1. What is notarization?
In the US, a notary public commissioned by the state government certifies the authenticity of any signatures appended to a document. Notaries act as government agents to verify the signer’s ID and ensure the signer’s willingness to sign without duress or intimidation and the signer’s awareness of the document’s contents. This notarization process guarantees the authenticity of the signature and helps deter fraud.
In this case, you need to bring the Green Card and a self-prepared “True Copy Affidavit” (click to see the sample) to a local notary. When requesting true copy notarization, prepare a copy in advance, or some cases, the notary will make a copy of your original document. You’ll sign an affidavit in front of the notary.
The notary will verify your identity, witness the signature, fill in the notarial wording, and sign and affix his or her seal on the document.
Click here to learn how to ensure your document is notarized correctly. Contact us (email: email@example.com ) to confirm whether your state has special requirements for the content, notarial wording, etc.
2. What is an apostille?
An Apostille is for documents to be used in countries that participated in the 1961 Hague Convention Treaty. Once complete, no more steps are needed.
Authentication certificates are for documents used in countries that do not participate in the 1961 Hague Convention Treaty.
An Apostille is a simplified form of Authentication and usually needs only one competent authority to be involved. Once complete, no more steps are required. Yet Authentication may go through a multi-step process to get the certificate from those foreign embassies or consulates in the US.
3. Apostille or Authentication Process
As mentioned before, the destination country of your document will decide which certificate you should obtain.
If the destination country is a Hague Apostille country/region (such as Germany, Spain, France, etc.):
- Get an Apostille from the Secretary of State’s office.