We thought we’d spend time in our blog this week discussing all the advice and tips we’ve put together based on our experiences with Apostilles and Document Legalization. We recommend following our easy 4 steps below to ensure a successful process for your documents.
- Figure out if you need an apostille. The tricky thing about this is not all documents need an Apostille but if you request an Apostille, they will give you one regardless of if you actually need one for your specific situation. All of this depends on what country the documents are for. Check out our blog on this topic to learn more.
- Avoid last minute requests. We often have customers that reach out to us in a real time crunch when it comes to legalizing their documents or getting an Apostille. Unfortunately, this can make the process MUCH more stressful because processing the documents from the secretary of state or state department is not always quick. We recommend using a professional service like Washington Express Visas if you find yourself in a bind like this.
- Understand Country Status & Research Requirements. The majority of this goes back to our #1 piece of advice about understanding whether you need an Apostille or not. This all comes back to whether the country you need the documents for a part of the Hague Convention of 1961. Given that not all countries are part of the Hague Convention Agreement, not all countries have the same process and requirements for their documents. Apostille countries will go by the same requirements but countries not part of the Hague Convention Agreement will have different guidelines that are different for each of those countries.
- Identify Fee and Payment Options. All of these will depend on the above because the forms and fees are based on what type of document you are getting legalized or apostilled. We recommend making sure you’ve identified the correct fee based on the destination country and document type. Keep in mind that you will may need a money order or cashier’s check for certain embassies. Important to look in to this for your document(s)! Unfortunately, some of the process such as requirements and fees can change based on the embassies so important that you stay up to date.
Washington Express is more than happy to help with the process of apostille or authentication. Contact us today for a consultation!