Federal Services Update: Authentications, Legalizations

Posted by Steven Gibson
March 31, 2023

Our federal services offering ​​supports clients seeking to file, search or retrieve documents with federal agencies, federal courts, embassies and other regulating bodies. 

With the U.S. Department of State, we authenticate documents that have been issued by either the federal government or a Secretary of State from any of the 50 states. These might include passports, agricultural documents, certified copies of documents filed at the Secretary of State level, as well as notarized documents such as power of attorney and certificates of incumbency. 

It’s worth noting that while we handle authentications with the U.S. Department of State swiftly, they are on an operating backlog of approximately 10-12 weeks with no expedited option available. 

At the international level, we work with embassies, delivering documents for consular review to ensure accuracy and proper processing so that a given embassy can legalize them. Key to our efficiency and effectiveness with legalizations is our comprehensive review and submission process. Rather than simply delivering what a client provides, our Washington D.C. office of true subject matter experts conduct thorough document reviews prior to submission in order to minimize risk of rejection. 

embassies dc

Embassy Row in Washington, D.C.

We also keep a keen eye on the latest embassy news as it relates to legalizations to minimize surprises and set realistic timelines with our clients. 

For example, we know that the Chinese embassy is still operating under what they refer to as an “emergency request.” Effectively that means the Chinese embassy requires a request for an emergency appointment. From that appointment, the embassy will provide a date for document pick-up. What isn’t provided is any sort of insight as to whether or not the document legalization has been accepted or rejected. The “emergency request” began at the onset of COVID-19 and has maintained ever since. But what matters is that we are aware of it and know how to navigate. 

Similarly, the Egyptian embassy has issued a small change. Previously, we’ve often been able to affix a notary statement to a document for legalization. Now, the Egyptian embassy – which is one of the more popular jurisdictions for legalization requests – asks that notary statements be in the actual document. 

Embassies are constantly changing rules and requirements — and they’re all different. While these changes seem infinitesimally small, being aware of (and adhering to) them saves our clients time and money. 

With a dedicated, knowledgeable staff in our Washington, D.C. office, we’re ready to support authentications, legalizations and a variety of other federal services needs. To get started, contact info@incserv.com or call 800-346-4646.