FBI Apostille: The #1 Step-By-Step Guide to Apostilling an FBI Criminal Background Check

FBI Apostille: Navigating the Apostille Process for Your FBI Criminal Background Check



If you’re considering international travel for work, study, or family matters—or perhaps you’re venturing into a new business opportunity abroad—you may come across the requirement for an apostille on your FBI Criminal Background Check. This might initially seem like a daunting or complicated task, especially if you’re new to the concept of an apostille or international legal procedures. However, fear not. In this guide, we’ll peel back the layers of confusion and provide a straightforward roadmap. 

We’ll cover everything from why an apostille is necessary and who usually requests it, to the traditional and expedited methods of obtaining one. By the end of this read, you should have a good grasp of the steps you need to take, as well as options to make the process faster, should you need to. Let’s dive in and demystify this essential yet often misunderstood aspect of international documentation.

Why You May Need an Apostille for Your FBI Criminal Background Check

An apostille is an internationally recognized form of authentication for documents. Many countries require this for legal and official matters, such as work visas, immigration, or overseas business ventures. The FBI Criminal Background Check, being a federal document, is often requested to be apostilled for international use.

The Traditional Apostille Process: U.S. Department of State

Traditionally, the U.S. Department of State has been responsible for issuing apostilles for federal documents like FBI checks. It’s a well-accepted method but comes with a longer waiting period of around 11-13 weeks, and there’s no way to speed it up.

How to Start

Begin with obtaining your FBI Criminal Background Check. You’ll usually need to submit fingerprints, which you can get at your local police department or other designated locations equipped with fingerprinting services.

A Speedy Alternative: D.C. Secretary of State

Starting in August 2023, the D.C. Secretary of State offers a quicker apostille process. You can get your FBI background check apostilled in just 2-3 business days, but this method may require more due diligence on your part to ensure it’s accepted by the receiving country.

Learn More About the Two Apostille Options Here

Our Goodwill Guarantee

If you choose the expedited D.C. route and it’s not accepted by the receiving country, we offer a “re-do” at a discounted rate through the traditional U.S. Department of State route.

Consumer Caution: The Importance of Due Diligence

There are private companies that promise fast apostille services, but not all are reliable. It’s crucial to vet any service you consider using. Check reviews, ask for recommendations, and read any available consumer reports to ensure you’re dealing with a reputable company. Be wary of scams and fraudulent services. Always conduct your own research and read the fine print to ensure you’re not being misled or overcharged.

The Hague and Non-Hague Countries

If the country you’re heading to is a member of the 1961 Hague Convention, the apostille process is usually straightforward. However, if you’re going to a non-member country like the UAE, you’ll need additional steps like embassy legalization.

Translation Requirements

Some countries may require the FBI background check and its apostille to be translated into their native language. We offer certified translation services in over 100 languages, which will also be ready for apostilling if needed.

Final Thoughts

The journey to obtaining an apostille for your FBI Criminal Background Check might initially seem like a labyrinth of complicated steps and decisions. However, as we’ve outlined in this comprehensive guide, the process can be simplified and made more approachable when broken down into clear, manageable tasks. From deciding between the traditional U.S. Department of State method and the expedited D.C. Secretary of State option, to understanding the recipient’s requirements and available safety nets like our Goodwill Guarantee, the path ahead doesn’t have to be filled with uncertainty. Should you encounter any roadblocks or need further clarification, rest assured that we’re here to assist you at each pivotal moment. Feel free to reach out anytime—our commitment is to make this journey as smooth and understandable as possible for you.

Are You Ready to Order?

If you are ready to order the apostille for your FBI background check, please navigate to our main apostille page.