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The Guide to Apostilles: Learn What They Are – And When They’re Needed

If you are a US citizen, or you have ever been told to certify a document before you may use it in other countries, then it is possible for this document to be anything from a birth certificate to a marriage contract or even documents pertaining to your business.

If this is the case, then you need to start looking into obtaining an apostille!

Documents from the United States that have been authenticated with an apostille are valid in any nation that is part of the Hague Convention Treaty of 1961. When you obtain an apostille, a signature and a seal will be affixed to a document, allowing you to use it in any nation that has accepted it.

Documents you can apostille include:

  • Birth, death, marriage, and divorce certificates
  • Naturalization certificates
  • Wills
  • Transcripts and diplomas
  • US driver’s licenses and passports
  • Social security, FBI, and IRS letters

If the document is to be used outside of the United States, it must be apostilled.

Why Do You Need an Apostille?

Apostilles are needed for several reasons; some of them include:

Gaining Citizenship in a Second Country

In order to utilize them in another nation, birth certificates issued in the United States need to be apostilled. You are required to do so in the state in which the initial document was first gotten.

Registration of Birth, Death, and Marriage Certificates Abroad

A US birth, death, or marriage certificate needs to be apostilled through the state where it was issued in order to be registered.

Marriage in a Different Country

You need an apostille if you want to get married abroad. Authorities in other countries might want to see a US birth certificate or a “singleness certificate,” which shows that you are free to get married.

In a case where you’re divorced, you will have to get your divorce decree apostilled by the government of that country.

Getting a Visa

If you need a work or study visa, the government of that country may ask the FBI to check your background. For documents like these, you’ll need to get an apostille from the federal government.

You could also be asked to present documents from the state and the city police departments, both of which require an apostille.

Claiming an Inheritance

To obtain cash inheritance from property outside the US, the executor’s will must be legalized in your name. You can do this if the original document was signed and notarized correctly.

Working or Studying Abroad

It is necessary to apostille your educational records in order to continue your studies in another nation.

Documents such as this are known as transcripts, and they may be from elementary, middle, or high school. Diploma apostilles from a college or university may also be required.

Retirement in a Foreign Country

Do you intend to spend your golden years in a foreign nation? In that case, the following papers may require an apostille from the appropriate authorities:

  • FBI background check
  • Social security letter
  • Naturalization certificate (or) birth certificate
  • IRS transcripts (or) income verification letter
  • Retirement benefits letters

Registering Your Business/Corporation Abroad

You are obliged to apostille the following documents if your company was established in the United States:

  • Articles of Incorporation
  • Certificate of Good Standing
  • Invoices and other certificate letters
  • IRS certifications
  • Power of Attorney

Granting Power of Attorney

You will need a power of attorney document in order to give someone in another nation the authority to act on your behalf there. It ought to have both a notary public and an apostille attached to it.

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