No, not an apostle, an apostille (“AH-POH-STEEL”).
An apostille is a certification document affixed to public documents for international use by the Secretary of State of each State in the United States.
“The apostille is a creation of an international treaty, the Hague Convention of 1961. The United States of America joined the Hague Convention in 1981. The Convention provides for, among other things, the certification of public documents to be used in countries that have joined the Convention.
In accordance with the provisions of the Convention, this office issues apostilles only for documents intended for use in foreign countries that also are signatories of the Convention. This document is the equivalent of a Certificate of Authority used in countries that are not participants in the Hague Treaty. An apostille has the same requirements, the same fee, and the same instructions as a Certificate of Authority. Apostilles shall not at any time be issued for use in the United States.”
You will need an apostille on every document directly related to your direct line of descent. The only documents that do not require an apostille are naturalization documents. The exceptions to both of these rules are if you are applying in Italy, in which case, all documents must have apostilles.
Before sending your documents for apostilles, take scans of them to allow for easy sending to translators later on. Once the apostille is affixed to the front of a document, you should NOT remove it. Removing or damaging an apostille (ex: removing a staple or hole-punching) invalidates it and you will have to get it again.
Each document needing an apostille is done by the Secretary of State of the state the document is from. If you are applying in Italy, and require an apostille for a federally issued document (i.e. from NARA or USCIS), you should send your documents to the Authentications office at the U.S. Department of State (be sure to review Federal Apostille Requirements from the U.S. Dept of State before sending documents in).
Each state has a website that gives the information as to where, how, and what the cost is.
A table of the US states is below for convenience, but we cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices.
|STATE|| COST PER|
|STATE|| COST PER|