Here are the steps I took to get my diploma notarized and apostilled. Keep in mind that I had my diploma apostilled in the state of Kansas, so your process may be different.
First, what IS an apostille?: “Apostilles authenticate the seals and signatures of officials on public documents such as birth certificates, notarials, court orders, or any other document issued by a public authority, so that they can be recognized in foreign countries that are parties to the Convention.” – US State Department
Also to answer another question you may have, here is the pronunciation
1. Locate a notary public
I live in the same town as the University I attended, so I visited the registrar’s office. Most banks offer this service for free if you have an account. I know that UPS also offers notarization services but they will charge you a fee ~$10. Wherever you choose to do this, it is a good idea to call ahead.
I know that Kansas ONLY apostilles documents which have been notarized by KANSAS notary publics. I think this is the case in most states. In other words, the document you have notarized MUST be apostilled in the same state. (To apostille a document, it must be notarized first in the SAME state).
2. Have the notary public scan the diploma themselves
You will give your diploma to the notary public and they will proceed to scan your diploma themselves. I asked for a black and white copy. You are NOT getting your actual diploma apostilled. DONT LET THE NOTARY WRITE ANYWHERE ON YOUR ACTUAL DIPLOMA!!
3. Fill out the attestation for copy of a document
Bring with you a printed version of an “attestation for copy of a document”. This is used to verify that the document copy that they notary public has just produced, is indeed authentic and correct. The notary public will proceed to fill in the appropriate areas and affix their stamp.
The American Society of Notaries has more info on this process here.
4. Type up the required cover letter along with check as payment
If you are mailing these documents you must include a cover letter indicating what country the documents are being certified for (South Korea) and how many authentications or Apostilles are needed. Include as much contact information as possible in case the office needs to get a hold of you. Apostille certification in Kansas is $7.50.
5. Mail these 2 pages to the Secretary of State along with return envelope
I paperclipped my documents together and sent them off to Topeka. I recommend USPS prepaid forever envelopes. The return envelope should have you as the sender and the recipient.
In the end, I had three pages that were stapled together by the authentications office
- Apostille page
- Attestation for copy of a document
- Diploma copy
NEVER detach these documents from the staple, or else you will void the apostille!
Again, the process may be different for you if you live outside of Kansas but your state likely runs on more or less the same lines. The National Association of Secretaries of State has a handy tool you can use to locate your appropriate issuing authority.
Ad astra per aspera,
Disclaimer: The process discussed in this post is applicable to US applicants and is based on EPIK 2016 Fall intake directions. Laws and regulations in the mentioned governmental departments are subject to change.