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BeachBum
23-09-2008, 16:22
Regarding: Temporary Residence Permit (TRP) Criminal Background Check and Apostille requirements
After several dead ends I can an offer the correct advice backed up by offical statements.

The Temporary Residency Permit application requires a criminal background report.

Question 1: Where is this indicated?

From the Russian Federal Migration Site here is the address:

. (http://www.fmsmoscow.ru/rvp_text.php?nid=32&)

This is the citation from the FMS site regarding the requirement and my lame translation:

"документ, выданный полномочным органом государства постоянного проживания, подтверждающий наличие или отсутствие судимости у заявителя",
the document, issued by the primary organization in the state of residence, confirming the presence or absence of convictions for the applicant
Note: my translations which suck are in red.

Question 2: What constitutes a criminal background check? 2 types of checks are available.
A)The FBI Criminal History Record
or
B) State Police background check.

Which will suffice? From the Russian FMS site,The phrase regarding this issue states, "государства постоянного проживания" 'the state of residence' (again my translation may not be the best) However, I have seen no posts on this forum where applicants submitting correct Apostilled FBI checks have been denied on the ground that a State issued document was required. Conversely, there are a number of people reporting difficulties using a State Police Background check. Common sense says take the safer route.

Question 3: Does the Criminal History Record require an Apostille?

It does not state specifically in the FMS website. However, the majority of persons questioned on this forum will indicate the answer is "YES". Better to be safe than sorry. (comments please).

Question 4: What is an Apostille? from 'Wikipedia':

Apostille is also a French word which means a certification. It is commonly used in English to refer to the legalization of a document for international use under the terms of the 1961 Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents. Documents which have been notarized by a notary public, and certain other documents, and then certified with a conformant apostille are accepted for legal use in all the nations that have signed the Hague Convention.

Please note: In England the same process is called Legalization not an Apostille. e.g. a document is Apostilled in America , legalized in England.

Question 5: How do I obtain an Apostille for a document? In general, a document can be Apostilled in the state it was issued from with certain limitations. For example, a State Police Background check can be Apostilled in the state it was issued usually provided it is notarized?

Question 6: What is Notarized?

Simple. The signature is witnessed and verified on a document! Nothing else.

Question 7: How to obtain the FBI Criminal History Record?

(American applicants this is the important one so READ THIS!)

First step: Get your fingerprints done. By seperate agency or Go to the US Embassy - American CItizen Services(Best Method) Call 728-5000 ask operator for ACS, Hours M-F 9-12, 2-4, Address: Bolshi Dyevatinski Per Dom 8, Metro Krasnopresnenskaya. Get your fingerprints done on the standard card. FD-258. Make sure a consular officer signs and places the American Counsular Stamp on the card (very important!!!!) The service is free.

Second Step: Go to the FBI web site for fingerprint services. Read all instructions on what to do with your completed card. Don't trust me. For those too lazy to search here is the address:

FBI internet site : Federal Bureau of Investigation - Criminal Justice Information Services Division - FBI Identification Record Request (http://www.fbi.gov/hq/cjisd/fprequest.htm)

For those too dumb to understand the instructions here is what to do:
send (3) things
A) the signed/ stamped FD-258 fingerprint card
b) complete and enclose a cover letter (see the FBI web site at the address I specified)
c) enclose payment 18$ by credit card form 18$ Money Order or certified check (if mailing from the states you have access to the last 2 options)

where to:
FBI CJIS Division – Record Request
1000 Custer Hollow Road
Clarksburg, West Virginia 26306

Question 8: How do I get the FBI Criminal Check Apostilled?

But first a brief discussion.

Hopefully you have family or friends in the states who can handle the required mailings i.e. Completed documents mailed to /from the FBI and then back to the Department of State or The West Virginia Secretary of State then back to you in Moscow.

The completed criminal history record consists of the original card with the stamp; "No record" or the report titled "FBI Identification Record". Again two methods A) and B) to get this document Apostilled depending on how you obtained the Fingerprint card.

Please Note regarding where to send the completed background check:
forum member 'NYINRUSSIA' wrote that the FBi will send the completed background check directly to the Department of State. I would also assume then that they will also send to the West Virginia Secretary of state. All you need to do is specify on the FBI cover letter the recepient and they will mail to. All that is needed is to arrange for payment.

Places who will Apostille the background check:

A) US Department of State Office of Authentications. But the fingerprint card must have been completed by a consular officer,signed and stamped with the consular seal. (which is what they do free of charge at the US embassy). Read here for details,where to send , cost etc.:

From the US Dept of State Office of Authentications internet site:

"Documents requiring certifications with an apostille by the U.S. Department of State are those that have been signed by a federal official with the official Seal of that agency, American Consular Officer"

US Department of State Internet site address: Apostille Requirements (http://www.state.gov/m/a/auth/c16921.htm)

See below correspondence from the US Department of State, Office of Authentications:

From: Hatchett, Patrick O
Sent: Friday, September 19, 2008 9:22 PM
Subject: RE: Question regarding Apostille of FBI Criminal History Record.
The only way this office could issue authentication of a document for an apostille country, is if it were to be certified by a Consular Officer at the U.S. Embassy or Foreign Embassy, here in the U.S. Also, a military notary, or seal and signature from a military branch is acceptable on a statement referring to the finger prints would be sufficient for us to issue the apostille certification.
If done through the States, then the person or persons would have to make an affidavit referring to the fingerprints as true and correct documents and submit through notary and Secretary of State levels for the apostille certification only.
From: XXXXXX
Sent: Friday, September 19, 2008 8:58 AM
To: AOPRGSMAUTH
Subject: Question regarding Apostille of FBI Criminal History Record.
Dear Authentications Officer:
I am writing to ascertain if the Department of State will Apostille an FBI Criminal History Record "Rap Sheet"

B) West Virginia Secretary of State ( the state of origin) This is the only state that will Apostille the FBI Criminal History record. Costs 10$; processing time 24-48 hours from date of receipt.

WVSOS web site address: WVSOS -- Executive Records -- Authentication of Documents for International Use (http://www.wvsos.org/execrecords/other/authentication.htm)

See below correspondence from the WVSOS office:

From: Sharon Huffman [mailto:shuffman@wvsos.com]
Sent: Monday, September 22, 2008 9:04 PM
Subject: RE: Question re: Certification (Apostille) of Hague Country signator
Dear Mr. XXXXXX,
We do accept FBI Criminal History Records. I am assuming it is the fingerprint card they issue. All I need is the card a $10.00 fee and a brief note giving me the country it is for and a contact person in case I have any problems. If you are sending more than one, please add additional $5.00 for each.
Thank you,
Sharon Huffman
Sent: Saturday, September 20, 2008 1:15 AM
To: Executive Records Support Email
Subject: Question re: Certification (Apostille) of Hague Country signator
Dear Authentications Officer:
I am writing to inquire if the WV Secretary of State will Apostille an FBI Criminal History Record



I will update this to make it more user friendly as time permits

nyinrussia
24-09-2008, 09:22
Yes you are correct that supposedly they accept state police check, but I have heard from other expats that they were denied needing also federal. Also to get state you have to go to your local police department in person. That is why most of us use FBI as we can go to the embassy like you have previously stated.

If you send a written request they will automatically send your background check to the secretary of state to get appositilled before sending it back to you. In my experience they were very quick with the whole process and I had the whole thing in plenty of time.

BeachBum
24-09-2008, 09:33
If you send a written request they will automatically send your background check to the secretary of state to get appositilled before sending it back to you. In my experience they were very quick with the whole process and I had the whole thing in plenty of time.

This is an interesting point. Assuming that the FBI will forward the completed Criminal History Record. How did you arrange payment with the Department of State?

nyinrussia
25-09-2008, 13:55
I had my parents send me a money order from the states, ( I believe you can get money orders over but I honestly don't know how) then my husband sent everything the written request for background check, downloadable from their site, my fingerprints from the American embassy and the request for the apositille to the federal address listed on their website.

I had called the secretary of state's office asking how I could get it appositilled they were the ones who said to send a written request and it will be automatically forwarded. They were actually very helpful.

thewanderer
07-11-2008, 16:24
This is probably one of the most helpful threads I've seen on this forum, and that's saying a lot. Thanks a lot!!!

One quick question for everyone, though. I've sent letters through my local pochta before and sometimes they get to the US in a week, sometimes 3. Does anyone have any recommendations for getting things sped up some? Do you use DHL/FedEx, or is there an expedited method to send through the Russian post (I've never needed speed on anything before, so I've never asked)?

I'm planning to apply for TRP in an outer area next January, so I'm getting started next week to gather the required documents. As I understand it from this list, my next step as far as the background check goes is to go get my (and the family's) fingerprints taken and mailed to the US.

One other question about the next step, though. I understand everything very clearly up until the point everything gets to the FBI. My question is about having them send it directly to the WV Dept of State. For obvious reasons, this would save me some time and save me them sending it back and forth to my family in the US. However, how do I go about including the payment to the WV Dept of State and getting them to send it to my family when they're done with it? Do I have a cover letter for the FBI explaining that I want them to send it to the WVDOS, and then another cover letter for the WVDOS explaining what I want them to do with it? Has anyone actually had this work? It sounds a bit "hopeful" to me, but in theory it might work. Am I misunderstanding something?

nyinrussia
12-11-2008, 08:29
You should simply state in the letter that you wold like it sent to the secertary of state for the appositille after the FBI processed the background check.

I can't remember if I sent a preaddressed/paid envelope or not. But I did use this myself. Like I said I called the office first to check that they could do it and they told me exactly what to do. I am sorry at this point I don't remember exact details as it was a year ago at this point.

thewanderer
13-11-2008, 02:00
You should simply state in the letter that you wold like it sent to the secertary of state for the appositille after the FBI processed the background check.

I can't remember if I sent a preaddressed/paid envelope or not. But I did use this myself. Like I said I called the office first to check that they could do it and they told me exactly what to do. I am sorry at this point I don't remember exact details as it was a year ago at this point.

Right, I get that. How do I pay the WVSOS for the apostile, and make sure they send it to my relatives? That's the part I don't get. Do I have to include a payment of some sort to the WVSOS in the original letter to the FBI?

Did you actually do that and have it work for you? I just would be worried that the payment to the SOS would get lost during the time the thing was at the FBI and that it would then sit at the WV DOS office and they wouldn't process due to nonpayment of the fee.

nyinrussia
14-11-2008, 12:04
I actually had my parents send money orders to me prior to dhl to the FBI. Sent it along with the letter stating my request. Unfortunately I do not remember the exact fee. The whole process was actually done about 2 weeks quicker than I expected. I was worried too but there actually was no problems.

moscowbni
16-11-2008, 11:18
USA FBI Docs

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I just went through getting my FBI criminal records check. It took two weeks from when I submitted it to the FBI before I got the form back from the FBI stating "no criminal record"...I had the FBI mail the "Records Check" (Fingerprint Card) to my IPS address in NY who then took about 10 days to get it to me in Moscow. I was then faced with how to get it Apositlled so that it was valid in Russia...Not having anyone in the USA to deal with this, I relied on an internet search and...

I found a company in the states that will get the aposillitte (or however you spell it) for Americans trying to get their USA documents leagilized for use here in Russia. I used it for getting my FBI fingerprint documents Aposillitted. Fast, exactly as advertized. Rather expensive, but it only took one week to turn it around. Worth the $200 I paid. I also paid DHL almost $100 to overnight it to the service I mention below, and they mailed it beck to me via Fed-x in one week total.

So basicaly, after taking a total of 6 weeks after I was fingerprinted, I got the final documents back so that I could start the Temp Residence process here in Russia. (Note that the criminal records check is only valid for 3 months from when you get an answer from the FBI, and I have already used up about half of that time just to get this one form!) Now I'm rushing through the procedures of collecting all the other documents and hope to be able to submitt them on Monday to get my Temp Residence.

This is not spam...Just sharing information.

Link of the company I used:
Fees | Apostille (http://www.apostilla.com/fees/)

kazachka
16-11-2008, 13:20
WOW! You got it all back in SIX weeks??? Typical background/fingerprint checks can take an average of FOUR MONTHS! I have to go through this every 5 yrs to renew my teaching certificate. I was up for renewal this yr. The last check was submitted in APRIL and went through only by LATE SEPTEMBER!

raydg
09-01-2009, 00:31
I assume that the criminal check also has to be translated since the FBI language is English.

Proper Bostonian
10-01-2009, 08:47
Yes, the criminal records check and the apostille both need to be translated & notarized here.


I assume that the criminal check also has to be translated since the FBI language is English.

thewanderer
14-01-2009, 18:52
Success!

I originally sent off my fingerprint card to the FBI back at the end of November. My relatives in the US received the card, stamped appropriately Jan 3rd, and then mailed it in to the WV Secretary of State. Got the card, apostille attached, back two days later (with overnight mail envelope that we included) and it's now on it's way here with some friends.

If you're just gearing up for this, don't worry. It's not nearly as intimidating as it sounds at first. Just dot your "i's" and cross your "t's" and everything will be fine. Of course, if you've lived here long enough to want to apply for residency, you already know that. ;)

kapione
15-01-2009, 06:58
why has everyone on EXPAT.RU become so damn lazy ? No one can find out easy information to get, then if someone is nice enough to go the work or share information , it is either not believed , or pidgeonholed .

best sources for Info is your embassy , go in person.
your State of Federal Senators office.
several people have the correcy info, but are secondguessed

stop being lazy , get off your asses and help yourselves

viktoriya01
07-03-2009, 16:38
Thank you very much!

HeadingToRU
11-03-2009, 15:19
As I am just preparing to come to Russia now, I am getting to and reading this thread just now...a bit late, as I can tell from most of the dates here.

In any case, I am still in Virginia Beach, VA USA and am obtaining as much information as I can; all while hoping that I can prepare MOST of the documents that I will need for applying for residency in advance. So-o-o-o...my question to any of you wise people who have gone before me and are well aware of the hassles and pitfalls to this procedure...CAN I preemptively do all of this BEFORE I get to Russia? It seems like it would be so much less of a headache. I am referring specifically to FBI/VA State Criminal Check, notarizations and Apostille's applied, etc. And even, then, to have all of these documents translated into Russian by an authorized translator residing in the US.

Is this all possible...preferred. Thanks for any information you can lend me in advance.

Best Regards...David

BeachBum
11-03-2009, 23:46
As I am just preparing to come to Russia now, I am getting to and reading this thread just now...a bit late, as I can tell from most of the dates here.

In any case, I am still in Virginia Beach, VA USA and am obtaining as much information as I can; all while hoping that I can prepare MOST of the documents that I will need for applying for residency in advance. So-o-o-o...my question to any of you wise people who have gone before me and are well aware of the hassles and pitfalls to this procedure...CAN I preemptively do all of this BEFORE I get to Russia? It seems like it would be so much less of a headache. I am referring specifically to FBI/VA State Criminal Check, notarizations and Apostille's applied, etc. And even, then, to have all of these documents translated into Russian by an authorized translator residing in the US.

Is this all possible...preferred. Thanks for any information you can lend me in advance.

Best Regards...David
Sure of course you can do all this stuff in the states. Just follow the directions .. write the FBI submit your fingerprint card. get your background history check. get it apostilled and boom! your done one big headache!

Remington
12-03-2009, 00:25
You need to start your TRP ASAP since Russia only accepts criminal records less than 3 months old. It'll be good to have your university diploma or divorce decree apostilled as well. They'll make copies of your original docs and apostille them. You can get your docs done at:

Office of Secretary of Commonwealth
Authentications Division
830 East Main Street, 14th Floor
Richmond, VA 23219
804-786-2441
Secretary of the Commonwealth (http://www.soc.state.va.us)

It'll be cheaper to have your docs translated and notarized in Moscow.

I went to Richmond and had all my docs done on the spot. $10 for each apostilled doc. I believe you can mail your docs but better call to verify.

BTW, I'm from Chespeake, VA and it's nice to know another Virginian coming to Moscow. :D

BrianS
25-05-2009, 05:50
I MAILED in the required fingerprint card and application to my STATE POLICE for their background check. Once this was received I MAILED it to my state's STATE DEPARTMENT office where they gave it the APOSTILLE and MAILED it back to me. Needless to say my TRP was approved with no problems.

HTH


FYI....I am an American.

Bogatyr
30-06-2009, 01:27
I'm a US citizen still residing in the USA and starting the process of acquiring all the documents needed for temporary residency in Russia.

I've been reading all these forums avidly, this is a great source of information. Sometimes though it's hard to reconcile the various personal experiences and "official" requirements. Here's what I found out about getting an Apostille for the FBI criminal background check from the West Virginia Secretary of State in case it helps anyone:

I phoned the office of the West Virginia Secretary of State. The phone number was at the bottom of their executive records web page:

(link removed because the site won't let me post it).

From the site: (as of June 29, 2009)
"Who can answer questions about certification services?

E-mail (removed because forum required it)

Call (304) 558-6000 between 8:30 and 5:00 Eastern Time."

I phoned the number and after getting transferred a few times ended up with getting sent to voicemail. I left a message with my name and phone number and was called back within 5 minutes.

They *will* Apostille FBI background check fingerprint cards (even though they are not signed, I asked explicitly about this) as long as the card was processed in the state of West Virginia. The FBI department that does the checks is located in Clarksburg, WV, so that's fine.

I was told to mail the following...

+ A note indicating what country I wanted the Apostille for.
+ The *unmodified* ("don't even remove any staples") fingerprint card stamped and returned to me by the FBI
+ $10 fee made out to the West Virginia Secretary of State

...to the following address:
Secretary of State, State Capitol Building
Suite 157K
1900 Kanawha Blvd East
Charleston, WV 25305

Additionally, I noted that the FBI accepts payment by credit card for the criminal background check, which I don't recall reading on these forums:

From the FBI website:

"If paying by credit card you must include the completed credit card payment form"

(link removed because the forum post required it)

Proper Bostonian
30-06-2009, 08:36
The SOS office of WV are great - they did my apostille the day they received it. One thing you might want to be aware of. When they apostilled my FBI check they stapled the apostille to the FBI card. In fact, this is a no-no & at 1st my FMS office didn't want to accept it. I suppose ea. state does things differently. For ex., I was married in CA & the SOS office there uses a metal grommet to apostille marriage certificates. Here in Russia, they hole-punch the document, then tie it with ribbon before stamping it. Neither the grommet or ribbon can be removed without destroying the document, whereas a staple can easily be removed.

Bottom line, you might want to ask the WV SOS office to use some other method of attaching the apostille to the FBI record check. My stapled document was finally accepted, but it could just as easily have gone the other. Just a heads up! Good luck to you. I'm about to start my "Vid" next month.

Penguin_The_Great
30-06-2009, 22:20
Bostonian, are you planning to use your "old" copy of the marriage certificate (meaning the one you used for TRP) for "vid" application? Is this true that they require a newly apostilled one?

Proper Bostonian
30-06-2009, 23:54
Quite honestly, I haven't looked into any of this yet. Need to visit my regional FMS office within the next wk. or so to get the details, but, yes, I am planning to use my "old" marriage certificate & am quite shocked by any supposition that a new certificate with a new apostille would be required. My marriage certificate is an original signed, sealed & dated by CA SOS office as is the apostille. These things don't expire. Will ask this specific question when I get the energy to go get my anketa, etc. I dread making the rounds. Good luck to you. keep us updated if you have further info.

Bogatyr
01-07-2009, 03:15
... These things don't expire. .....

However, they can be reversed. What I read somewhere else here I think is that they want to make sure you've not divorced.

Proper Bostonian
01-07-2009, 09:02
Getting a new copy of your marriage certificate with an apostille, doesn't prove you're still married! It only proves you were married on a certain date in a certain state. One could have married in one state & divorced in another or even divorced in another country. As an example, I can request an apostilled copy of my grandfather's birth certificate, but it doesn't mean he's still alive!
IF the FMS requires this, it is absolute absurdity, especially for Americans as no federal organization can 'prove' your aren't divorced [or married, for that matter], as these are affairs of individual states.

Many years ago I an apostilled copy of my marriage certificate & tried to get the U.S. embassy to 'certify' it & was told carte blanche they couldn't do it because they're the federal government & only the state where one was married could apostille it. I needed something really fast at that time and asked them to notarize my sworn statement attached to my marriage certificate. They did it, though they warned me it would be meaningless. I took those documents to MID where they laughed at me & got angry that the embassy had complied with my request. Maybe UFMS is ignorant about USA marriage regulations?

If they really want to know whether or not you're still married, they should accept an 'old' marriage certificate with an 'old' apostille & then verify your still existing marriage by looking in your spouse's internal passport - since just about everything in a Russian's life is recored there...

I know of no way for an American to "prove" he/she isn't divorced. Anyone actually dealing with this yet?

captaincaveman
01-07-2009, 09:26
what is you are not American how can teh FBI help you??????????

nyinrussia
02-07-2009, 16:23
Personally what I think the business about a new copy of marriage certificate is about... is simply that they want a new translated copy/notarized. Obviously you can not replace the existing marriage certficate. Everytime we go to a new goverment process they want new translated copies for their records... even though it should be in thier files.

Penguin_The_Great
27-07-2009, 22:55
Quite honestly, I haven't looked into any of this yet. Need to visit my regional FMS office within the next wk. or so to get the details, but, yes, I am planning to use my "old" marriage certificate & am quite shocked by any supposition that a new certificate with a new apostille would be required. My marriage certificate is an original signed, sealed & dated by CA SOS office as is the apostille. These things don't expire. Will ask this specific question when I get the energy to go get my anketa, etc. I dread making the rounds. Good luck to you. keep us updated if you have further info.

Bostonian, have you managed to get any information in regards to this issue?
Getting a new marriage certificate makes no sense to me at all, and I don't want to waste my time and energy doing it. However, I will absolutely *HATE* to get all the paperwork together and go through UFMS lines just to be told that some document is not the way they want it.

Bogatyr
28-07-2009, 05:21
The SOS office of WV are great - they did my apostille the day they received it. One thing you might want to be aware of. When they apostilled my FBI check they stapled the apostille to the FBI card. In fact, this is a no-no & at 1st my FMS office didn't want to accept it. I suppose ea. state does things differently. For ex., I was married in CA & the SOS office there uses a metal grommet to apostille marriage certificates. Here in Russia, they hole-punch the document, then tie it with ribbon before stamping it. Neither the grommet or ribbon can be removed without destroying the document, whereas a staple can easily be removed.

Bottom line, you might want to ask the WV SOS office to use some other method of attaching the apostille to the FBI record check. My stapled document was finally accepted, but it could just as easily have gone the other. Just a heads up! Good luck to you. I'm about to start my "Vid" next month.

Just got some Apostilles from the California Secretary of State, and they did the staple thing. However, they also apply an ink stamp that lies half way across the Apostille sheet and halfway across the document. I hope that's OK since that's the way they do it....

moscow2bath
01-08-2009, 17:54
Vermont also staples the apostille as well as stamps it. Same for the authentication process, which is required by Canada.

prchi
22-08-2009, 11:43
hi,

just read that fbi can forward the record for apostille, could anyone confirm this please?

in the return address of the cover letter is it enough to put the address for apostille?

seems straight forward to contact and pay in advance for the apostille.


thank you

BeachBum
22-08-2009, 14:03
hi,

just read that fbi can forward the record for apostille, could anyone confirm this please?

in the return address of the cover letter is it enough to put the address for apostille?

seems straight forward to contact and pay in advance for the apostille.


thank you
FBI will NOT forward your record to any third party. Only to the requester whose name is designated on the record.

Bels
01-09-2009, 12:35
Recommend a sticky here? Put it alongside the British only sticky :)

RLPowell
05-09-2009, 23:38
Things have changed and I have found no consistent procedure.

See e-mail from WV SOS below.
Also, My home state of Ohio SOS says this is a federal document and must be apostilled by the Departemnt of State in WD.

Investigating further I was told by the folks in WD that the FBI report must 1st be signed by a deputy cleark at a federal court and then be apostilled by the Department of State in WD.

From: Sharon Huffman [mailto:SHuffman@wvsos.com]
Sent: Friday, September 04, 2009 6:38 PM
To: Robert Powell
Subject: RE: FBI Records Check Apostille

Mr. Powell,

Once your FBI card is given to you from the FBI in Clarksburg, WV, it is considered your personal document. It does not matter if it came from West Virginia.
We are no longer doing FBI fingerprint cards for other states. I am going to send you what we are doing for West Virginia customers. Basically they are making a copy of their fingerprint cards or the letter they get back from the FBI (I don't think they are issuing fingerprint cards now, just a letter) and attaching an affidavit to it. This is what we are using for West Virginia customers. I am going to send you a copy of what we are using for West Virginia only, to give you an idea that would probably work for your state or country also. You will need to check with your Secretary of State of Consulate to see if it is acceptable there. Tell them they will not be authenticating the letter but the notaries name on your affidavit. If you have questions, please feel free to contact me. I am so sorry for the delay, this has been a sudden change for our office also.

Thank you,

Sharon Huffman
Business/Licensing Assistant
304-558-6000
West Virginia Secretary of State
1900 Kanawha Blvd. E
Suite 157-K
Charleston, WV 25305-0770

Bels
05-09-2009, 23:45
Fingerprint cards are not necessary as far as the FBS. All they want to see see is wording such as there is no records on our database in regards to this person. And that's it. You will get fingerprinted by FMS once your application is accepted. The subject access form is very brief and simple from UK. No fuss and no detail. fingerprints etc are not required. It's the American system that makes thing complicated.

Bels
05-09-2009, 23:47
Nice thread beachbum.

arseniy
26-10-2009, 17:15
I am wondering - since the rules of getting an apostille in US have changed, did anyone go ahead with the apostille process and get their criminal history check successfuly accepted by the FMS? Is there anything to keep in mind about the process?
Are apostilles still necessary for the criminal history check when it is now considered a private document? And would having a relative sign off in front of a notary that he has a true copy of the FBI response, and then send the notarie's signature to the local secretary of state really produce a document that has any meaning for the authorities in Russia? That is essentially what the WV SOS is saying, however somehow the logic escapes me.

Bogatyr
26-10-2009, 22:39
Things have changed and I have found no consistent procedure.

See e-mail from WV SOS below.
Also, My home state of Ohio SOS says this is a federal document and must be apostilled by the Departemnt of State in WD.

Investigating further I was told by the folks in WD that the FBI report must 1st be signed by a deputy cleark at a federal court and then be apostilled by the Department of State in WD.

From: Sharon Huffman [mailto:SHuffman@wvsos.com]
Sent: Friday, September 04, 2009 6:38 PM
To: Robert Powell
Subject: RE: FBI Records Check Apostille

Mr. Powell,

Once your FBI card is given to you from the FBI in Clarksburg, WV, it is considered your personal document. It does not matter if it came from West Virginia.
We are no longer doing FBI fingerprint cards for other states. I am going to send you what we are doing for West Virginia customers. Basically they are making a copy of their fingerprint cards or the letter they get back from the FBI (I don't think they are issuing fingerprint cards now, just a letter) and attaching an affidavit to it. This is what we are using for West Virginia customers. I am going to send you a copy of what we are using for West Virginia only, to give you an idea that would probably work for your state or country also. You will need to check with your Secretary of State of Consulate to see if it is acceptable there. Tell them they will not be authenticating the letter but the notaries name on your affidavit. If you have questions, please feel free to contact me. I am so sorry for the delay, this has been a sudden change for our office also.

Thank you,

Sharon Huffman
Business/Licensing Assistant
304-558-6000
West Virginia Secretary of State
1900 Kanawha Blvd. E
Suite 157-K
Charleston, WV 25305-0770

AAAAUUGH! This is terrible. I guess I'll just make a copy of the letter from the FBI, get the copy notarized, and then apostille the notarized copy with my state's (California) Secretary Of State, and cross my fingers. Please provide any more details as soon as they become available!

Bogatyr
26-10-2009, 23:09
I called the WV SOS and they confirmed that they are not doing apostilles for CBCs for out of state people.

The person at the WV SOS office whom I talked to said "it's not such a big deal that people are making it out to be." She said we're just supposed to write our own "affadavit," something like "I (my name) verify that the attached is an (original/copy) Criminal Background Check issued by the FBI in Clarksburg, WV", then get that notarized, then apostilled in your own state.

We'll see if the Russian officials will accept this or not.

Also I noticed the time period for receiving the CBC from the FBI has been extended on the FBI web site from "4-6 weeks" to "8-10 weeks." They received mine around September 25 and told me that they're mailing mine to me on October 30th. I requested expedited processing by October 15th, maybe that helped.

Bels
26-10-2009, 23:37
Americans seem to make this police chech much more complicated than what is required for a police check for immigration purposes The requirement that the Russians are seeking and any other country to that matter is this.
A simple peice of paper from your authorised police dept stating that they have no input or information of you committing an offence It's as simple as that. Unfortunately you then need to get it legalised, normally from the ministry of foreigners affairs. or whatever it is called in USA.

Finferprints! They are not bothered about. Just a simple satement from your police of no records known, and then legalised. That's it.

Your fingerprints will come soon enough from the Russian authorities at the last stage of your application,

Why oh why is USA always so complicated. Can't the Americans come up with two links like I did for British, one Scotland yard, yes different area to apply , but they guide you to your area. Then get it legalised and click foreign affairs Legalisation and get it legalised. That's it.

The Russians are not interested in your damn fingerprints! Just no record of criminal offences! That's it!

Bels
26-10-2009, 23:50
An interesting point in comparison to Brits and Americans and Russians!

The only time a Brit can or gets fingerpinted by police is only when they have committed a serious offence. Hence no Brit is has fingerprint records unless they have committed an offence. Does that make all Americans criminals if they all have to be finger printed.

Probably not, as it's hypocritical. Now all applying for visa to enter Britain visa are electronically scannned for identification, new technoligy of whi assume fingerprints also. So there we go. But Brits in Britain are not scanned nor fingerprinted unless thay have been caught as criminals. Wierd some of you might think.

I have never been checked scanned for fingerprints in my whole lif untill I came to Russia and was successful for TRP. Then and only then was I ever scanned with my fingerprints.

Bogatyr
27-10-2009, 01:24
Americans seem to make this police chech much more complicated than what is required for a police check for immigration purposes The requirement that the Russians are seeking and any other country to that matter is this.
A simple peice of paper from your authorised police dept stating that they have no input or information of you committing an offence It's as simple as that. Unfortunately you then need to get it legalised, normally from the ministry of foreigners affairs. or whatever it is called in USA.

Finferprints! They are not bothered about. Just a simple satement from your police of no records known, and then legalised. That's it.

Your fingerprints will come soon enough from the Russian authorities at the last stage of your application,

Why oh why is USA always so complicated. Can't the Americans come up with two links like I did for British, one Scotland yard, yes different area to apply , but they guide you to your area. Then get it legalised and click foreign affairs Legalisation and get it legalised. That's it.

The Russians are not interested in your damn fingerprints! Just no record of criminal offences! That's it!

The problem is not in having fingerprints taken or receiving the response card from the FBI. The problem is getting that document legalized in a form that the Russian authorities will accept. It seems that "national" documents in the USA (those from agencies outside of one's home state) are problematic, because Apostilles seem to only be done on a state-by-state basis. The FBI response also contains no signature to legalize, a double difficulty. So the only answer is to attach some personal statement to the FBI response, get that notarized and Apostilled in your home state, and pray the FMS accepts it.

Alsace83
15-12-2009, 16:45
If you need apostille on document for Russia or from Russia you can find more information about documents legalization of this page http : // alba - translating . ru/index . php/eng/apostille . html

ElizabethH
18-01-2010, 19:12
Has anyone successfully gotten a TRP since the FBI no longer returns fingerprint cards? (as of 08/09)

I was in the FMS today for a consultation and they did NOT like my background check (already apostilled).

-it doesn't have the fingerprint card
-the apostille (a seal on top of a ribbon) is on a separate page and not on the original. I'm from the state of Massachusetts

Bels
18-01-2010, 23:51
Has anyone successfully gotten a TRP since the FBI no longer returns fingerprint cards? (as of 08/09)

I was in the FMS today for a consultation and they did NOT like my background check (already apostilled).

-it doesn't have the fingerprint card
-the apostille (a seal on top of a ribbon) is on a separate page and not on the original. I'm from the state of Massachusetts

For Russia a fingerprint card is not necessary. All that is required is an official statement that they have no records of committing a criminal offence. That is all they require. Plus it must be legalised or appostilled. That is it. Fingerprints are done in Russia much later.

ElizabethH
19-01-2010, 08:06
I'm not sure how to edit my original post, but I've now found the problem with the Apostille.

The Apostille is on a notarized copy, NOT on the original. The original is unattached. I am not sure how to convince either the Secretary of State to Apostille it again or the Russian govt. to accept as is. I'm in Russia right now, so would have to be creative.

Remington
19-01-2010, 11:33
Apostille is legal document whether document is notarized or original and Russia will have to accept it. Obviously someone at FMS is stupid or trying to make things more difficult for you. Try talking to someone higher up at FMS or give money to make the problem go away. Unfortunately this is Russia.

SV1973a
19-01-2010, 12:00
Elizabeth,
I did not go through the entire thread, so I don`t know if you actually already have presented the document...
On another occassion I also presented a copy of an official document, and the apostille was on the copy.
The clerk said `This is strange, because usually the apostille is on the original. But I suppose that we do not have to teach the Germans how to put apostilles and on what documents...`
Documents were accepted without any problems. And rightfully so, the apostille is proof from your home country that this is a genuine document, so other countries have no other choice but accepting them.

ElizabethH
19-01-2010, 12:08
Thanks for the reassurance. Perhaps with a little persuasion they will accept it.

Bogatyr
19-01-2010, 12:35
I'm not sure how to edit my original post, but I've now found the problem with the Apostille.

The Apostille is on a notarized copy, NOT on the original. The original is unattached. I am not sure how to convince either the Secretary of State to Apostille it again or the Russian govt. to accept as is. I'm in Russia right now, so would have to be creative.

If you need to get the Apostille attached to the original (you probably do) in order for the FMS to accept your application, it may not be so bad, you're in a similar boat to those who originate the process in Russia, except you've already receive the CBC. It's slightly more challenging now that the West Virginia SoS is not making an exception any more for Apostilling CBCs without Notaries. So the main challenge is to figure out how to get a notarized affidavit attached to the CBC without you appearing before a notary in person in the US. If you can figure that out, then you can send the notarized-affidavited original CBC to your SoS, directing the result to be sent to relatives in the US, who can send it to you in Russia via some courier service. Slightly expensive, as you'll need at least 2 international courier packages (I wouldn't use regular post), but doable if the notary issue is solvable.

Remington
19-01-2010, 13:13
If you need to get the Apostille attached to the original (you probably do) in order for the FMS to accept your application, it may not be so bad, you're in a similar boat to those who originate the process in Russia, except you've already receive the CBC. It's slightly more challenging now that the West Virginia SoS is not making an exception any more for Apostilling CBCs without Notaries. So the main challenge is to figure out how to get a notarized affidavit attached to the CBC without you appearing before a notary in person in the US. If you can figure that out, then you can send the notarized-affidavited original CBC to your SoS, directing the result to be sent to relatives in the US, who can send it to you in Russia via some courier service. Slightly expensive, as you'll need at least 2 international courier packages (I wouldn't use regular post), but doable if the notary issue is solvable.

Not necessary. Let's say if you got the fingerprint result from the FBI and mailed to a relative or friend in Florida. It will have to be notarized in Florida with a relative or friend stating something like this in front of the notary public official... "I received this original document from the FBI and nothing has been changed." Then mail the notarized fingerprint result to the Florida Secretary of the State to get it apostilled. They will know if the document is authentic to be apostilled it since they have seen it so many times.

I have done something like this before with my non-notarized state criminal record. I made a statement "I received this criminal record from the state police and nothing has been changed" in front of the state official at the Virginia Secretary of the State before they apostilled my documents. I don't need notary seal on my state police record if I appeared in person at the Secretary of the State office. But if you mail anything to the Secretary of the State then it needs to be notarized within the same state for the document to be apostilled. You can't notarize it in Florida and mail it to West Virginia or different state to have it apostilled. They will refuse to accept it with an exception if the fingerprint result was notarized at the US Embassy abroad.

Bogatyr
19-01-2010, 14:06
Not necessary. Let's say if you got the fingerprint result from the FBI and mailed to a relative or friend in Florida. It will have to be notarized in Florida with a relative or friend stating something like this in front of the notary public official... "I received this original document from the FBI and nothing has been changed." Then mail the notarized fingerprint result to the Florida Secretary of the State to get it apostilled. They will know if the document is authentic to be apostilled it since they have seen it so many times.

I have done something like this before with my non-notarized state criminal record. I made a statement "I received this criminal record from the state police and nothing has been changed" in front of the state official at the Virginia Secretary of the State before they apostilled my documents. I don't need notary seal on my state police record if I appeared in person at the Secretary of the State office. But if you mail anything to the Secretary of the State then it needs to be notarized within the same state for the document to be apostilled. You can't notarize it in Florida and mail it to West Virginia or different state to have it apostilled. They will refuse to accept it with an exception if the fingerprint result was notarized at the US Embassy abroad.

Every state can have different rules. In California (and West Virginia I believe), the SoS *only* apostilles documents containing the signature of an official state clerk or notary. The content of the documents beneath the notary page is *completely ignored* and is not verified *by anybody*. An Apostille is not in fact a recognition of the validity of any document, it is simply an official acknowledgement of the validity of the notary or clerk's signature itself. The notary in turn is only an acknowledgement that the person signing the notary page has presented sufficient documentation to prove he is who he says he is. Which is why the whole thing is sort of a farce, but that's the way the game is played.

So, to summarize: 1) Notarize (or as Remington suggests have a relative do it if you can't get to a notary) a statement saying that the attached CBC is the original and unmodified CBC as you have in your possession (and make sure the notary attaches the CBC and writes a remark on the notary page that the attached document is your FBI CBC) 2) Send that notarized CBC to the SoS of the state where the notary was done to be apostilled (or do it in person if possible, less chance of loss that way), then have that document sent to you in Russia.

(Or just figure out how to charm or otherwise convince the clerk to accept the document as is)

ElizabethH
19-01-2010, 19:28
I wonder what would happen if I got a statement from the Secretary of State stating their policy on apostilling FBI checks. Then how would I get THAT notarized and apostilled? :)

I'm supposed to present my documents on Feb. 5th. I'll write an update post telling how it goes.

matvey
23-01-2010, 01:48
According to the FBI's website, they now issue FBI identification records that can be apostilled -- starting next Monday!

I can't add a URL because I haven't posted enough in the forum, but google for "fbi identification record request" and click on the FAQ link at the bottom.
Or: www dot fbi dot gov slash hq slash cjisd slash faqs.html
:)

Under #4, "Does the FBI Apostille?":

"The FBI’s CJIS Division will authenticate U.S. Department of Justice Order 556-73 fingerprint search results for international requests by placing the FBI seal and signature of a Division official on the results, if requested at the time of submission. Documents prepared in this matter may then be sent to the U.S. Department of State by the requestor to obtain an apostille if necessary. [...] This procedure becomes effective 1/25/2010 and will apply only to documents finalized after that date."

Bogatyr
23-01-2010, 09:47
According to the FBI's website, they now issue FBI identification records that can be apostilled -- starting next Monday!

I can't add a URL because I haven't posted enough in the forum, but google for "fbi identification record request" and click on the FAQ link at the bottom.
Or: www dot fbi dot gov slash hq slash cjisd slash faqs.html
:)

Under #4, "Does the FBI Apostille?":

"The FBIs CJIS Division will authenticate U.S. Department of Justice Order 556-73 fingerprint search results for international requests by placing the FBI seal and signature of a Division official on the results, if requested at the time of submission. Documents prepared in this matter may then be sent to the U.S. Department of State by the requestor to obtain an apostille if necessary. [...] This procedure becomes effective 1/25/2010 and will apply only to documents finalized after that date."

Wow. That solves one of the major hurdles and questions about the whole process. Now of course that's assuming that the DoS is clued in to the whole deal. Hopefully this won't mess up the application of people caught in the middle before they start doing this...

nbogaard
23-01-2010, 10:08
I did the fingerprint card and got it to the FBI. It came back stamped, "No Record." I sent it to the West Va Secty of State with the required amount of money in the form of a money order. It was returned to me with a very polite and apologetic letter stating that the West Virginia Secretary of State would no longer apostille documents for people who were nopt citizens of West VA. This was in October of last year.

journeyman
05-02-2010, 09:50
Great thread.

I wish I would have had this when I went through all of this for me and my family.
Props to all who contributed. This is DEFINITELY a time, energy and frustration saver!

ElizabethH
05-02-2010, 16:04
I presented my documents today and they did NOT accept the apostille which was attached to the notarized copy. They don't want a copy or a letter explaining that the copy is definitely a copy of the original. They just want the apostille on the original. So I will try again to see if I can make it happen.

Remington
05-02-2010, 16:26
I presented my documents today and they did NOT accept the apostille which was attached to the notarized copy. They don't want a copy or a letter explaining that the copy is definitely a copy of the original. They just want the apostille on the original. So I will try again to see if I can make it happen.

They cannot tell you how USA should apostille the documents. All countries do it differently and they signed the international agreement that apostilled document is legal and acceptable in Russia. Obviously someone at your FMS is inept or ignorance of international conventions so I suggest you to have your Russian friend talk to someone higher up at the FMS.

Where is your FMS branch you're dealing with? Maybe someone here will give some insights on who to contact there.

xSnoofovich
05-02-2010, 16:47
I presented my documents today and they did NOT accept the apostille which was attached to the notarized copy. .

Just started from your post, and I understand it to mean -

You apostilled the notorized copy?

Seems a bit backwards?

Shouldn't you notorize the apostilled copy?

Remington
05-02-2010, 17:27
.

ElizabethH
06-02-2010, 15:15
To xsnoofovich: No, the notary comes first, and then the apostille. The notary confirms that the document matches the original, and the apostille confirms that the notary had authority to confirm the original.

The translation of the apostille is then notarized to confirm that that Russian translator adhered to the wording of the original document.

To Remington: the person helping me left the window and consulted with her boss for several minutes, to no avail.

As far as I can see, it is a problem with the US not having a policy for apostilling FBI checks over a certain time period in 2009. The new system implemented since Jan. 25, 2010 may offer a solution. But people already holding FBI checks are pretty much stuck!

I'm in St. Petersburg, at the Central FMS.

Remington
06-02-2010, 18:37
To Remington: the person helping me left the window and consulted with her boss for several minutes, to no avail.

As far as I can see, it is a problem with the US not having a policy for apostilling FBI checks over a certain time period in 2009. The new system implemented since Jan. 25, 2010 may offer a solution. But people already holding FBI checks are pretty much stuck!

It looks like you'll have to consult with a immigration lawyer in St. Pete. since your FMS is not following the international convention in regards to apostilled documents. The only thing that was changed was that West Virginia is no longer apostilling the docs for out-of-state residents.

FBI have this strict policy not to forward the fingerprint result to a third party such as state's sec of the state or anything different than the requester's address. I agree that FBI's new policy on forwarding the result to Wash DC to be apostilled is new and makes the process much easier. That is because the document is still in possession of US govt and it hasn't been released to the public so therefore notary seal is not needed.

FBI always send the result back to the requester and it becomes a public document which notary seal is needed. This has been common practice with notary and apostille for years. Nothing really much have changed except that the requester will have to do it in their own state instead of WV. Maybe the FMS people are not aware of this change since they're used to seeing WV apostille seal on the docs.

There's not really much you can do to get your state to do exactly what FMS wants since your state have to follow the state laws on the notary and apostille procedures. You having to do the process all over again with FBI and forward the result to Wash DC is ridiculous for FMS's convenience. FMS is playing hardball with you on this and it is most ridiculous thing I've heard. I would advise you to talk to a lawyer in resolving this or you can wait 2 months to do the process all over again.

kleft
06-02-2010, 22:23
Hi Elizabeth,

I'm American and I recently received my RVP from central office in SPB. I did end up getting FBI background and sending to to sec of state in west virginia and they attached a notarization and apostille to the original. I sent it to FBI, they sent it back to me and I then sent it to WV sec of state. The apostille and notarization were on separate pages.

Is it possible you could just attach the apostille of the copy to the original instead of the copy? Does the Apostille reference that it is for the copy only? I might of missed a post or two where you described why you don't have original or didn't appostille the the original.

Also in terms of fingerprints...I got two from the local police in my hometown in US, you can submit any fingerprints, doesn't have to be the one sent to FBI (someone said they don't send it back now or something) I actually submitted both local city and FBI background checks just in case but it does seems they prefer FBI. I'm not sure the fingerprints are even needed but I preferred to forward as much as I could to ensure there were no problems.

I'm not sure anything I said was helpful:). My main point is I went through it at the office you are doing it (of course I submitted it all in summer of 2009) and now have my RVP, if you want to ask me any questions about what I submitted, etc feel free to send me a PM.

Bogatyr
07-02-2010, 00:50
Just started from your post, and I understand it to mean -

You apostilled the notorized copy?

Seems a bit backwards?

Shouldn't you notorize the apostilled copy?

No, she Apostilled a US-notarized *copy* of the CBC. This is ignoring Russian notary and translation. The issue is that her FMS office wants the Apostille attached to the original CBC (and then translated and Russian-notarized).

Just a reminder: to be safe, Apostille in the US *any document* you could conceivably need. Birth certs, marriage certs, of course the CBC, etc. Expensive but less expensive than trying to "fix" it once you're already in Russia.

ElizabethH
09-02-2010, 09:14
West Virginia says they can do nothing as there is nothing to prove that I haven't tampered with the FBI results while they've been in my possession. The results are useless.

Technically, the Russians might be right since the copy just states that it is a true copy of the original but doesn't prove that the original is valid.

Kleft, I looked into attaching things in a different order, but I'm not sure if it would help. The apostille ribbon goes through the notary and actually isn't even sewn to the copy or the original. The copy is then stapled on. What a mess.

I will probably have to get on a train to Moscow for new fingerprints.

journeyman
09-02-2010, 09:29
Elizabeth, it seems strange that this is not acceptible for the Russian officials. When you get a Russian document "notarized" (translation or the like), all the notary does is copy the document, stamp and sign the copy and seal the copy.

This is always accepted and 'standard practice' for the FMS. It seems very strange that they would demand modifying and original of a document by placing any sort of stamp or seal on it; in fact generally, by modifying the original (even the placement/imprint of an apostille) for whatever reason, the original authority of the document can be called into question.

matvey
05-03-2010, 11:04
According to the FBI's website, they now issue FBI identification records that can be apostilled -- starting next Monday!

"Does the FBI Apostille?":

"The FBIs CJIS Division will authenticate U.S. Department of Justice Order 556-73 fingerprint search results for international requests by placing the FBI seal and signature of a Division official on the results, if requested at the time of submission. Documents prepared in this matter may then be sent to the U.S. Department of State by the requestor to obtain an apostille if necessary. [...] This procedure becomes effective 1/25/2010 and will apply only to documents finalized after that date."

I just received my FBI arrest record with a State Department apostille!!!
It works now!

ElizabethH
16-03-2010, 16:58
Thanks for posting, Matvey! I am trying the new system as well. Hope to get my results soon. How long did yours take?

Yaponchik
15-04-2010, 16:51
Hi all, I need your help. I am in Moscow right now and have been here for about a month and set to fly back home to the states in mid June. I have tried submitting all my docs for the TRP to various FMS branches across St. Petersburg and Moscow. I am continuously denied and the FMS inspectors are demanding I submit an FBI background check WITH fingerprint cards. According to the FBI CJIS website as of August 17, 2009 fingerprint cards are no longer being returned! I have a state background check notarized, apostilled, translated and notarized in my hands, but they refuse to accept it. Before I left I had initiated plan B and submitted an FBI background check, which the results have just come back and are at my home now. The letterhead, according to my relatives, reads something alone the lines of Department of Justice, FBI etc. etc., but they cannot confirm there is any certifiying FBI seal or signature. Anyways, to make a long story short, I'm going to have to mail it back to the FBI to get them to certify the document for international use, even though I had initially requested so in the cover letter, and they are supposed to do this automatically as of January 12, 2010 or so. Afterwards they are going to send it back to me and then I will have to send it off again to West Virginia to get it notarized and apostilled, and then send it to me in Moscow. Anyways, I think the whole process is going to take 2-4 weeks. I've got all my docs in order and have had nothing but red tape and rude, ungrateful, and inept FMS jerks give me the runaround. The irony is this - I was born in Moscow, Russia and have a university degree and work experience in the US, yet I am treated like any other brick layer from central asia that lines the hallways of the FMS offices on a daily basis... What should I do? The FBI doesn't return fingerprint cards, but I have a spare set laying around at home, not notarized or apostilled, but with my fingerprints, can I just somehow attach those when I get the FBI background check sent to me here in Moscow? I don't want to submit another request and wait 2-4 months, because I am already here and visa and time is running out in 2 months!! FML


As of 8/17/09, fingerprint cards are no longer being returned. Due to concerns related to the protection of Personally Identifiable Information, the process has been changed to return a letter which states "no FBI arrest was found"

ElizabethH
17-04-2010, 21:50
Yaponchik, you may have to start over since the FBI is doing things differently as of Jan. 2010. :( I'm surprised that yours was rejected. My previous background check had the no-return policy right on the results, so it was included in the official, notarized translation.

Here's the update on mine (see earlier posts): I had to start a new background check. Since I'm in SPB, I had to go to Moscow for new fingerprints in Feb., then express mail the request to the FBI.

I got the results in just under 2 months this time, though last time it only took 1 month.

I requested authentication by the FBI, and they put their seal on it, then mailed it to my home address (my parents). My dad sent it to my brother in DC, who got it apostilled by the State Dept, no problem.

Only problem now is, FedEx says the document has made it to Frankfurt, and due to volcanic ash, who knows when it will be delivered to SPB! My FMS appointment is next Friday, and my medical tests expire soon after, so I will have to redo them if I don't get everything in on Friday...

Yaponchik
19-04-2010, 10:44
Well actually my FBI background check wasn't rejected, it was the State background check the FMS inspectors won't accept.

I submitted my FBI background check on January 20 or early February, can't remember when exactly. So the new Jan. 10 policy should definitely apply to me and I should get the no-return policy stated on the results too.

I received the FBI background check without any seal or signature, even though I stated the document's final destination was for Russia.

Is the FBI seal/signature the same as a notary? If so then that means I have to send the results back to the FBI to get the seal before I can get it apostilled.

I hope your docs get there in time. I travel between SPB and Moscow occasionally, and got my medical tests done in SPB. Tried handing the TRP app in Moscow, but they rejected the tests and said to go to a local Moscow medical center. I asked them why, is St. Pete and Moscow considered two separate governments? I plan to take it to higher ups and get officials involved. More to come later on this and other stuff.

SV1973a
19-04-2010, 11:10
I hope your docs get there in time. I travel between SPB and Moscow occasionally, and got my medical tests done in SPB. Tried handing the TRP app in Moscow, but they rejected the tests and said to go to a local Moscow medical center. I asked them why, is St. Pete and Moscow considered two separate governments? I plan to take it to higher ups and get officials involved. More to come later on this and other stuff.

Getting higher officials involved seems to be quite useless to me.
For the TRP application, you have to go to the clinics they tell you to go to... Even in Moscow, you are not free to pick a state hospital of your choice. On their documents the addresses of the clinics you should go to are specifically mentioned.
I know it is a stupid rule, but nevertheless, it is THEIR rule, and you should just abide.

Yaponchik
19-04-2010, 22:58
Actually I spoke to higher ups - a representative from the state duma who contacted a chief at the UFMS. The Chief acknowledged that all medical spravkas/certs that are recognized by the Russian Federation and issued within Russia should be accepted. St. Petersburg and Moscow are not two separate governments. Someone who is interpreting the rules down at the local FMS department level is incorrect. Anyways, I do not have the time or the resources to deliver justice regarding this matter currently, but may return to it at a later date. The point is you hear varying, conflicting, and incorrect interpretations from inspector to inspector and branch to branch no matter where you go in Russia. So yes, while they are obliged to send you to your local Moscow medical center, if you have one issued from St. Pete and it is officially recognized by RF then it has to be accepted, else complain to higher ups, but you will be wasting your time in hearing an answer. Right now I'm just trying to get the TRP docs submitted asap.

ElizabethH
20-04-2010, 19:56
Regarding the medical tests, I just picked a clinic (in St.P.) and asked them if they do the certificate for foreigners for a TRP. I didn't clear it with the FMS, I just assumed that the clinic knew what I was talking about. They did know which tests I needed without my having to provide any information. I think this is becoming a regular service in many clinics. But, always good to clarify.

Sorry if this is off-topic.

ElizabethH
27-04-2010, 09:32
Good news! I received my apostilled background check the day before my FMS appointment, less than a week before my medical tests expired...and was able to hand in my documents.

The apostille from the State Department is a yellow piece of paper connected to the original by a hole punched out and rimmed in metal. I don't know what it's called, but there's no ribbon or anything.

They did find an error in the translation of the background check: apparently the translator confused the date and month since the U.S. does it the opposite way. I had checked all the transliterations, but not the DATES.

Check your translations carefully!

dwandsv
11-08-2010, 14:23
Most of what you say regards doing this from Russia. Can any of this be done from America and is there a time limit on the Apostilled documents?

ElizabethH
12-08-2010, 16:01
It's technically all done in America, I just had to get fingerprinted in Russia and mail it over. The background check is easier to get done while in the States because you don't have to ask friends and relative to receive your documents for you and get the Apostille.

Not sure about expiry.

kharaku
28-10-2010, 23:34
Just got my background check. It has no apostile (and a letter explaining the FBI doesn't apostile things anymore).

Trying to figure out how to get it to the department of state to apostile...

Remington
29-10-2010, 01:17
Just got my background check. It has no apostile (and a letter explaining the FBI doesn't apostile things anymore).

Trying to figure out how to get it to the department of state to apostile...

I don't see anything on FBI website stating that they're no longer doing the apostille thing again. I'll have to call the FBI tomorrow to check on that since I will have to send my fingerprint result next week after meeting with FMS official about being accepted under the quota.

kharaku
29-10-2010, 01:56
I don't see anything on FBI website stating that they're no longer doing the apostille thing again. I'll have to call the FBI tomorrow to check on that since I will have to send my fingerprint result next week after meeting with FMS official about being accepted under the quota.

Check here:
http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/background-checks/faqs

Question 9

And so then what?

http://www.state.gov/m/a/auth/

Pretty much another 15 days and more charges.

I did priority mail to them and prepaid for priority return.

*Fingers Crossed!!!*

Remington
29-10-2010, 02:59
Check here:
http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/background-checks/faqs

Question 9

And so then what?

http://www.state.gov/m/a/auth/

Pretty much another 15 days and more charges.

I did priority mail to them and prepaid for priority return.

*Fingers Crossed!!!*

It'll be quicker to have it sent to your state's secretary of the state rather than dept of the state in DC. I'm going to assume that public notary will not be required with this FBI seal and signature on the result since it's an official document.

kharaku
29-10-2010, 04:57
It'll be quicker to have it sent to your state's secretary of the state rather than dept of the state in DC. I'm going to assume that public notary will not be required with this FBI seal and signature on the result since it's an official document.

My understanding is only the US deartment of state can apostile it because it's a federal document.

Remington
29-10-2010, 11:41
My understanding is only the US deartment of state can apostile it because it's a federal document.

The state can apostille any 'official' documents. FBI result with FBI seal and signature is a federal document and the state's secretary of the office can apostille it without the notary seal on it. For example, marriage, birth certificate and college diploma don't need notary seal because they're official documents as long as they see the originals. If you make copies of them and send it to the state's sec of the state office without the originals then you'll need notarized copies.

kharaku
29-10-2010, 12:17
The state can apostille any 'official' documents. FBI result with FBI seal and signature is a federal document and the state's secretary of the office can apostille it without the notary seal on it. For example, marriage, birth certificate and college diploma don't need notary seal because they're official documents as long as they see the originals. If you make copies of them and send it to the state's sec of the state office without the originals then you'll need notarized copies.

eh. it's in the post anyway and one less thing for some apparatchik to suggest isn't official enough...

Penguin_The_Great
29-10-2010, 22:23
The state can apostille any 'official' documents. FBI result with FBI seal and signature is a federal document and the state's secretary of the office can apostille it without the notary seal on it. For example, marriage, birth certificate and college diploma don't need notary seal because they're official documents as long as they see the originals. If you make copies of them and send it to the state's sec of the state office without the originals then you'll need notarized copies.

Remington, 'apostille' really means an authentication of a signature of whoever signed (stamped) a document. That is, when they apostille something, they state that they know the person who signed it and that this person does have legal power to do so. Marriage, death, and birth certificates don't need notary signature because they are already signed by a Secretary of State. So if you send these documents to the Secretary of State's office, they'll aspotille it for you. ALL other documents (including diplomas) require notary seal and signature. Then you have to take them to a county clerk to sign because he/she is supposed to have a list of all the notaries in a county. So he/she can certify the notary's signature. THEN you can take it to a Secretary of State, and he/she will certify the signature of a county clerk.
For this reason you can't send a federal document to your Secretary of State office for authentication. Likewise, Department of State won't apostille state-issued documents.

Remington
30-10-2010, 00:20
Remington, 'apostille' really means an authentication of a signature of whoever signed (stamped) a document. That is, when they apostille something, they state that they know the person who signed it and that this person does have legal power to do so. Marriage, death, and birth certificates don't need notary signature because they are already signed by a Secretary of State. So if you send these documents to the Secretary of State's office, they'll aspotille it for you. ALL other documents (including diplomas) require notary seal and signature. Then you have to take them to a county clerk to sign because he/she is supposed to have a list of all the notaries in a county. So he/she can certify the notary's signature. THEN you can take it to a Secretary of State, and he/she will certify the signature of a county clerk.
For this reason you can't send a federal document to your Secretary of State office for authentication. Likewise, Department of State won't apostille state-issued documents.

Yes you are correct that secretary of the state cannot apostille the federal document as I have called today to NY Sec of the State to confirm this. However, they can apostile the federal document if it got public notary seal on it with statement attesting that document is original and unaltered. So if the timing is an issue then public notary might be quicker route to go but the question is will FMS still accept it?

Penguin_The_Great
30-10-2010, 10:28
Yes you are correct that secretary of the state cannot apostille the federal document as I have called today to NY Sec of the State to confirm this. However, they can apostile the federal document if it got public notary seal on it with statement attesting that document is original and unaltered. So if the timing is an issue then public notary might be quicker route to go but the question is will FMS still accept it?

They might or they might not. I wouldn't want to find out the hard way. You'll waste a lot more time, money, and effort if UFMS people refuse to accept your FBI check apostilled that way.

Bogatyr
30-10-2010, 23:05
They might or they might not. I wouldn't want to find out the hard way. You'll waste a lot more time, money, and effort if UFMS people refuse to accept your FBI check apostilled that way.

I wouldn't try to apply for TRP without the Apostille on the CBC and (if you were married to your Russian citizen spouse in the USA) marriage certificate.

The FBI changed their procedure in January, 2010 to allow for the problems of "state vs. Federal" signatures regarding Apostille for the CBC. From the FAQ referenced above:


9. Does the FBI provide apostilles*?

(*An apostille is a certification that a document that has been legalized or authenticated by the issuing agency through a process in which various seals are placed on the document.)

The CJIS Division will authenticate U.S. Department of Justice Order 556-73 fingerprint search results for international requests by placing the FBI seal and the signature of a division official on the results if requested at the time of submission. Documents prepared in this way may then be sent to the U.S. Department of State by the requester to obtain an apostille if necessary. This procedure became effective on January 25, 2010 and will apply only to documents finalized after that date. Requests to authenticate previously processed results will not be accepted. This procedure replaces the letter formerly provided by the CJIS Division that indicated the service was not provided. The apostille service is not provided to individuals requesting search results for Canadian immigration, as it is not required for this purpose.


You must specifically request this extra step of the FBI affixing a seal+signature to the CBC results and say it's for international residency use so that they will affix a signature. A document with a federal signature may be Apostilled with the US Dept of State. I believe someone here on this forum this year used this new procedure for the CBC.

Before this change, you had to jump through the hoops of having the CBC result document first notarized at a local notary in your state of residency with some sort of "I declare this document is the true and original document blah blah blah" (in my case I added the wording on the notary to include the "no arrest record" result) form, then once notarized take it to your SoS and have it Apostilled. The document ends up as a big bunch of papers stapled together. It was thankfully accepted without question in my case.

kharaku
30-10-2010, 23:11
I wouldn't try to apply for TRP without the Apostille on the CBC and (if you were married to your Russian citizen spouse in the USA) marriage certificate.

The FBI changed their procedure in January, 2010 to allow for the problems of "state vs. Federal" signatures regarding Apostille for the CBC. From the FAQ referenced above:


You must specifically request this extra step of the FBI affixing a seal+signature to the CBC results and say it's for international residency use so that they will affix a signature. A document with a federal signature may be Apostilled with the US Dept of State. I believe someone here on this forum this year used this new procedure for the CBC.

Before this change, you had to jump through the hoops of having the CBC result document first notarized at a local notary in your state of residency with some sort of "I declare this document is the true and original document blah blah blah" (in my case I added the wording on the notary to include the "no arrest record" result) form, then once notarized take it to your SoS and have it Apostilled. The document ends up as a big bunch of papers stapled together. It was thankfully accepted without question in my case.
the one i just got back has the seal and the signature

i noted in several places on my request letter I intended to apostile it

Bogatyr
01-11-2010, 00:47
the one i just got back has the seal and the signature

i noted in several places on my request letter I intended to apostile it

Well you're all set for the Apostille from the DoS, good luck!

Alcibiades
15-09-2012, 12:16
OK reading this thread is making me freak out.

1. I was under the impression that the FBI CBC was accepted for 6 months not 3. Please God tell me that it's 6 months.

2. I'm looking at my CBC right now. I have the CBC document itself. Attached to it, I have an Apostille. Do I need something ELSE as well? I thought that the Apostille IS the notarization. If I need an extra stamp on this -- presumably something that I can only get in the States -- I will be utterly screwed.

Remington
15-09-2012, 14:01
OK reading this thread is making me freak out.

1. I was under the impression that the FBI CBC was accepted for 6 months not 3. Please God tell me that it's 6 months.

2. I'm looking at my CBC right now. I have the CBC document itself. Attached to it, I have an Apostille. Do I need something ELSE as well? I thought that the Apostille IS the notarization. If I need an extra stamp on this -- presumably something that I can only get in the States -- I will be utterly screwed.

It's 3 months. Everything is 3 months... FBI CBC and medical checks.

If your FBI CBC has US Dept of State apostille on it then very good! :thumbsup:

Now you will need to have it translated and notarized in Russia before handing that doc over to FMS.

Alcibiades
15-09-2012, 20:21
It's 3 months. Everything is 3 months... FBI CBC and medical checks.

If your FBI CBC has US Dept of State apostille on it then very good! :thumbsup:

Now you will need to have it translated and notarized in Russia before handing that doc over to FMS.

Well that means I'm screwed. I wastold by a colleague that had been through this that it is 6 months. It looks like he misremembered. Three months ends pretty much today, if we are talking about the actual background check rather than the Apostille, which is only 2 months old.

Is there any conceivable way that I can get another one done from Russia in a short period of time?

Remington
15-09-2012, 21:24
Three months ends pretty much today, if we are talking about the actual background check rather than the Apostille, which is only 2 months old.

I'm not sure if I understand you. Is your FBI CBC 2 months old? Notary or Apostille stamp on it? Do you have it with you?

Alcibiades
15-09-2012, 21:25
I'm not sure if I understand you. Is your FBI CBC 2 months old? Notary or Apostille stamp on it? Do you have it with you?

My FBI CBC document is 3 months old. The Apostille on it from State is 2 months old. They're both with me

Remington
15-09-2012, 21:31
My FBI CBC document is 3 months old. The Apostille on it from State is 2 months old. They're both with me

You can ask FMS if they will accept the State CBC but I doubt they will. Does not hurt to try. Take your FBI CBC too just in case.

Alcibiades
15-09-2012, 21:33
You can ask FMS if they will accept the State CBC but I doubt they will. Does not hurt to try. Take your FBI CBC too just in case.

Well it's not a State CBC (?), it's the apostille that was attached to the FBI CBC.

I was told that that the CBC lasted up to 6 months, but the apostille only 3.

Remington
15-09-2012, 21:39
Well it's not a State CBC (?), it's the apostille that was attached to the FBI CBC.

I was told that that the CBC lasted up to 6 months, but the apostille only 3.

I understand now. Sorry it won't work. It's only good for three months.

Alcibiades
15-09-2012, 21:42
Well life is, as the poets say, poo.

KelleyK
18-09-2012, 08:44
Well that means I'm screwed. I wastold by a colleague that had been through this that it is 6 months. It looks like he misremembered. Three months ends pretty much today, if we are talking about the actual background check rather than the Apostille, which is only 2 months old.

Is there any conceivable way that I can get another one done from Russia in a short period of time?
I did EVERYTHING from Russia and so it is possible to have whatever documents needed notarized and apostilled in the US and have it sent to you. If you are in Russia and have reliable family or friends in the US that will help you in handling the mail for you, then do it. In my case I had to call and write to 5 States to help me get all the proper documents prepared and then had them mailed to my helper in the US. I FedExed everything! It will all cost you, but do the time and get what you need. It will only benefit you to do everything the right way and not try to cheat or be cheap to get what is needed done.