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Parviz Malakouti-Fitzgerald, Esq.

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  • Writer's pictureParviz Malakouti-Fitzgerald, Esq.

Does Your FBI Background Check Need to be Notarized Before Being Apostilled?

By Parviz Malakouti-Fitzgerald, Esq.

You do not have to notarize an official government-issued document before submitting for an apostille to the U.S. office of authentications. 

A sample of an apostille of an FBI background check that was NOT notarized!

Getting an FBI background check and accompanying apostille is a rite of passage of sorts for Americans pursuing second citizenship. Most European citizenship by descent naturalization programs require an FBI report of U.S. citizens, and all foreign citizenship by investment programs require them. 

In my practice as a global mobility and citizenship lawyer, I have apostilled dozens of FBI background checks over the last four years. All of them were sent to the U.S. office of authentications without a notarization. 

Unfortunately, I still many messages asking whether you still have to go to a public notary for a notarization first before apostilling an FBI background check (“identity history summary.”) 

Why the Confusion? 

The U.S. Office of Authentications website has very misleading language on its website regarding their apostille process. 

The language below is wrong as phrased and causes lots of confusion among Americans applying for second citizenship. 

U.S. Office of authentications apostille instructions from their website

The above statement is only true for some non-government-issued documents that must first be notarized before being apostilled. 

What About Other Documents? 

However, government-issued documents like the FBI background check do not have to be notarized before being apostilled. Other government-issued documents do not have to be notarized first before an apostille either. 

Examples would be: 

Rest easy knowing that these government-issued documents, along with the FBI background check, do not have to be notarized.

Consult with Malakouti Law

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At Malakouti Law, we help people get second citizenship. Book a consultation here to explore becoming a client. 

Each immigration and citizenship case is particular and you should consult with a qualified immigration and citizenship lawyer about your case before taking any steps. The Law Office of Parviz Malakouti does not guarantee the accuracy of information presented nor assume responsibility for actions taken in reliance of this information. The information in this page could become outdated. Attorney marketing. 

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