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How to Get an Apostille

By I - Posted on 16 June 2011

For many people, the most confusing part of getting documents for an E-2, E-1 or C-4 visa to teach English in South Korea are the apostille and criminal background check.

The background check and copy of your diploma (or verification of degree) will need to be apostilled. This is a piece of paper with a government seal on it that verifies a document for international use. You many need to have the document notarized before getting an apostille, so check with your local apostille office to confirm.

You will have to include a piece of paper that says what country you are getting the apostille for, i.e. South Korea, as well as your name, address and other information. Each country can have different requirements, so be sure to check directly with the office you will be getting your apostille from.

Information changes, so please let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated!

How to Get an Apostille in the USA

In the United States, apostilles for a copy of a diploma are done through your secretary of state’s office for almost every state. The document will need to be notarized and possibly authenticated by a country clerk depending on the state, so be sure to check with your state’s apostille office to confirm. The apostille fee varies from state to state.

For more information, see our list of apostille offices in the United States.

Some states will apostille an FBI check, while others will not because it’s a federal document. If your state won’t do it, you’ll have to have send/take it in to the Office of Authentications at the State Department in Washington DC. They can do it the same day if you take it there in person, or in about 2 weeks plus mail time if you mail it in.

How to Get Korean Consular Authentication in Canada

There is no apostilles in Canada so teachers will have to get their criminal record check and copy of their diploma authenticated by a Korean consulate. The CRC does not have to be notarized, but the copy of their diploma must be notarized in a province that falls under jurisdiction of the consulate they will be getting the authentication from and you must submit a set of official, unopened transcripts. The cost is $4,40.

Consulates can do it while you wait if you take it there in person, or in about a week if you mail it in. Be sure to follow their directions and include a prepaid return Xpresspost envelope!

Contact your nearest consulate for more details. There are consulates in Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal, in addition to the embassy in Ottawa.

How to Get an Apostille in the UK

In the UK, apostilles are issued by the Legalisation Office of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in Milton Keynes and cost £30. You used to be able to have your apostille done the same day if you took it in person, but they are only accepting mail-in requests from individuals as of April 1, 2011.

If you get a Subject Access through the police, you do not need to have it notarized and can send the original directly to the apostille office. If you get a Disclosure or Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check, it has to be signed by an official someone from Disclosure Scotland the CRB respectively, or by a notary public or solicitor in the UK.

Their website has a Step by Step Guide, Apostille FAQ and directions for specific documents.

How to get an Apostille in Ireland

The Department of Foreign Affairs provides apostilles in Ireland at a cost of €20. If you are getting an apostille for a copy of your diploma, you will need to first have it notarized by a practicing Irish solicitor or notary public in Ireland. You should not need to get your criminal record check notarized first as it is a government document, but you may want to check with the apostille office directly before sending it in.

You can get your apostille back the same day if you take it here in person:

Consular Section
Department of Foreign Affairs
Hainault House
69 - 71 St. Stephen’s Green
Dublin 2

You can get your apostilles through the mail here:
Consular Section
Department of Foreign Affairs
80 St. Stephen's Green
Dublin 2
Tel: (01) 408 2174; (01) 408 2322; (01) 408 2061; (01) 408 2576

Or here if you live in the Munster area:
Consular Services,
Department of Foreign Affairs,
1A South Mall,
Tel: 021 4944765; 021 4944766

See the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs website for more details.

How to get an Apostille in New Zealand

All Criminal Conviction Letter from the Ministry of Justice must be on their blue logo paper with an ink signature. Black and white letters cannot be apostilled. For more information on how to obtain a Criminal Conviction Letter, see our page on how to get a criminal record check.

All documents issued by a university must be notarized by a notary public before they can be apostilled.

The fee is $32 NZD (incl. GST) for one apostille certificate and $15 NZD for each additional apostille certificate submitted at the same time.

By courier:
Authentication Unit
Level 13 Prime Property Tower
86-90 Lambton Quay
Wellington 6011

Or by post:
Authentication Unit
Department of Internal Affairs
PO Box 805
Wellington 6140

Other contact details:
email: [email protected]
Phone: (04) 470-2928 Freephone: 0800 872 675 Fax: (04) 470-2921
Authentication Officers: Carlee Reid, Shannan Wong, Rita Foaese

For more information, visit their website.

How to get an Apostille in Australia

In Australia, apostilles are obtained from The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). Documents may be submitted in person or by mail at any state or territory DFAT office. If you plan on submitting documents by mail, check with the DFAT office you are dealing with to see how best to send the documents, how they will be returned to you and if there are any applicable fees.

All documents must have an original signature, stamp or seal on them to be apostilled. If the document you wish to have apostilled does not have an original signature, stamp or seal, it must first be notarized by a notary public before being submitted for an apostille.

Most Australian government documents have an official seal or stamp. If your criminal background check is government issued, it shouldn’t need to be notarized by a notary public, although it is a good idea to check with the DFAT apostille office before submitting it.

Copies of university diplomas must be notarized by an Australian notary public or signed and stamped by the central Student Administration area of the issuing school before being submitted for apostilles. If you are ordering a copy of your diploma from your university, check to see if they sign and stamp their documents as not all schools do.

If your school does sign and stamp their documents, you will need to inform them that the document will be going to the DFAT and will need an authorized officer’s signature. If your university does not sign and stamp their documents, it must be notarized by a notary public.

The fee for apostilles is AUD $60 per one page, single sided document.

Click here for more information and frequently asked questions about obtaining an apostille in Australia.

DAFT Contact Information

The Secretary to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
R.G. Casey Building
John McEwen Crescent Barton,
ACT 0221 Australia.
Telephone: +61 (2) 6261 3644 / +61 (2) 6261 1111
Fax: +61 (2) 6261 2820 / +61 (2) 6261 3111
Email: [email protected], or [email protected].

How to get an Apostille in South Africa

In South Africa, apostilles are handled by The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO).

If you need a copy of a document to be apostilled, such as a copy of a university diploma, the copy must be notarized first by a notary public and legalized by the Registrar of the High Court or Magistrate before submitting them to the DIRCO for an apostille.

As of present, educational certificates that are signed and stamped by the authorized employee at the Department of Education and Police Clearance Certificates that are signed and stamped by the Criminal Record Centre of the South African Police Service do not need to be legalized before being submitted for apostilles. They can be sent directly to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.

For more information, visit their website or email them directly at [email protected]

Postal Address:
Chief Directorate: Consular Services (Legalisation Section)
Department of International Relations and Cooperation
Private Bag X152

Physical Address:
Legalisation Section NE2A-Ground Floor
OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road

Tel: (012) 351-1232 (Supervisor)
Tel: (012) 351-1269
Tel: (012) 351-0033
Tel: (012) 351-1490
Tel: (012) 351-1268
Tel: (012) 351-1231

Fax: (012) 329-1752


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