Categories
News

Do You Need An Apostille?

Do you need an apostille? This can be a very tricky question! It is not always straightforward and based on different requirements in different countries, whether or not you need an apostille will vary. One important thing to remember is even if you do not need an apostille based on your documents, if you request one from the regulatory agency, they will give you one! They do not check whether it’s required based on your request that’s why it’s important to understand the guidelines as well as engage a service like Washington Express Visas to make sure you have everything you need and are not wasting time, money or energy. 

 It is important to understand the definition of apostille and the 1961 Hague Convention to know whether or not you need an apostille for your document. An apostille is a certificate that authenticates the origin of a public document. And all countries that signed on to the 1961 Hague Convention agreed to accept an “apostilled” document from other countries part of the Hague Convention. Therefore, if you need to use a non-federal document in a Hague Country, you are able to use the apostille certification process. 

 As part of the apostille  process you will need to work with your state’s Secretary of State if they are non-federal documents and if they are federal documents you will work with the U.S. Department of State. This process can be made easy by Washington Express Visas. Contact us directly for more information!

 So now back to our original question…do you need an apostille? Well the answer to that goes back to the Hague Convention of 1961. If you are sending documents to a country part of the Hague Convention, then the answer is yes! You will need to apostille your document. However, if you are sending documents to a country that is NOT part of the Hague Convention…then you do NOT need an apostille. Instead you need to authenticate your document(s). The process of authentication looks very similar to apostille but is not actually the same. For authenticated documents for countries not part of the Hague Convention, you must first send your document to the Secretary of State before it gets authenticated by the U.S. State Department. Again, keep in mind that if you are not aware of the difference in this process and you send your documents to the Secretary of State and ask for an apostille, they will give that to you! Regardless of if your documents are for a country not part of the Hague Convention of 1961. 

 Washington Express is more than happy to help with the process of apostille or authentication. Contact us today for a consultation! 

Categories
News

Common Documents For Legalization

There are many different types of documents out there that have parameters around certifications and apostilles. It is important you do your research to understand what type of documentation you will need and what the apostille process looks like based on the documents you needs.

Marriage Certificates: These documents will need to be apostilled to be accepted overseas. Washington Express Visas can help you with that service. We are able to support you in apostille service for marriage certificates in all 50 states of the United States. It is important that you have a certified copy from the state you were married in before trying to get this apostilled. There are many reasons why someone may need to have their marriage certificate apostilled, including applying for dual citizenship, divorce or death of a spouse, or requirements of a new employer.

International Student Documents: It is important that international students have all their documents organized and apostilled when planning to go to a school internationally. We recognize there is a lot going on when students are making this transition to a new country for school, however, the paperwork cannot be overlooked. When going through the admission process as well as the graduation process, international students need to get documents such as transcripts and diplomas certified through the apostille process. This is important to make sure these documents are recognized in the country they are returning to or moving to. The great news is that getting these documents apostilled will ensure they are recognized internationally. Washington Express Visas can help with this process that is often difficult for students who don’t speak the language of the country they are applying to. It is also important to remember that different countries have different processes for this.

Corporate Documents for doing Business Abroad: While this process may seem simple for companies, it is actually incredibly complicated. Companies that are doing business in other countries will often need to get many documents apostilled to authenticate the documents they are using. This will ensure their documents are accepted overseas. It is important for companies to do their research or partner with a service like Washington Express Visas to know which documents need to be apostilled. These types of documents are often items like powers of attorney, contracts, letters of incorporation, etc. It is also important companies are checking with which country they are doing business in to ensure they know that process for that particular country as it can vary country by country.

Washington Express Visas is here for all your apostille service needs. We would love to help you through this process! Reach out to us today at 202-393-3030.

 

Categories
News

Does An Apostille Expire?

We often receive questions about whether apostilles expire after a certain amount of time. We thought it would be beneficial to first explain what an apostille means before defining expiration requirements. Apostille means to certify or authenticate a document. It aims to simplify the legalization of documents to verify their authenticity in order to be valid internationally.

If you have questions around what type of apostille you need, please check out our blog.

The short answer to the question “does an apostille expire?” is no. An apostille does not have an expiration date. However, there are some additional details you must know about this question. Please keep in mind, in order to follow these guidelines, the countries you are using your apostille for must be part of the Hague Apostille Convention. The countries part of the Hague Apostille Convention may request your documents be recently issued with an apostille. For example, they may request it was issued in the past 30 to 90 days which is why you need more detail even though technically an apostille does not expire.

Our best advice is to make sure you are always checking with the country that is requesting these documents and their apostille process. It is important you know exactly how recent that country requires the apostille to have been issued. Make sure to do this before you mail your documents in to be processed. We often hear that background checks have the most restrictions when it comes to how recent the apostille service has been completed.

Also, please keep in mind that some states also have restrictions around this in addition to countries having guidelines around this. It is important that you recognize all these limitations when thinking through the apostille service.

Washington Express Visas is here for all your apostille service needs. We would love to help you through this process! Reach out to us today at 202-393-3030.

Categories
News

Office of Authentications

Washington Express Visas provides prompt and reliable document legalization, authentication and certification services.  We will have one of our specially trained document legalization agents hand-carry your legal documents to the DC Notary & Authentication office (if required), the State Department Authentication office and then to the appropriate Embassy.

One of the big questions we receive is “do my documents need to go through the Office of Authentication?” The great news about Washington Express Visas will take all of this off your plate and process these documents for you. Typically the processing time for the Office of Authentication takes 4 business days plus FedEx overnight return shipping at no additional cost.

The fastest way to process your documents through the Office of Authentications – US Department of State is to contact Washington Express Visas.  The U.S. Department of State’s Office of Authentications issues both apostilles and authentication certificates. If you need U.S. Department of State documents to be authenticated, please refer to the Office of Vital Records.

In accordance with 22 CFR, Part 131, the Office of Authentications provides signed certificates of authenticity for a variety of documents to individuals, institutions, and government agencies. Examples of documents that may require authentication for use abroad include:

–          Powers of attorney

–          Diplomas

–          Treaties

–          Warrants

Washington Express Visas will have your documents processed accurately, quickly, and for a price far less than other visa or document services. We also offer same day pick-up and delivery to and from your DC office.  The document legalization process can be confusing and frustrating and we’re here to make that process easier and faster as well. Washington Express Visas will save you time and provide peace of mind by staying in contact with you to let you know the status of any item you have in process with us and will notify you of any issues or delays.

Washington Express Visas offers same day pick-up and expedited service for your document legalization and authentication needs.  We ensure that your documents are processed properly and efficiently, and for an affordable price.  Click here to see our rate schedule for prices.  The Document Legalization process can be confusing and frustrating, so we’re here to make that process easier and faster, to help relieve that burden.   Washington Express Visas can save you time and provide peace of mind by staying in constant contact and letting you know immediately of any problems or delays.

Need a document authenticated for one of these common countries? See our country specific pages for the procedures to follow for these Embassies. 

Categories
News

How To Know Which Type of Apostille You Need

It can be difficult to navigate which type of Apostille is the right one to use. For those who do not know what or why an Apostille would be used…an Apostille is a form of authentication issued to documents for use in countries that participated in The Hague Convention Treaty of 1961. The Apostille seals and signatures on public documents makes sure they can be recognized in other foreign countries that are also members of the Treaty.

For Non-Federal documents, each individual secretary of state for each respective state has the responsibility of issuing the correct seal. For Federal documents, those Apostille seals need to be issued from the Department of State. It can be complex to figure out whether you need the Apostille seal from the Department of State or if it needs to come from the offices of the secretary of state from an individual state.

Washington Express Visas can be helpful in navigating this process and figuring out the type of Apostille you will need dependent upon your need. The types of documents that require an Apostille from the US Department of State are:

  • Naturalization Certificates
  • FBI Background Checks
  • INS Documents
  • IRS Documents
  • Certificates to Foreign Government

Our services at Washington Express Visas are incredibly valuable as it relates to this process because getting an Apostille from the US Department of State can take lots of time and money. The processing can take up to 3 business days and that is if you are able to be there in person. If you need to travel in, you will need to be able to stay in the area for when your documents are ready for pick up. Expedited process can happen for emergency situations but often require an appointment to be made in advance. The best way to understand processing timeframes is to check with the Office of Authentications in advance. Mailing them in can be even more complicated and lengthen the processing time significantly. There is also not a good system to know exactly where to mail them which is why we would recommend taking advantage of our services. Our professionals will make sure to submit your request in person to the correct office which will expedite your Apostille services.

Categories
News

Embassy Document Services

We understand that navigating different Embassies can be difficult especially because not all of the Embassies have the same guidelines. Sometimes you need your documents processed in a hurry but don’t’ have the time to do it. Washington Express Visas is here to help!

With Washington Express Visas expedited visa and passport services, our professional visa and passport services staff will have one of our specially trained visa agents take your visa and passport processing documents to the appropriate Embassy or agency and get your documents processed properly for less than traditional visa and passport processing services charge.  Click here to see our rate schedule for prices.  Your documents can be picked up and returned directly to your office, or you can send them to Washington Express Visas via FedEx or UPS.

Curious what Washington Express Visas has to its advantage?

  • Washington, DC based.
  • We are an SSP (Single Source Provider) – Tracking capabilities and technologies that integrate our services.
  • Agent Expertise with the Embassies and Department of State.
  • Experience – 30 years’ experience in Washington, DC.
  • We provide all cash and other fees up front for you so there are no delays in processing.

Our service fees include: application verification, processing & filing. We provide this service so that you can make sure that your application is complete and accurate before it gets submitted for approval. It is not a requirement to process your applications through us. Washington Express Visas is an experienced visa & document processing provider. We can help you complete your application timely and accurately in order to avoid delays. We can also file & process your application for you for a fee.

For more information on our Visa and Passport Processing services and Document Legalization, please call our visa service specialist at 202-393-3030 or 877-675-5571 or visas@washingtonexpressvisas.com.

Check out our video to learn even more about our services!

Categories
News

Time to Authenticate Your Documents

Documentation has become an important aspect of everyday life as people become more mobile across countries. If you are only traveling within the United States you likely will not have to deal with getting your documents authenticated. However, if you are traveling outside of the United States and you are intending to use your documents, you need to get your documents authenticated! We often hear that this process can be headache inducing and that is what Washington Express Visas is here for. We want to make this process as easy as possible for you.

Here are our tips and recommendations when it comes to authenticating your documents.

1.Don’t wait until the last minute! It is critical that you have as much time as possible so that there is no chance your trip will be delayed based on obstacles that might come up.

2. Make sure you know what’s required for authenticating your documents in the country you are traveling to. Not all countries have the same requirements. For example, there are differences in what the State Department needs to authenticate versus what Embassy legalization might require.

3. Reach out for help! This process is complicated and complex. At Washington Express Visas, we have people who specialize in the authenticating document process so please connect with us at your earliest convenience!

4. Figure out if you need to authenticate your documents…or not! A few examples of the types of activities you will need to authenticate your document are:

  • If you are relocating to another country for temporary or permanent residence
  • If you need to verify your role as Power of Attorney while in another country
  •  If you plan on teaching English as a second language in a foreign school
  •  If you are planning on marrying in another country and need to show your birth certificate or the birth certificates of your children for visa and residence purposes.

We recognize that authenticating your documents can be arduous and we are here to help! We would hate for you to miss a trip or have to delay your move to another country because you did not authenticate your documents. We want to make the process easier and faster for you.

If you would like to learn more about our authentication and apostille services, call us at 877-675-5571. Please also feel free to contact us for a quote! We would love to help you prepare for your trip and make sure your documents are all set before you leave.

Categories
News

How To Legalize A Document

Ever wonder if that document you have needs to be legalized? Well, our first recommendation is to check if you need a “legalized document” and if the answer is yes, our second recommendation is to come to Washington Express Visas! The document legalization process can be confusing and frustrating and we’re here to make that process easier and faster as well. Washington Express Visas will save you time and provide peace of mind by staying in contact with you to let you know the status of any item you have in process with us and will notify you of any issues or delays.

Washington Express Visas provides prompt and reliable document legalization, authentication and certification services.  We will have one of our specially trained document legalization agents hand-carry your legal documents to the DC Notary & Authentication office (if required), the State Department Authentication office and then to the appropriate Embassy. We will have your documents processed accurately, quickly and for a price far less than other visa or document services. We also offer same day pick-up and delivery to and from your DC office.

Here is a basic overview of the Document Legalization process:

  • Legal documents intended for use in a country which is a member of the Hague Convention require an Apostille, which is Notarization and then State Secretary of State Certification.
  • Legal documents intended for use in a country which is not a member of the Hague convention require a Full Legalization (also known as Chain Authentication or Consularization), which is Notarization, State Secretary of State Certification, Federal Authentication, and then Embassy Legalization.

Washington Express Visas offers same day pick-up and expedited service for your document legalization and authentication needs.  We ensure that your documents are processed properly and efficiently, and for an affordable price.  Click here to see our rate schedule for prices.

If you are interested in legalizing your document(s), please complete the attached request form and credit card authorization form (if paying by credit card) and send along with your document to Washington Express Visas and Document Legalization.

In order to obtain legalization, we will need the original document. This needs to be a signed-and-notarized or a State-issued Document.

The Legalization processing time at the Embassies varies, but usually takes about 3 – 5 business days.

Documents requiring legalization will be processed through the appropriate Embassy consular office. In order for the document to be recognized by the Embassy, it first needs to be certified by the U.S. State Department. As part of our service, we can take your documents to the U.S. State Department and also advise you on their exact requirements before they will place their seal.

Categories
News

China Visa Services

Having trouble finding a way to get your visa ready for a trip to China? Need your visa in a hurry? Look no further! Washington Express Visas provides expedited China visa services to the Chinese Embassy.

Washington Express Visas offers same day pick-up and prompt, reliable China visa services. When others tell you it will take weeks to get your visa, call us and we can do it in mere days. We will walk you through the process step-by-step and immediately notify you if any problems or delays occur. Your documents can be picked up and returned directly to your office, or you can send them to us via FedEx, UPS, etc. to our Processing Office.

Please keep in mind there are different parameters for U.S. citizens applying for a Chinese visa than former citizens of Chinese. Make sure you read through all requirements and bring all necessary materials. We would hate for you to make a waste of trip! There is also critical health information to read through before traveling to China for extended periods of time. While there may be no vaccinations required to enter China there are many vaccinations that are recommended when traveling there.

Too busy to fill out the paperwork yourself? Would you rather one of our experts complete your application on your behalf and all you need to do is sign it? Ask about our All-Inclusive China Visa submission services today!

Before heading over to the Embassy to process your documents, make sure to check the times and fees associated with doing it yourself. To that end, if you are interested in leveraging Washington Express Visas for our expertise on this subject, please also check our website for our fees for this service.

Washington Express Visas is an experienced visa & document processing provider. We can help you complete your application timely and accurately in order to avoid delays. We can also file & process your application for you for a fee. Contact us today!

Categories
News

Looking for an Apostille Service?

It’s no surprise that Apostille Services have become more abundant in our current society given how many Americans are moving to other countries. It used to be rare that you would find an American pack up their life and move to a different country and now it is very common. Being born in the United States no longer means that you are likely to spend your whole life here and often Americans are moving to other countries for job opportunities. Other reasons you may need Apostille Service is because Americans are traveling to adopt a child or have planned extended vacations in other countries.

Because of this Washington Express Visas offers Document Legalization services. Many people refer to this service as “Authentication” or “Apostille” service. Apostille comes from the French word that means “certification.” At Washington Express Visas, we will have one of our specially trained document legalization agents hand-carry your legal documents to the DC Notary & Authentication office (if required), the State Department Authentication office and then to the appropriate Embassy. We will have your documents processed accurately, quickly, and for a price far less than other visa or document services. We also offer same day pick-up and delivery to and from your DC office.

We recognize the document legalization can be arduous and we are here to help! We would hate for you to miss a trip or have to delay your move to another country because your documents did not arrive on time. We want to make the process easier and faster for you.

If you would like to learn more about our authentication and apostille services, call us at 877-675-5571. Please also feel free to contact us for a quote!  We would love to help you prepare for your trip and make sure your documents are all set before you leave!