Author Topic: Cheap way to get an apostille from abroad?  (Read 1567 times)

StockBeard

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Cheap way to get an apostille from abroad?
« on: September 25, 2017, 12:43:16 AM »
I messed up.
My daughter was born in the US but I did not declare her birth to the (French) embassy there. We were moving to Japan soon and I assumed I would declare her birth to the French embassy in Tokyo.

Turns out that for a child born in the US, my only way to declare the birth to French authorities is to go through the French Embassy in the US. The French Embassy in Japan cannot recognize a US-born child.

So now in order to declare my kid to the French authorities, I have to get 1) a birth certificate from the US and 2) get an apostille from the state of Washington on that certificate.

1) Is going to be somewhat costly but I'll survive ($30 for the certificate + $40 to get it shipped to Japan)

2) Is where I'm stuck. I'm not sure the state, in this case Washington, will return a document with the apostille to an address abroad. Their form looks very US-specific. I have asked them by email and am pending their reply but I am not hopeful.

There are services that handle the apostille step for you and that ship abroad, but they charge an insane amount (think $300~$500. Getting the apostille is free, so they're really charging for the service + shipping). Is there any way I'm getting away from this for a much more reasonable cost?

Mgmny

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Re: Cheap way to get an apostille from abroad?
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2017, 11:03:58 AM »
I messed up.
My daughter was born in the US but I did not declare her birth to the (French) embassy there. We were moving to Japan soon and I assumed I would declare her birth to the French embassy in Tokyo.

Turns out that for a child born in the US, my only way to declare the birth to French authorities is to go through the French Embassy in the US. The French Embassy in Japan cannot recognize a US-born child.

So now in order to declare my kid to the French authorities, I have to get 1) a birth certificate from the US and 2) get an apostille from the state of Washington on that certificate.

1) Is going to be somewhat costly but I'll survive ($30 for the certificate + $40 to get it shipped to Japan)

2) Is where I'm stuck. I'm not sure the state, in this case Washington, will return a document with the apostille to an address abroad. Their form looks very US-specific. I have asked them by email and am pending their reply but I am not hopeful.

There are services that handle the apostille step for you and that ship abroad, but they charge an insane amount (think $300~$500. Getting the apostille is free, so they're really charging for the service + shipping). Is there any way I'm getting away from this for a much more reasonable cost?

Do you have any friends/family in Washington still? Couldn't they help you out? How much time would it take someone to get the apostille for you? Could you pay someone on here $100 PayPal to get the apostille and ship it to your address in Japan?

bigalsmith101

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Re: Cheap way to get an apostille from abroad?
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2017, 05:18:24 PM »
I live in Washington state, and I'd be more than willing to help you. Have it shipped to my address, and I'll forward it along to whatever address you'd prefer in Japan (or elsewhere).

Surely, help from an internet stranger sounds weird. However, it's basically my standard operating procedure these days. Hosting foreign overland travelers, storing vehicles for travelers, helping with paperwork and registration of vehicles, title transfers, etc. Bank documents, DMV paperwork, buying and shipping parts/documents/papers etc.  I'm hosting two Australian overland travelers early next month, and three British travelers in the middle of next month. I just housed a German bicyclist for 6 nights only a couple weeks ago, that I met in line at the bank! Basically, I just thoroughly enjoy helping people.

What more trouble could a birth certificate/apostille be? If you'd like assistance, feel free to contact me.

StockBeard

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Re: Cheap way to get an apostille from abroad?
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2017, 07:54:35 PM »
Thanks to both of you, in particular bigalsmith101!

The Office of the Secretary of State have replied to me that it is possible to request the apostille from abroad (in addition to the request form which can be found on their site, one has to include a payment authorization sheet for them to charge for international shipping). So I will try that official route first, but will definitely get back in touch if that doesn't pan out!

Thanks again

lhamo

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Re: Cheap way to get an apostille from abroad?
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2017, 09:04:58 PM »
You are lucky that the French consulate only requires the apostille!   To get our documents recognized in China I had to go through a slightly different process that required certification by the local authority (for DS's NY birth certificate that meant certification first by NYC, then again by NY State) and then another layer of certification by the relevant Chinese consulates (NY for the NY documents, SFO for the WA documents).    In some parts of the US the Chinese consulate also requires that the STATE DEPARTMENT certify documents before the consulate will.  It is a huge racket -- I'm sure many of the people who have set up businesses doing this have ties to the consulate.

Anyway, long-winded way of saying I would be happy to help out with this kind of thing, too, for those dealing with WA state documents.    The office in Olympia that does it seems pretty easy to work with.