Okay, first of all, does anyone know how to pronounce the word Apostille? A site I found via Google breaks it down phonetically as a-poss-steal. That means I’ve probably been saying it incorrectly throughout years of applying for various visas…
But anyway, regardless of the pronunciation, I am here today to share some information on how to get walk-in Apostille certifications in DC, specifically for applying for a student visa for Spain to participate in Spain’s government teaching program. I am based in Northern Virginia so I am applying for my visa through the Spanish consulate in DC, and because I live near DC it was possible for me to get same day walk-in Apostilles. I am only speaking from personal experience here and I cannot provide information on other consulates. The only way to get official information is to contact these offices yourself, but since we all know that can be tricky and internet information is unclear, I am answering a few questions in the hopes it will help other people going through the same process.
Q. If I am applying for a student visa for Spain through the DC Consulate, what documents need an Apostille?
On August 15th, 2011, the day I applied for my visa, the DC Consulate required an Apostille on two different documents: the FBI background check and the medical certificate.
Some other consulates do not require an Apostille on the medical certificate, but at the time of writing, the DC consulate does. (By the way, for the teaching program they recently announced they will accept state police checks in lieu of the FBI check but I didn’t go that route so I can’t help you there.)
Q. How do I get a walk-in Apostille for the medical certificate and FBI report?
Being young and naive, I thought I could get both documents Apostilled at the same office. Ha! Silly me. That would be convenient and efficient and unrealistic. There are separate offices for each document. Someone told me one office is for federal documents and the other is for state documents so that might be why.
To get a walk-in Apostille for your medical certificate:
Important! Before you go, make sure your medical certificate is already notarized. It has to be notarized by a DC notary. I did mine at a PNC bank in DC which notarizes for free if you are a bank customer.
- Go to the Office of Notary Commissions and Authentications. It is right next to the Judiciary Square metro stop on the Red line.
- Sign your name in the book at the desk and wait for your name to be called.
- The charge for the Apostille is $15 per document. I paid with a credit card but it helps to bring your checkbook as a backup because their credit card machine was broken the day my sister went and she had to leave to get a money order. They don’t take cash.
Phone: (202) 727-3117
Fax: (202) 727-8457
441 4th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
PUBLIC OFFICE HOURS
Monday through Friday from 9 am to 1 pm
To get a walk-in Apostille for your FBI report:
Important! Your FBI report must be authenticated for this to work. Ben wrote a blog post about authentication so check that out if you’re confused.
- Go to the State Department’s Authentications Office. It is near the Foggy Bottom metro stop on the Blue line and close to the Spanish embassy.
- Walk in and take a number from the machine by the front door and wait for your number to be called.
- The charge is $8 per document. Again, I paid with a credit card and I’m not sure if they take cash.
Columbia Plaza Store Front
518 23rd Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
WALK-IN (COUNTER SERVICE)
Open only from 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Monday thru Friday except Federal Holidays
Q. I spent all morning running around getting Apostilles and now I need to make photocopies of them for my visa app. Quick! Before the Spanish consulate closes at 1pm! What do I do?
This happened to me. There is a Fedex Kinko’s on 2400 M street (24th and M) near the Spanish embassy which is at 2375 Pennsylvania Ave. It is a pretty short walk (or in my case, run). Good luck!