G3 Visas & Passports, Inc. provides authentication services to US corporations, US citizens, and foreign nationals on all US-issued documents that will be used overseas. Our web-based menu will assist in finding the exact requirements and costs for document authentication.
There are two types of document authentications we are able to pursue: Apostilles and Certifications (or regular authentications). Apostilles take less time and are less expensive, as they only require authentication by the state where the document originated (some states require county certifications, as well). They were established to simplify the authentication of documents which originate in one country but will be used in another. However, Apostilles are only accepted by countries that have signed and adopted the Hague Convention, or the convention abolishing the requirement of legalization for foreign public documents (see our web-based menu to find out if your intended country of use accepts Apostilles). Certifications take more time and require certification up to the consular level, which may require three to five total processing steps: county, state, federal, consular, and occasionally a third-party certification or translation.
Two main document types are authenticated: official documents (e.g., birth certificates) and notarized documents. Official documents may not be notarized; instead, they should be certified copies issued by the proper government department (e.g., the Bureau of Vital Records or equivalent for birth certificates). Please review documents to ensure that they were issued less than 12 months ago (this regulation may vary by state) and have the seal and signature of the proper government authority. Notarized documents should contain the seal, signature, and notarial statement of a US-based notary commissioned in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia, or an overseas US consular office, and should be notarized within the last 12 months.
Some countries require additional documentation, such as a translation or a copy of the document custodian’s government-issued ID. Please see our web-based menu to find out if your intended country requires any additional documentation.