What is exactly "apostille services"? - New York Apostille Services


Many companies provide apostille services. If you google "apostille in new york", "florida apostille", "apostille for south korea", "apostille services in Washington dc", etc. you will get a long list of companies that provide apostille services. Are all of these companies legitimate? Are they licenced to provide apostille services? Is there a guarantee that your documents will be apostilled properly? Will you documents be accepted in the country they are intended for?

Here is a list of questions you should actually ask before you trust your valuable documents to any apostille service company?

How to apostilleDoes my document require an apostille or embassy legalization?

A fast response to this question will let you know if the company is familiar with the Hague Apostille Convention. A question "My document is for Italy, does it requre an apostille?" should be answered within 2 seconds. Beware of the answer "Let me double check..."

How to apostille

Is my document acceptable for an apostille?

You should be asked to describe your document or email/fax it for an evaluation. An experienced apostille company will not accept just any document for an apostille.

How to apostilleIs you document evaluation free?

Some companies charge a fee for document evaluation, do not use such companies.

How to apostilleIf you are not able to apostille my document, will you issue a 100% refund or is there a service fee? Do you have this information on your website?

A lot of companies keep the service fee if you document is rejected. This is usually an indication that this company is just a messenger service that deliveres your documents to the Secretary of State or to a foreign embassy. Professional apostille companies work with you to make sure your documents will be acceptable, they guarantee the results.

How to apostilleIf my document is rejected by the authorities of the country of the intended use, will you issue a refund?

Beware of a plain "yes" answer. This company most likely wants your order now, no matter what. You should be able to get an explanation in what cases you will be issued a refund, and if the refund will be for the full amount. A document can be rejected through no fault of the apostille company (there may be something wrong with the document itself, for example mistakes in the power of attorney, or wrong spelling of the name in a document, etc.). Ask about the refund policy.

How to apostilleWhat mail do you use to ship apostilled documents to clients? Will you provide the tracking number?

Absolutely, the return shipment should be trackable.

How to apostilleDo you ship to foreign countries? If yes, what mail do you use and what is the additional fee?

Some companies offer free shipment to foreign countries on top of very low prices for apostilles. Doesn't it look suspicious if the total of the state apostille fee plus international shipment fee exceeds the price you pay for an apostille?

How to apostilleDo you provide scanned copies by email before you ship the apostilled originals to the clients?

This is a good practice not many apostille companies follow. You should be able to see what you are getting before your apostilled documents are shipped to you.

How much is an apostille?

The industry standard is somewhere between $115 and $175 for an apostille. Many companies offer volume discounts. If you have many documents, be sure to ask for a discount. Most likely, you will be able to save money in case of multiple documents. It should be mentioned that state fees for apostilles are much lower (usually $10 to $25). Apostille companies charge you for their know-how, their experience, and for the guarantee that your documents will work in the country of intended use. However, if you are confident that your documents qualify for apostilles, and that they will be accepted overseas, you can absolutely do it yourself. Apostille activities are not licenced. Anyone can do it.

At Foreign Documents Express, we work every day to make your New York apostille experience fast and easy.

You can call us at (646) 267-1140 with any questions about New York apostille process. We are available Monday - Sunday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. to answer your questions. You can also fax or email copies of your documents for a free evaluation. We will advise if your documents qualify for NYS apostilles and, if not, what steps need to be taken. Not many companies provide this guarantee but we do: if, for some reason, your documents are rejected by the state after we assured you that they are acceptable, we will issue a 100% refund, no questions asked. We do not keep any service fees.

We apostille many kinds of documents from New York and from all other U.S. states. The most common documents we process for New York apostilles and foreign embassies are New York birth, marriage, death certificates, divorce records, single status affidavits, criminal records, diplomas and transcripts, corporate documents including articles of incorporation, certificates fo good standing, bylaws and llc agreements, powers of attorney, minutes, resolutions, U.S. residency certifications, and many more.

We authenticate documents from all 62 counties in New York State including the five boroughs of New York City (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Staten Island). The most popular counties we receive documents from are: Kings county (Brooklyn), Bronx county, Queens county, New York county (Manhattan), Nassau County (Long Island), Suffolk County (Long Island), Westchester County, Richmond County (Staten Island). The most popular cities we receive documents from are: New York City, Albany, Syracuse, and Buffalo.

After we have reviewed your documents, in most cases we will ask you to mail the originals to us. Sometimes, documents can be submitted by email or will qualify for our 24-hour apostille service. Please note that 24-hour apostilles are processed in Washington, DC. The price for our 24-hour apostille service is $175.

Processing times differ depending on nature of your documents. In each case will provide the time estimate, and will do our best to meet the deadline.

Delivery by FedEx (2nd day) is included in the price. We also ship internationally. FedEx International is $60 to most countries (except for Eastern Europe and Latin America, which is $90).

We accept all kinds of payment, including personal and corporate checks, money orders, credit and debit cards, PayPal, bank transfers, Western Union, and MoneyGram.

Apostilles and embassy legalization procedures are not complicated if you entrust your documents to legalization experts who know the requirements of U.S. apostille agencies, foreign consulates and embassies and the requirements of the receiving organizations in foreign countries.

We process documents for ALL foreign countries. Please call us!

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The NYS Secretary of State office does not have over-the-counter service yet. The processing time for New York apostilles is currently between two and three  weeks. 

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