Apostille U.S Diplomas and Transcripts for Spain

There is only one option which is guaranteed to be acceptable when it comes to getting U.S. education documents apostilled for use in Spain:

Apostille for Original School issued Duplicate – this is the most complicated method, however, depending on the purpose for which the document shall be used may be the only acceptable method. To get apostille on the original duplicate the owner of the diploma/transcript will have to:

NOTE: Third parties cannot obtain the document

  1. Contact the Registrar’s Office of the school and request a duplicate to be issued
  2. At the same time the owner of the document must request that an authorized official of the school (i.e Dean, Registrar, Assistant Registrar, etc) make a statement on the back of the duplicate along the following lines:
    Hereby I, <full name> being the <title with the school> of the <name of the school> attest that this is the original diploma/transcripts issued to <name of the student>
  3. This statement must be signed and notarized. Majority of the US schools have notaries on staff so this should not be an issue. 

Once the duplicate is issued and notarized it may can be apostilled.

TIP: If you are already overseas and need to follow the process described above and get an apostille for the original school issued duplicate, you can have the school mail the document directly to our office for processing, instead of having them mail it internationally (if available, to begin with) and then mailing it back to the states.

New York City Birth Certificate

Vital records in New York City, especially Birth and Death Certificates, are a special breed of documents when it comes to foreign use.

Let us begin with the process of getting the NYC Birth Certificate:

a. First option which you have is to go in person or mail the request to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene at 125 Worth St, New York, NY 10013.


(i) Expect a line when you will come in person

(ii) Make sure you have enough proof of identification with you

b. Second option is to apply online at the vitalcheck website which is a non-profit organization authorized to assist with the expedited retrieval of vital records from the New York City.

Now that you know where to get it, it is important to know that if you plan to use your NYC Birth Certificate abroad you must specify that in your request. When placing the order in person or online for New York City Birth or Death Certificate you MUST indicate that the purpose of your request is APOSTILLE.

By selecting apostille as your purpose you will ensure that the NYC Vital Records will issue you a Birth Certificate with the Letter of Exemplification.

TIP:  Without the letter of exemplification your nyc birth or death certificate is NOT ACCEPTABLE for apostille.

We know that there are many companies who will say that as long as your document is signed by acting City Registrar it is fine for apostille or authentication. Well this is FALSE. Most likely your document will either have a fake apostille or apostille will be attached from another document. In any case you may have complications with your documents if you will use such advice and employ the aforesaid service.

Of course, we do not expect you to believe us. Here is the print screen from the official webpage of the New York Department of State:

Overall to get the New York City Birth or Death Certificate with the Letter of Exemplification will take you anywhere from two(2) to three (3) weeks. Also, expect your document to arrive without the letter of exemplification, as they often do this sort of mistake. There is nothing you can do but to reapply, pay all the fees and wait another month or so.

TIP: If you or your child was not born within one of the five boughs of the New York City (i.e Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Bronx or Staten Island) the above written information is not applicable to you.

How does the Letter of Exemplification look like?

As you may see on the image, it is a white piece of paper which reads that this is exemplified records of Birth or Death of the New York City. The said Exemplification Letter will have the vital event information and the document number. Such exemplified records are signed by the Deputy City Registrar.

Each borough will have a different Deputy City Registrar.

Furthermore, the Exemplified Record will have embossed or raised seal of the Board of Health of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene of the New York City.

Criminal Background Check for Kuwait

Regulations concerning Criminal Background Checks, Criminal Record Checks, Police Records, Police Clearance Checks and Certificates of Good Conduct have changed drastically. All such records destined for use in Kuwait will be rejected if they are issued by any law enforcement agency other than FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigations).

Let us begin with some basic facts which affect all applicants submitting their background checks to the Kuwait Consulates in the United States. First of all, you should not have any criminal history record in your background history report, to begin with. Even minor traffic issues may be a cause for rejection of your documents by the Consulate when it comes to attestation. Acceptance of criminal history records with minor violations depends solely on the discretion of the consular official.

Prior to January 2013, the Embassy and Consulates of Kuwait in the US would accept Criminal Background Checks, Criminal Record Checks, Police Records, Police Clearance Checks and Certificates of Good Conduct from local and state agencies like Colorado Bureau of Investigations, Texas Department of Public Safety and Florida Department of Law Enforcement, just to name a few. This of course, was only allowed when the documents met all the set requirements of legalization and showed absence of criminal history of the applicant. This was very convenient for the applicants as they could have all their documents processed must quicker, as state and local law enforcement agencies handle fewer request than the FBI and therefore can perform background checks at a much higher pace.

Since January of 2013, all Criminal Background Checks, Criminal Record Checks, Police Records, Police Clearance Checks and Certificates of Good Conduct must be issued by the FBI. In part, such requirement was established due to the fact the Federal Bureau of Investigations is the only national law enforcement agency which provides the background checks which cover all US states, unlike local and state level criminal history reports which cover only a limited jurisdiction of each particular law enforcement agency. The downside is that it will take anywhere between twelve (12) and eighteen (18) weeks to obtain the background check from the FBI.

How to get an FBI Background Check?

Well, you can get it yourself or you may order it through us. We will request the criminal history record check from the Federal Bureau of Investigations on your behalf and have it authenticated by the United States Department of State Authentications Office as well as the Consulate of Kuwait. Of course, since it is a private record, we will need a signed and notarized information release statement from the applicant.

Ordering FBI Criminal Background Checks is simplified using our online application form, which provides us with all the necessary information in order to prepare all the forms on your behalf. So all there is left for you to do is submit your fingerprints, notarize a release statement and mail everything to our office.

TIP: If you will be ordering the criminal history record check yourself from the FBI directly, please make sure that you enclose a cover letter requesting that your record be authenticated. This way they should affix the required signatures of the FBI officials making the document eligible for further legalization by apostille and consular attestation.

Additional information as well as qualified assistance with the Criminal Background Checks, Criminal Record Checks, Police Records, Police Clearance Checks,including FBI Criminal Background Checks may be requested from A&M Logos.

Social Security Administration (SSA) Benefits and Income Verification Letter

It is not a secret that many of us will plan our retirement in a foreign country for a number of reasons including the cost of living in a number of such countries. Lately, a number of countries have developed a special visa just for retirees, commonly referred to as “retirement visa”. There are a number of documents which have to be presented to adhere to the requirements of such visa. This article, however, will only focus one such document, namely the Social Security Administration (SSA) Benefits and Income Verification Letter. As you might have already guessed this letter is issued by the Social Security Administration. Right now there are two types of such letter that we have seen in existence. First one is issued at your local Social Security Office. Another one is issued directly by the SSA.

The main difference between the two is who signs the Benefits and Income Verification Letter. Local one is signed by the Office Manager of the local Social Security Administration office. It is important to know that the signature of the Customer Service Representative is NOT sufficient for international use as it will be described in this article a little later. The other Benefits and Income Verification Letter is issued online by the SSA and should be signed by the acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration. Facsimile signature is OK on this one!

Benefits and Income Verification Letters issued at your local Social Security office must contain the following:

(a) Your full name

(b) Your address

(c) Your benefits information

Furthermore, such letters must have:

(d) Full name of the Office Manager of your Local SSA office clearly written or typed

(e) Live or “pen-in-hand” signature of the said SSA Office Manger

(f) Their title clearly stated as an Office Manager

TIP: If your Social Security Administration (SSA) Benefits and Income Verification Letter does not have any information indicated in points (d), (e) and (f). You need to request a new letter and specifically request that the above written information is included onto your letter.

The reason for the aforesaid requirements is that for foreign countries all Social Security Administration (SSA) Benefits and Income Verification Letters must be either apostilled or authenticated by the consulate or embassy of the target country. If this information will not be present on the document then your Benefits and Income Verification Letter will not be acceptable for apostille.

Most importantly if you will use an apostille service agency to process your apostille please be aware that the apostilled photocopies of Social Security Administration (SSA) Benefits and Income Verification Letters will be rejected in a foreign country. Most foreign authorities require the apostille for such letters to be affixed directly onto a signature of the official of the Social Security Administration. If you are being offered by a service agency to notarize the document or to make an affidavit attesting that the document is full, correct and complete original or copy thereof in your possession, do not order such services. In case of Social Security Administration (SSA) Benefits and Income Verification Letters this is a waste of time and money.

TIP: Apostille for Social Security Administration (SSA) Benefits and Income Verification Letters will always be issued by the United States Department of State. If your letter bears a State Apostille then something was done incorrectly and you risk a rejection of your application in a foreign country.

Apostille for Certificate of Naturalization

How to Apostille Certificate of Naturalization?

Many have faced or are currently facing the issue of getting their Naturalization Certificates apostilled. So how do you get a Certificate of Naturalization Apostilled? It is not as simple as one may believe. Many apostille service agencies will tell you that you may notarize a copy of the document and have it apostilled or have a notary compare the copy to the original and notarize the document as a true copy. Well this is not true. Although in many cases the states did apostille such copies. Many state governments are catching up to the federal requirements and will not issue apostille for such Certificates of Naturalization. Furthermore, many foreign authorities will not accept such documents which are basically based entirely on your personal statement that the document is the copy of the original Certificate of Naturalization.

What is the proper way to apostille Certificate of Naturalization?

Well, first of all, you should make a copy of the original document and make an appointment with your local US Citizenship and Immigration Service office (US CIS). Make sure to take the original document, a copy thereof, and two forms of valid identification with you to the said appointment.

  • at the appointment:

You shall request a Certified True Copy of your Certificate of Naturalization from the US CIS Officer. They will compare the copy and the original and issue a statement that the said copy is Certified Copy of the Original Certificate of Naturalization issued to you by the US CIS. It will also include your name and your Alien Registration number.

N.B: The form which US CIS used to issue was called G-24 Certification of Documents (Originals or Copies thereof). However, this might have changed recently and the actual form may be called differently. Nevertheless, it should be signed by an authorized officer of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service officer and must have embossed seal of the United States Department of Homeland Security.

  • after the appointment:

Your Certified True Copy of the Certificate of Naturalization is now ready to be apostilled. Keep in mind that although your document may be issued in one of the States, it has been issued by a Federal Government agency. As the result the apostille for such document must also be obtained on the federal level, namely from the United States Department of State. You may apply in person or by mail to get an apostille for your Certificate of Naturalization.  One detail for in-person application is that your document will no longer be available for the same day pickup. The processing times of the US State Department were changed and it may take anywhere from 3 to 5 business days to get the apostille. Mail-in requests will take even longer.

please call our office @ (212) 233-7061. Out of the country? Not a problem! Send us an email.

HINT: Out of the country? Not a problem!  If you have left the US and require apostilled copy of the Naturalization Certificate, you may be in luck and you may not need to travel to the US to get it.  Find out more by calling our office @ (212) 233-7061 or sending us an email.