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Hague Apostille Companies in the USA

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Posts: 18
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Topic starter
(@andrewcza)
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Joined: 11 months ago

Hi,

I am working on some of the paperwork and have been asked to get a Hague Apostille attached to the Paperwork.

I was wondering what Companies others in the USA have used to do this for Paperwork destined to Portugal?

 

Regards

Andrew

43 Replies




Posts: 18
Premium Member
Topic starter
(@andrewcza)
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Joined: 11 months ago

Thank you all for your input. I will contact the Secretary of state in Texas to see if they can Apostille the Paperwork to Open a Portuguese Bank account.

The Bank has provided the paperwork and said I need to work with a Notary and then have the paperwork Apostilled or to go the the Portuguese Embassy and sign the documents there.

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Premium Member
(@bigdhombre)
Joined: 1 year ago

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Posts: 23

Hi @andrewcza, were you able to get the apostille done by the Texas SoS? I'm in the same situation - am considering driving the 2-3hr to Austin to get this done in person, then either celebrate or drown my sorrows in some Central TX BBQ.

As for notary, I had paid for this in the past, but just noticed that my bank (Bank of America) seems to offer notary service for free, so will look into this (of course prior to apostille).

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Premium Member
(@andrewcza)
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@bigdhombre I have mailed the paperwork to Austin and was told it will take at least 10 days by mail. So I am waiting for them to process it now.

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(@bigdhombre)
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@andrewcza, cool, good luck - at least it sounds like it's progressing

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Posts: 176
 MaxG
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(@maxgravy)
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We used a company called Monument Visa in Virginia. They were recommended by Ei! Friendly service and prompt communication. Reasonable prices as well. I believe the FBI background check needs an apostille from the US state department in DC. Your driving record abstract can have an apostille from the state. We got ours by email from Austin. 

https://www.monumentvisa.com

 

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Premium Member
(@bigdhombre)
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@maxgravy, Interesting, thanks, I will keep them in mind. I didn't get any recommendations from Ei, although I hadn't asked them.

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 tdn
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(@tdn)
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@bigdhombre

Hey there,

For us, it was a very easy process. We did it in person. but we live only 20 min away from the SoS. Overall it took a week to apply and receive the apostille.
If you decide to drive to just drop off the papers, you might to turn that day and that long drive into rather some sort of fun vacation visiting other places you always wanted to see on that way. The process of applying literally takes only 10-15 minutes to come to a lobby of SOS, seal papers into a provided envelope and drop it off. No clerks are involved into this process. At least here, in Sacramento, CA. Very simple and easy. 

in regards to the FBI background check needing an apostille, as @MaxG mentioned above, you would ONLY need to apostille it, IF you OPEN the envelope from FBI. otherwise, no need.

good luck!

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Premium Member
(@bigdhombre)
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@tdn, thanks for the details. Are you saying that the apostille at the SoS takes a week or so even if you drop off in person? If so, I will probably hire a local service in DFW to take care of this in Austin.

I'm starting to wish Interpol would take me to "The Hague" rather than get a Hague apostille, lol

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 tdn
Community Member
(@tdn)
Joined: 10 months ago

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Posts: 114

@bigdhombre

yes, that is correct. It is just their typical processing time for any drop offs. if you mail docs in, the processing time is much longer, 4 wks+. 
perhaps, you should ask your local company whose services you would like to use about their lead time. 
on the other hand, you can also ask a notary to take care of the apostille. Our notary has offered such drop off services for a fee, but I realized that I could do it myself for much less. 

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Posts: 3
 KayY
Community Member
(@kayy)
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Joined: 5 months ago

I did it all myself. I just looked up what they needed, where it had to go and mailed it off.  The waiting is the hardest part.  Though now, with people going back to work, the wait time might be less.  I don't think anything took longer than 6 weeks to get back to me, but, truly, last year is a blur. 

I do know it was a simple, yet precise process.

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Posts: 54
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(@terrell)
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Joined: 9 months ago

Like others have mentioned here, getting an apostille for locally notarized documents (e.g., papers your bank or attorney needs signed...) was actually very simple in Michigan, as well, with a wait time (even during COVID-stressed times) less than what companies were offering and for  much less cost.  (MI's Secretary of State charges just $1 per document!) The wait time was 4 weeks with no in-person options, but they are now offering appointments to get documents apostilled in person, about two-three weeks out. 

I wanted to add my 2 cents here, since the nature of, and need for, an apostille was completely foreign to me (and intimidating) when I started.  Hence, I initially assumed, like other legal-sounding processes, that it might require the intervention of pros. Learning the process was much more like getting a document notarized, and not at all complicated, was helpful, so it was great that you posted your question,  @andrewcza.  Replies to forum topics like this are so beneficial,  and hopefully others looking for ideas will find inspiration (and maybe some relief, LOL). 

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Posts: 18
Premium Member
Topic starter
(@andrewcza)
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Joined: 11 months ago

I just received my Documents back from the SoS. They did not Process my request as they say the Notary did not include a Notarial acknowledgement for for each document. So now I need to go back to the Notary and start over again 🙁

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Premium Member
(@bigdhombre)
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Posts: 23

@andrewcza, sorry to hear. Not sure if it makes a difference, but I asked the contact at Millennium and she said that the notary/apostille was only needed for 1 of the files (Account_docs.pdf), but not others (Debit_card_order.pdf, Digital_signature.pdf, etc.). Although the Account docs PDF itself has about 7 different documents combined into 1 PDF file. Of course, different banks will have different procedures.

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Premium Member
(@terrell)
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@bigdhombre, this was helpful to hear!

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Premium Member
(@terrell)
Joined: 9 months ago

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@bigdhombre (or another expat), are you able to kindly further clarify whether the remaining docs (Debit_card_order.pdf, Digital_signature.pdf, etc.) need ONLY one's signature? Or do they also need to be notarized (just not apostilled)? 

 I'm in the same process with the Millenium documents but having some trouble getting timely responses from the representative there.

Thanks in advance for your assistance! 

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 MaxG
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(@maxgravy)
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@terrell Everything we did with Millennium needed to be notarized. The only documents that needed an apostle were the FBI background checks and the abstracts of our driving records.

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 MaxG
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(@maxgravy)
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Also, if you're a State Farm customer they will notarise for free. Saved us a ton! Opening an account with Millennium is like buying a house. 

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 MaxG
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(@maxgravy)
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@terrell After re-reading your question, every signature needs to be notarized.

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Premium Member
(@bigdhombre)
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@terrell, the emails I had back and forth with Millennium suggested I only need to sign the other documents – however, based on language differences (maybe she didn’t quite understand what I meant) and what MaxG said, I will probably do notarization (but not apostille) for the remaining docs other than Account_docs. I figure if they don’t want a notary, I can just print out and sign again. I just made an appt at Bank of America for this week – they are another company that does free notarization for customers. I hope it is straightforward, although, reading other people’s experiences, there seems to be a fair amount of variability throughout the visa process - what works for one person at one location doesn't work for another.

In terms of getting a reply from Mlnm, sometimes I would get a reply the next day or even on weekends, and sometimes not for a week (apart from vacation).

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Premium Member
(@terrell)
Joined: 9 months ago

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Posts: 54

@bigdhombre,  similarly, in my experience, the response time from Millenium varies. Usually it is three days to a week, and only after I send a reminder email nudge. Anyone have thoughts as to whether that is a normal pace?

With COVID likely increasing demand for off-site/long distance assistance all around, not to mention prior restrictions and travel shutdowns, it makes sense that there could be many reasons for delays,  if this pattern isn't just the normal response time. And, for at least those of us in the U.S. where the conditioning to expect answers in 24 hours or less is strong,  refraining from the conclusion that something is "wrong" if we don't hear back for a week is a persistent challenge. 🙂

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 tdn
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(@tdn)
Joined: 10 months ago

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Posts: 114

@terrell
In our case, Millenium asked us to notarized all signatures in all documents required. No apostilles were needed to open up a bank account. 
Here is the communication with Millenium:

Account Documents:  8 signatures each

Debit Cards Request: 2 signatures each (pages 3 and 28)

Digital Signature (husband): 1 signature

Digital Signature (wife): 1 signature
More Portugal Solution: 1 signature each  (original – page 5 with the bar code)

Website access (husband): 1 signature

Website access (wife): 1 signature

After the notarial recognition send the documents scanned for me and then you must send the originals to me as soon as possible (2 weeks maximum).

 

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Premium Member
(@terrell)
Joined: 9 months ago

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@tdn, Gosh! Thanks for sharing this. How long ago did you complete yours, if I may ask?

The rep with whom I'm working has been explicit that the documents in "Accounts_doc.pdf" have to be Hague apostilled.  And, in the original communication, likewise a note to return the originals "ASAP" was made, but no maximum time frame was set (vs. the two week maximum time frame shared with you). The first appointment for apostilling with the MI SoS was three weeks out from the original receipt of the docs, so two weeks would sure not have worked. 

 

 Update: Just heard back from the Millenium rep, and she says the other documents (i.e., debit card order, digital signature more Portugal solution, website access) only need to be signed, NOT notarized! 

 

 (Oof! Seems there's variation going on in what is required. As long as they accept what is sent, that will be okay, but avoiding unneeded delays or do-overs is the hope!) 

 

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Premium Member
(@terrell)
Joined: 9 months ago

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@tdn and @maxgravy, since you seem to have made it through the process, could you kindly also describe exactly where you had the notary sign off on the documents in "account_docs"? Specifically, there are multiple lines that refer to "signature(s) verification". It's not clear to me whether those lines are meant for a notary (e.g., in lieu of the "bank rep or attorney" as sometimes placed under these lines). I tried, but didn't succeed, in obtaining an answer from the rep at Millenium. 

Thanks to everyone for your help, and also the ideas for finding notaries beyond UPS!  As I'm in a small town where locals may not have experience with international documents, being as explicit as possible with the notary is essential, so your ideas are much appreciated.

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 MaxG
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(@maxgravy)
Joined: 1 year ago

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Posts: 176

@terrell The notary stamp and signature was right below our signatures and sometimes at the bottom of the page, depending on where there was space. I think a few them had a special box for the notary.

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 tdn
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(@tdn)
Joined: 10 months ago

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Posts: 114

@terrell

Notary stamps were in the same places as @maxgravy mentioned. 
Our VFS appt was in mid Feb 2021.

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Premium Member
(@terrell)
Joined: 9 months ago

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Posts: 54

@andrewcza, that stinks! The steps taken by the UPS notary in my small town were accepted by the MI SoS with no problem, so (on the basis of a sample size of just two!) I wonder if you just got unlucky with your notary.

Thanks for sharing your follow-up, though. 

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