How to Apostille Your Paperwork While Living Abroad
Living out of the United States can be an exciting adventure; it can also be frustrating when having to deal with officials from both America as well as your new resident country.
If you are an American citizen and living in another country (being an ex-pat) your life may take on many changes. Perhaps you want to get married, adopt a child, or even achieve something as simple as opening a bank account. For any of these choices, the new country will require authenticated copies of your papers such as a birth certificate, divorce decree, or a wide range of other documents.
Steps to Apostille or Authenticate Paperwork
Acquiring and authenticating your American paperwork can be difficult when you are thousands of miles away.
Let’s use acquiring your birth certificate as an example:
- If you do not have your original birth certificate, you will need to start by contacting the county of your birthplace to acquire a certified copy. You can go online to request a copy and many times you can pay there as well. If you choose to request a copy of your birth certificate by postal service, you will need to include payment in U.S. dollars.
- The office will mail your birth certificate to you (which can take several weeks), but they will not send it to the Apostilling office.
- Once you have a copy of your birth certificate, the next step is to Apostille your paperwork. For this you will need to send the document and payment in U.S. dollars to the Secretary of State.
- If your document needs to be Authenticated through the Embassy or Consulate, you will contact and mail the paperwork to them.
- When the Secretary of State or Embassy determines you have the correct paperwork, they will mail you the Apostilled document (which can take several more weeks).
- If even one small section of your paperwork is wrong, your request to have the birth certificate authenticated may be delayed or rejected.
As you can see, this can become a long and cumbersome process. Authenticating your birth certificate may seem like a lot of work, and it can be, but it is needed to continue with your new life.
There Must Be an Easier Way
Another option is to hire One Source Process to submit your paperwork for an Apostille or Authentication. We will ask you to upload your document (such as a birth certificate) and let us know what is needed.
We offer a free review of your documents to ensure you have everything in order and in the proper format. At this time, we will also let you know if your new resident country requires this document to be translated.
From here, we will determine if the papers need to be Apostilled or Authenticated; we know the process and who to contact. We will inform you of the expected time frame and the one-time payment amount.
Once done, we will mail you the Apostilled document. We also offer expedited international return shipping if you need a quick turnaround time.