An international apostille is a form of authentication used to make a document eligible for recognition in particular countries.
International apostille is a common term nowadays, used when individuals or corporations are seeking to use a certain document in foreign countries for specific reasons. It could be for the purpose of using Certificate of Single Status in order to marry someone abroad, or if you have a business and would like to export products overseas.
Figure out more about what we mean by the term International Apostille
Whatever your purpose is, as long as you want to use your document abroad; then you will need to obtain International apostille attestation on your document in order to make it recognizable in a certain number of countries.
Several countries accept and recognize an international apostille seal is a unified form of authentication.
Which countries accept the international apostille seal?
Apostilled documents can be recognized in foreign countries that are members of the Hague Convention “Apostille Treaty” 1961. Other Non-Hague Convention participating countries may need another form of authentication called “Embassy legalization” Also known as authentication, or certification. See the difference between authentication and apostille.
Apostilles authenticate the seals and signatures of officials on public documents such as birth certificates, court orders, or any other documents issued by a certified American official.
Check out the Hague Convention Participating Countries.
How to obtain the international Apostille on your document?
Based on the type of your document, there are two entities able to authenticate international apostilles on your document. First, the Secretary of State, and second is the U.S. Department of State.
Secretaries of states have the authority to authenticate the below-mentioned document with the International Apostille:
- Court documents.
- Notarized documents by local Notary Public Like Power of Attorney, Affidavit
- Vital Records like Birth, Death, Marriage, and Divorce Certificate.
- Corporate documents like Agreements, Certificate of Formation.
US Department of State in Washington DC is the only designated authority to issue the Apostille stamp on documents issued by federal agencies in the United States such as:
- The Federal Drug and Food Administration (FDA).
- The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).
- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
- The Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
- The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
- The Homeland Security Agency.
- Social Security Agency
How to obtain an international apostille on your document from SOS?
Requirements to obtain an international apostille differ slightly according to your secretary of state whether for public personal documents for corporate document. For instance, California SOS might have different requirements compared to New York City SOS.
Even though there are slight differences as mentioned by the essential authentication requirements to obtain an international apostille on your document stays the same which go as follows:
- Obtain a full notarial statement written in English. The notarization must be original, and the document must be notarized before a commissioned notary public in your state.
Bear in mind, certificates issued by the government and certified by a state official such as court clerks, county clerks, or a state registrar and bear their signatures must not be notarized as long as they are original certified documents.
- Include a cover letter attached to your document that includes your name, address, telephone number …Etc. And name of the country where you want to use the document.
SOSs provide an international Apostille request form instead of writing the cover letter yourself.
- Include a self-addressed envelope for the return of your document.
- Include a money order or a check payable to your SOS.
Fees and processing times depend upon each SOS.
Requirements to obtain international apostilles from the U.S. Department of State
- For notaries public commissioned by the county. The document must be certified by a court clerk in the county the notary is commissioned, and then certified by the SOS in the state where the document was notarized
- For notaries public commissioned by the state, The document must be certified only by the SOS in the state where the document was notarized.
- All seals and signatures must be originals (true certified copies).
- Documents written in foreign languages must be translated into English by a certified translator.