Dealing with the process of getting an apostille or an embassy legalization may be overwhelming, like playing a costly game of chance where only one of the players knows the rules. When you are faced with getting an apostille requirement, it seems like a bureaucratic hassle designed to waste people’s time and money.
An apostille is an internationally recognized document (in most but not all countries) that verifies the authenticity of a government issued document. The word ‘apostille’ actually means ‘certification’ in French. An apostille or some other type of verification process is needed if you have a public document issued in the US, such as a birth certificate, marriage certificate, or court judgment, and you want that document to be recognized in another country. On the flip-side of that coin, foreign public documents are required an apostille in order to be recognized in the US.
A bureaucratic hassle?
In most cases, the honest truth of it is, ‘yes’. The good news is that it does not have to be. The apostille process is aggravating because, in essence, it is a certificate that verifies the authenticity of another certificate. For example, if you lost your birth certificate and need a new one, you will need the county clerk in the county in which you were born to issue a document called ‘Certificate of Live Birth’. The birth certificate will bear the signature and seal of the county clerk. It will look indisputably official, because it is.
US, the Secretary of State in the state in which you were born, is responsible for issuing apostilles for birth certificates. You must send the birth certificate to the Secretary of State with the required fee, and they will return it to you about two weeks with an apostille attached bearing the signature and seal of the Secretary of State. The apostille authenticates the signature and seal of the county clerk that issued the birth certificate.
But it’s not just with birth certificates. Any number of documents – marriage licenses, divorce certificates, death certificates, college or university transcripts, records of military service, trade or technical certificates, documents verifying previous employment, and even proof of citizenship or a green card.
But fear not, the process can be annoying, but there are people out there who can help take the hassle out of getting the apostille you need. Contact Apostille World for apostilles, embassy legalization, notary public and everything in between.