Marriage certificates.in this case you can skip the Step 3 USDOS Federal authentication this will save valuable time and cost.

This complete process of 4 steps is called the full legalization process. This will take 8-12 weeks and the cost verified depending on the document, state attestation, federal attestation and embassy time. Please check with Apostille experts for suggestions.

Apostille is a little complicated process and requires thorough knowledge about the complete process in order to suggest the best route to get apostille quickly. Speak to us or start the application form we will guide you throughout the apostille process.

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Frequently asked questions

You have to have original document to get apostille.
you can get apostille on photocopy through notary attestation 

Below are the steps in Getting the apostille for US birth certificate

  1. Fill the Apostille Application form
  2. Courier the original document or submit online document.
  3. Get the apostille from US state government.
  4. Make the payment for the service.
  5. Provide the courier address.
  6. Get the document delivered to home.

To get apostille on any US document you must submit the original document along with any Government ID scan copy as a suppoting document 

Yes, if you are using US birth certificate for any official purpose outside United states of America then you need to get apostille to US birth certificate.