According to several nationally recognized studies there are more than 600,000 international students studying in the United States today. Translating to nearly 4% of all students enrolled in U.S. educational institutions will be from international decent.
This staggering growth leaves one industry bound for exceptional growth, the Apostille industry. An Apostille is defined as a documentation legalization service.
Apostille is a French word which means certification. In English it is used to refer to the legalization of a document for international use. On October 5, 1961 several nations joined to create this simplified method of legalizing documents through the Hague Convention Abolishing the requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents.
Documents that are certified with a conformant apostille are accepted for legal use in all the nations that have signed the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents.
Member countries of the Hague convention include Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, China (Macau), China (Hong Kong), Colombia, Cook Islands, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Republic of, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Liechtenstein, and Lithuania.
Other member countries include Luxembourg, Malawi, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Republic of, Monaco, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niue, Norway, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia and Montenegro, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, FYR of Macedonia, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America, and Venezuela.
In countries which are not signatories to the 1961 Convention and do not recognize the apostille, the document must have an Embassy Legalization from which the document is issued.
Typical embassies from which Embassy Legalization services can be transacted include Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burma, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, People’s Republic of, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, and Jamaica.
Other countries include Jordan, Kenya, Korea, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Nauru, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Palestine Mission (PLO), Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan , Tanzania , Thailand , Togo, Tunisia , Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Uganda, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
The demand for such services is increasing as the number of international students continues to skyrocket in the U.S. and abroad. Everything from a marriage certificate to a power of attorney can be legalized internationally by Apostille companies. Typical costs range from $100 to $200 for the full legalization of a document, including shipping.
Most students throughout their college careers require several copies of official transcripts, along with other important documents like degrees, statements of study major, not to mention medical records. Contrary to popular belief, just because a document is issued from a major university or hospital does not make it recognized worldwide. This is why Apostille documentation services have become so popular.
International students are often granted entry to the U.S. through temporary student visa passes, and thus will be forced to return to their native country after completing their studies.
Returning home without having the proper documents legalized can be cause for concern. Apostille services relieve the concerns of international students that will need their degrees, and important documents legalized for world wide acceptance.
An Apostille service will legalize most documents like driver licenses, medical records, educational degrees and transcripts for members of the Hague Convention Treaty. For those wanting documents legalized that come from other countries not among the Hague Convention Treaty nations, Embassy Legalization service can be used.
In the ever changing global economy, the rules of engagement are changing for international students. Often they can obtain their education in the U.S. and return home to a distinguished job in their native country; utilizing new technology to be anywhere and everywhere the company needs them to be.
However, regardless of where one is working, if an international student does not have their documents legalized, all can be for not, as many countries require document legalization in order to recognize such documents as a college degree.