How to Apostille FBI Background Check: A Complete Guide
Obtaining an apostille for your FBI background check is necessary in various situations, such as when you’re planning to work or study abroad, get married in a foreign country, or engage in international adoption. An apostille is a certification that verifies the authenticity of official documents, making them legally valid in foreign countries that are part of the Hague Apostille Convention.
In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of obtaining an apostille for your FBI background check, ensuring that you have all the necessary information to complete the procedure smoothly.
Step 1: Obtain an FBI Background Check
Before you can apostille your FBI background check, you need to have the document in hand. To obtain an FBI background check, you must submit your fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. You can do this by visiting your local police station or an approved fingerprinting agency. It is essential to follow the specific instructions provided by the FBI to ensure your fingerprints are correctly taken.
Step 2: Receive the FBI Background Check Results
Once your fingerprints are submitted, it usually takes around 12-16 weeks to receive the FBI background check results. The results will be sent to you via mail, and it is crucial to keep the original document intact as you will need it for the apostille process.
Step 3: Choose an Apostille Service Provider
To apostille your FBI background check, you can either handle the process yourself or hire an apostille service provider. While doing it yourself may save you some money, it can be time-consuming and confusing, particularly if you are not familiar with the requirements and procedures. Hiring a professional apostille service provider can simplify the process and ensure a smooth and timely apostille.
Step 4: Prepare the Required Documents
Whether you choose to handle the process independently or use an apostille service provider, you will need to prepare certain documents. These typically include your original FBI background check, a completed application form (obtained from the apostille service provider or the Secretary of State’s website), and a self-addressed return envelope.
Step 5: Submit the Documents to the Secretary of State
If you decide to apostille your FBI background check yourself, you will need to submit the required documents to the Secretary of State’s office in the state where the background check was issued. The office’s website will provide detailed instructions on the submission process, including acceptable methods of payment for the apostille fee.
Step 6: Await the Apostille
Once your documents are submitted, the processing time for the apostille can vary depending on the Secretary of State’s workload. Typically, it takes around 1-2 weeks to receive the apostilled FBI background check.
Step 7: Receive the Apostilled FBI Background Check
After the processing is complete, you will receive the apostilled FBI background check via mail. Ensure that you carefully review the document to verify that the apostille is affixed correctly and all the necessary information is included.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
1. How much does it cost to apostille an FBI background check?
The cost of apostilling an FBI background check varies depending on the state you’re in. Generally, the fee ranges from $20 to $50. Additionally, if you choose to hire an apostille service provider, they may charge an additional fee for their services.
2. How long does it take to apostille an FBI background check?
The processing time for apostilling an FBI background check can vary, depending on the workload of the Secretary of State’s office. On average, it takes around 1-2 weeks to receive the apostilled document.
3. Can I apostille an FBI background check from any state?
No, you can only apostille an FBI background check from the state where it was issued. The apostille process must be completed through the Secretary of State’s office in that specific state.
4. Can I request an expedited apostille for my FBI background check?
Some Secretary of State offices offer expedited services for an additional fee. Check with the specific office where you are submitting your documents to see if expedited processing is available.
5. Can I apostille a copy of my FBI background check instead of the original?
No, the apostille can only be affixed to the original FBI background check document. Copies or notarized versions are not eligible for apostille.
6. Can I apostille my FBI background check if it’s more than six months old?
Yes, as long as the FBI background check is still considered valid (typically within six months of issuance), you can apostille it.
7. Can I apostille an FBI background check if it’s in a language other than English?
Yes, you can apostille an FBI background check in any language. However, if the document is not in English, it may need to be translated by a certified translator before apostilling.
8. Can I request multiple copies of the apostilled FBI background check?
Yes, you can request multiple copies of the apostilled FBI background check during the application process. Each additional copy may require an extra fee.
9. Can I use an apostilled FBI background check for multiple countries?
Yes, an apostilled FBI background check can be used in any foreign country that is part of the Hague Apostille Convention.
10. Can I apostille an FBI background check if I am not a U.S. citizen?
Yes, the apostille process is available to both U.S. citizens and non-citizens who have an FBI background check issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
11. Can I apostille an FBI background check for someone else?
Yes, you can apostille an FBI background check on behalf of someone else, provided you have the necessary authorization and documentation.
12. Can I apostille a state-level background check instead of an FBI background check?
The apostille process is specific to federal documents, so state-level background checks cannot be apostilled. However, you may need to contact the appropriate state authority to inquire about the authentication or legalization of state-level documents for use abroad.
In conclusion, obtaining an apostille for your FBI background check is a crucial step when dealing with international matters. By following the step-by-step process outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your document is properly authenticated and will be recognized as valid in foreign countries. Remember to consult the specific requirements of the state where your FBI background check was issued and, if needed, seek assistance from an apostille service provider to simplify the process.