You would think that living in a major metropolitan area like New York would mean every service you could possibly imagine would be no more than a subway ride or short walk away. However, having documents certified to be recognized in foreign countries isn’t always a straightforward process. Some require an Authentication Certificate. For countries that fall under the Hague Convention, Apostille certification is the standard.
Unlike many other states, in which services from the Department of State are only available at the capitol building itself, New York recognizes that not many people are willing to drive across the state to authenticate documents. As of this writing, Apostille certification is available in person in Lower Manhattan, and by mail at the head office in Albany. Fortunately, both offices cater to a diverse crowd, with application forms in multiple languages. Whether you get Apostille certification in the state or forward your documents directly to the US Department of State in Washington DC, it will be accepted outside the US, provided the target country is in Hague Convention.
Apostille certification can often be necessary for those traveling on work and business visas. As part of these applications, certification is often required, whether it is to show one has a clean record with an FBI criminal background check, a legitimate scholar with a university degree, or in a legal union with a marriage certificate. Travelers don’t ordinarily have to deal with this for other types of visas but those who do must understand that an Apostille certification is often the only way such documents will be recognized abroad.
However, the type of document for which you need certification must be sent to the appropriate location. Naturalization documents and federal criminal background checks can’t be authenticated in Albany (or New York City), only at the US Department of State. Barring a drive down to Washington DC, these applications must be shipped in. Travelers seeking either type of Apostilles can choose to mail in their documents or apply in person. Because the Secretary of State has an office in New York City (unusual), it may be tempting to think everything can be handled in person. However, one document leads to another application, and then another.
This is why Travel Visa Pro’s New York office is so handy for those looking to process an Apostille for their visa application, or need a passport renewal at the same time. Driving across the state or even the city passport photos, Apostille certification, postage, and any other documentation required could be stressful to say the least, as can sending everything out in the mail and waiting for positive results. Travel Visa Pro’s team of travel experts have over forty years of experience getting our clients the travel documents they need in the time they need. Bringing everything you need to our New York office or simply consulting with one of our staff can cut down on the time needed to process your applications.
Before Apostille certification can even be considered, applicants may have to request documents from a vast bureaucracy, which can potentially take several weeks for things like a criminal background check or a passport renewal by mail. New York may have a Secretary of State in the city, but anyone unable to arrive during normal business hours are restricted to mailing their request to Albany, risking a backlog and further delays.
Apostille Services in New York State
Being forced into mailing the documents you need to different addresses – Secretary of State, US Department of State, foreign consulates, and possibly a regional passport office – means having to wait for one application to be accepted and returned before sending another; a passport with at least six months’ validity is required for the consulate, and if a renewal is necessary, the new passport number may be required for any request from the US Department of State.
Travel Visa Pro’s travel experts can significantly cut down on the time at every step of this application process by offering all the travel services you need in one location next to Grand Central Terminal. Come to us with your visa and passport needs, and we’ll handle the Apostille certification for you, whether you need certification for marriage certificates, business agreements, criminal background checks, diplomas, or any documents issued by the government.