Being a resident of Washington DC can be very confusing on a bureaucratic level. Because you’re technically not a part of Virginia or Maryland, you can’t go to Richmond or Annapolis, respectively, to request state services like Apostille certification if the documents requiring it were issued in DC. Fortunately, you’re also closer than the rest of the country in having both state-issued and federally-issued certification within just a few miles of each other.
What exactly is a Washington DC Apostille? When it comes time to travel and you need to carry certain documents with you, including articles of incorporation, birth certificates, and university diplomas, the Office of Notary Commissions and Authentications through the Office of the Secretary in DC provides Apostille certification to have these documents recognized by foreign governments. One common reason is documents this may be necessary is for work visa applications; some countries request federal criminal background checks to be submitted along with your application to work abroad, and these need to be given Apostille certification to be accepted.
However, though criminal background checks are issued in Washington DC by the FBI, an Apostille through the Office of the Secretary is not acceptable because such documents are federally issued. In this case, an Apostille must be processed through the Secretary of State.
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Confused yet? You’re not alone. Apostille certification requires a series of paperwork in order to successfully authenticate any document. This process can be tiring or daunting for some travelers, which may result in the application being rejected and their trip being delayed.
A criminal background check through the mail can take a few up to several weeks to process by the FBI, and then comes the additional time for the Apostille. By the same token, mailing in a passport renewal can take roughly the same amount of time. Both these documents may be necessary to send to a consulate to apply for a visa. Added up, this can potentially cost a traveler 2-4 months in bureaucratic limbo, assuming there are no missing documents or unexpected delays.
That’s where Travel Visa Pro in Washington DC steps in. Whether you need Apostille certification for a visa application or otherwise, TVP can help with any number of documents, including diplomas, marriage certificates, birth certificates, business agreements, and criminal background checks. Why should you have to dash across the city for passport photos, locally-issued Apostille certification, federally-issued Apostille certification, and visa applications at the nearest embassy when everything can be finished in one place?
Travel Visa Pro’s DC office has travel experts with over forty years of experience getting clients the travel documents they need in the time they need. Even if you’re not sure if you need an Apostille for your visa application, take the time to talk to one of our staff; they’ll walk you through the process and do what’s right for you to travel abroad safely and confidently.