I’ve received many inquiries lately from students in the process of obtaining their visas. One of the most common is in relation to the Apostille Certificate (Apostille of the Hague) that is required at the New York consulate with your state police records.
What is this and why do I need it?
To make a long story short, it is a certificate issued by the Department of State of your state of residence that validates public documents issued in one State party to the Convention to be presented in another State party to the Convention. Not all consulates require it in conjunction with your police records in order to obtain the visa, but New York definitely does. You need it because this is their way of ensuring that this document is valid. More importantly, you need it because they will not even begin processing your visa until they have it!
Where and how do I get the Apostille certificate?
If you applying for your student visa at the New York consulate, you will need to contact the Department of State in your state of residence for detailed instructions. Below are the DOS websites for various states in the northeast region:
New York – http://www.dos.state.ny.us/CORP/msrfaq.html
Massachusetts – http://www.sec.state.ma.us/pre/precom/comidx.htm
Connecticut – http://www.ct.gov/dph/cwp/view.asp?a=3132&q=395696