American citizens often have an easy time integrating into the social and economic activities in the Philippines. After all, the official languages are Filipino and English, eliminating the need to translate English documents. But while you may not need certified translations, you should get an apostille for Philippines to validate your documents. We explain the need for this and how you should go about it.
Apostille Is Essential For U.S. Documents When Traveling To The Philippines
Suppose you want to use your marriage certificate to help you secure residency in the Philippines. Would you succeed? Your marriage certificate may be valid in the U.S. But once you cross over to the Philippines, its authenticity becomes questionable. After all, the issuing authority is in the U.S., and officials in the Philippines cannot verify that the document is real and not forged. This scenario plays out in other public documents too. And the only way to address it is by getting an apostille for Philippines.
An apostille is a standard certification used to verify that a document’s signatures, stamps, and seals are legitimate. It does so by shedding light on the following matters:
- Where you got the document,
- Who signed the document,
- The authority of the person who signed the document,
- Where you got the apostille, and
- When you got the apostille.
Detailing all these aspects enables the recipient to trace a document’s origin. And it thus makes the document acceptable as a foreign public document. Apostilles are only acceptable in countries that follow the 1961 Hague Convention. And since the U.S. and the Philippines are a party to this treaty, getting an apostille for Philippines has the following perks:
- It complies with the legal requirements for foreign documents in the Philippines. Per the law, all official documents must have an apostille to qualify for legal use.
- It proves your documents are trustworthy, easing work, academic, and business exploits.
It also eases official transactions by reducing or eliminating the verification processes. An apostille is, therefore, important for the following document categories:
- State-issued documents like divorce decrees and marriage certificates,
- Federal documents like trademarks and FBI background checks,
- School documents like university transcripts and degrees, and
- Business documents like incorporation paperwork.
Per the apostille regulations, public documents require authentication. However, some documents are exempt from getting apostilles. If you are unsure what needs an apostille for Philippines, our team can walk you through what documents you should authenticate.
Steps to Obtain an Apostille for Your U.S. Documents for Philippines
Each country that is a party to the 1961 Hague Convention elects authorities that verify the authenticity of documents and issue apostilles. So, how do you get an apostille for Philippines?
a) Find the right authority: The U.S. has mandated two authorities to issue apostilles as follows:
- The U.S. Department of State: This authority deals with federal-issued documents and does not handle state-issued documents. Examples of federal documents include FBI background checks and trademarks. Such documents should be on agency letterheads and have signatures from federal officers to qualify for an apostille for Philippines.
- The Secretary of State: Documents issued at the state level qualify for an apostille for Philippines from this authority. Such documents include birth certificates and marriage certificates. They should have raised or stamped seals from the court or Department of Vital Records. Moreover, you can only apostille a document in the state which issued it. For example, a birth certificate from California requires an apostille from the Secretary of State in California.
Applying for an apostille for Philippines from the wrong apostille authority will force you to resubmit your application to the right authority.
b) Notarizing your documents: All documents that need an apostille for Philippines should have correct notarization. You can get this done by a notary public. You can skip this step if you wish to apostille an FBI background check.
c) Certifying your documents: Only true certified copies can go through the apostille process. You can have your documents certified by a notary public. But if you want to apostille the following documents, only the Secretary of State can handle the certification process:
- Marriage certificates,
- Birth certificates,
- Death certificates,
- Divorce decrees,
- Court documents, and
- Federal documents.
d) Submitting your documents: You should verify and submit your notarized and certified documents to the right authority. When submitting paperwork at the state level, look into whether the Secretary of State has delegated the apostille processing to lower ranks.
Usually, apostille processing takes about five weeks. But it depends on the apostille authority in charge, backlogs, and the need to revise the submitted paperwork.
Ensure Hassle-Free Travel To The Philippines With Professional Apostille Services
Getting a Hague apostille Philippines requires you to go through a complex and time-consuming process. But what if we told you that you could get an apostille within days without leaving your home? It’s possible with our professional expedited apostille services that work as follows:
- You submit an order via our website, where you include your name, address, document type, where you will use the apostille, and your processing timeline preference.
- Our experts review the order, gauge its requirements and contact you about where to send the document.
- We process the Hague apostille Philippines within the stipulated time and send it to your chosen address.
Apostille processing can be that simple! Moreover, you get to enjoy the following perks:
a) Speed: Processing a Hague apostille Philippines often drags on for months, which can negatively impact your travel plans. We offer rush and standard processing timelines that range from a few days to weeks. Once you choose what works best for you, our team adheres to your timeline, ensuring you can catch your flight with an apostille.
b) Professionalism: The intricacies of the apostille process require expert handling. And with our in-house apostille professionals on the case, you can rest assured of zero delays or errors.
We offer expedited apostille services across 50 states, giving you the convenience of sending or dropping off your document at a TVP office near you.