If you’re living in Los Angeles or just transiting on your way to parts unknown, you have access to multitudes of food, cultural events, and consulates for obtaining visas. Anyone living in LA may be surprised to learn they’re not able to get Apostille services locally. As a result, residents may have a struggle on their hands if they’re waiting until the last minute for documents and applications to be processed prior to an international trip: passport renewals, visa applications, and Apostille certification.
What is an Apostille, and why is it necessary for some travelers to obtain one? Essentially, it’s a special kind of certification that allows an official document in one country to be recognized in another. University diplomas may be given an Apostille for working abroad or to continue one’s education. The Hague Convention only covers about half the countries on Earth; for others, an Authentication Certificate is required.
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Many travelers may have never had to obtain Apostille certification for their travels, especially if they were solely for tourism, transiting, or volunteering. However, such certification can be absolutely necessary for those traveling for work and business in countries that fall under the Hague Convention. For long-term expats abroad, California marriage certificates with a state-issued Apostille may be used to apply for dual citizenship. Federal criminal background checks are required with an Apostille from the US Department of State to apply for work visas in many countries.
Every state capitol building has an office for the Secretary of State on the grounds or in the immediate vicinity capable of processing Apostilles. Unlike these offices in other states, in Sacramento both Authentication and Apostille Certifications are one and the same. However, the Secretary of State in California is only authorized to authenticate documents issued at the state level, e.g. UCLA transcripts. For documents for which you need certification specifically from the federal government, e.g. naturalization documents, everything must be processed by US Department of State in Washington DC.
Anyone seeking Apostille certification at the state or federal level can ship their documents or apply in person. Naturally, this isn’t always possible if you’re in DTLA and only available during non-business hours. You may choose to ship your documents to Sacramento as opposing to flying or doing a road trip, but the processing time may not be ideal for your travel plans. Do you have days or weeks to get a passport renewal, Apostille certain documents, and send your new book in with a visa application? Waiting for a delayed flight because of a mistake may only cost you a few hours, but waiting for a delayed Apostille certification can mean delay of days, or weeks.
When you need experts to handle every aspect of the bureaucracy surrounding your travel plans, Travel Visa Pro can reduce the time required at every step of the process by offering everything you need at one location. Whether you live close to one of our offices or just want to mail your paperwork to one place and not several, come to us for your visa and passport needs. We can handle Apostille certification, passport renewals, visa applications, travel insurance, and passport photos.