When entering into international business one may be required to verify themselves, their business, and/or related documentation via Apostille or Authentication of documentation. Apostilles are issued to documents intended for use in countries that are parties to the October 5, 1961 Hague Convention. Certificates of Authentication are issued to countries that are not parties to the October 5, 1961 Hague Convention. We have sat down with our Corporate Guru, Corinne Games to quiz her about her experience in obtaining Apostilled documents for international business purposes.
What are some of the most common documents in which you have obtained an Apostille? I have been involved in obtaining Apostilles for all sorts of documents, but most commonly birth certificates, death certificates, marriage certificates, single status certificates (if divorced), background checks, FBI background checks, official transcripts from both colleges and universities, driver’s license and identification, Power of Attorney, Affidavits, Consents, Authorizations, etc.
Do you recall a unique Apostille request? I think the most unique request was when a client sent a notarized letter with a background check and criminal history record. This also included a fingerprint card.
Do you know why the background check documents required an Apostille? The documents were to be used in the hiring process for a law firm that was overseas.
Do you remember which country was requiring the Apostille? The country that the law firm was in was Saudi Arabia.
What kind of complexities do you deal with during the Apostille process? We handle vital documents for clients all day, every day and I am used to working on deadline which is often a factor in the Apostilles I am obtaining. The most important piece in obtaining the Apostille is utilizing a notary that is compliant with the Secretary of State. This can vary from state to state so it is important to be privy to the specific requirements. During the authentication process there are further steps that must be taken in obtaining the authentication.
What kind of supporting documents are required for Apostilles? Most commonly we obtain Charter Documents of the involved entity. We can also obtaining any and all public records that our clients require for Apostille including any vital documents, criminal background checks, etc.
If the country is not a part of The Hague Convention, what additional steps are required for authentication of documents? If the country is not a member of The Hague Convention there are additional steps to take; 1.) the document needs to by Authenticated with the Secretary of State in the state where the Notary resides, 2.) The document is delivered to the US Department of State or Secretary of State in Washington DC, 3.) and in most instances then delivered to the appropriate US embassy or Consulate to be legalized and/or authenticated.
As the list of countries requiring Apostille vs. Authentication is always changing please utilize this website www.hcch.net to see the most current list. If you have a document that requires Apostille or if you are unsure of what is required, contact the CORPSMART™ team directly at 800-737-8012 for further information.