Anybody else coping with delays on apostille for background check?

Today is day 50 since I submitted my FBI background check to an expediter for US Dept. of State apostille for the GV. The expediter had indicated that the current backlog is 5-6 weeks, so I’m now into week 7. I’m starting to get nervous, since the background check is valid for only three months, and my attorney still has to translate it before submitting.
Anybody else at this stage? How long is it taking you?

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Try your senator and/or congressman. I just submitted a “need help with a federal agency” request to my senator. I’m am going to call to badger them to do something about it. I am at week 4 now and my appointment is on November 9th so I am on edge everyday.

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Your problem is not unique: we are also in an infinite wait pattern.

Next time you hear someone bashing Portuguese for their slow-moving bureaucracy, “Remember the Alamo”! :slight_smile:

Good idea! I wish I’d done that weeks ago. Coincidentally, I just received notice from the expediter that it’s coming in this afternoon. We’ll see…

I know, Roman! How does it take almost 8 weeks to apostille a standard document when my home state did it for our marriage certificate literally within 24 hours?!!

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Shows you the cost of an “expediter” isn’t worth it. I mailed mine to US Department of State (overnight UPS) on June 16, 2022 and received apostilled background check via US Postal service on July 26. Fed Ex to attorney in Portugal took nearly a week. Translations don’t take much time.

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I don’t dispute your post, Christopher. I’m glad it worked out for you. I just received the paperwork and am just thrilled this part’s over. There’s going to be much more ahead, I’m sure.

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same boat waiting for this…congrats on getting yours!

NY is bad but worse now than in July. Took us 4 weeks in July to apostille a marriage cert; docs from India took 3 days.

Get a scan. Your lawyer will translate based on scan.

We used a different expediter to get our NYC marriage certificate apostilled (and notarized by the NYC clerk first), and it was easy and quick. Shocking that the federal government can’t do the same, and I don’t blame the well-regarded expediter at all.
Our Porto-based attorneys now have perfectly scanned copies of the apostilled documents. Once they’re translated (which, yes, should be fast), they’ll be submitted to SEF. Now comes the REAL waiting…

I am currently waiting on securing an appointment for a GV renewal, as my family’s visas expired last week. In July, I submitted my request for my FBI Background Report to be Apostilled directly to the US Dept of State, along with a check for $20, and it took about 4-5 weeks to get it back. I used this address:

Office of Authentications
U.S. Department of State
44132 Mercure Cir, P.O. Box 1206
Sterling, VA 20166-1206

and submitted this form:

Unfortunately, I was unable to secure an appointment with SEF, so my FBI Background Check lapsed (turned 90 days old).

When I asked my Portuguese attorney last week if I should get another background check and have it apostilled in case I am able to get an appointment in early 2023, he said “Now, since in any case, documents can be submitted even after the appointments, I would suggest that you hold off obtaining the FBI Background Check unless something is certain.” This was news to me, as I did not know that any of the documents could be submitted after the appointment. Has anyone else heard of this recent change?

Did you ever get any information from you senator / congressperson about this?

I did!

October 17, I submitted my request through senator Cornyn’s website. I am a Texas resident.

October 18, I got an email from his Dallas office asking for a signed form and a summary of the case. I submitted that within 2 hours of receiving the email.

October 20, I got a phone call from him Dallas office asking for more information which I immediately provided.

October 21, I got notification from his Dallas office stating that an inquiry was made on my behalf.

October 25, I just got a notification from USPS that my doc was just received and en route. I set up a notification on the return label… and yes I submitted my app through an “expeditor” and they use USPS.

My appointment with the SEF is on the 9th so this is cutting it really close.

Anyway, moral of the story is — doesn’t matter if you are a citizen or not (which I am not yet), as long as you are a tax payer, you’ve got representation in Congress.

Email and call your representative — don’t let the feds ruin your plan!

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Thanks and best of luck for your appointment. Will likely use this plan in the future…lol q3 2023 maybe…lol

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My lawyer told me the same on missing document at biomatric appointment. In fact, i was missing PT social security declaration at appointment. During appointment, SEF just asked me to acknowlede on a letter stating the missing doc and requesting to submit in 20 working days. My lawyer told me that this 20 working days can be further extended upon request. The only drawback of this approach is the processing will be delayed till all docs received.

Thanks for all the amazingly helpful information on this thread and this site!

Two questions:

  • Since apostille turn around times are so huge right now, does anyone know if it’s allowable to submit a background check for apostille, and then have another one done a month or so later and submit that as well, so there are two apostilles in process simultaneously, in case the first one doesn’t arrive before the 90 days, hopefully the second one will?

  • Can anyone recommend an apostille company they worked with that they liked?

Thank you!!

Charity, that’s probably a good question for your lawyer. I wouldn’t start worrying, though, as the background check should get back to you in time if your lawyer’s doing the translation and everything else is ready to go. We used Monument Visa, and they were perfectly fine. If an expediter advises you that s/he can turn it around in less than 5-6 weeks, I’d be dubious. One of the posters on this chain avoided an expediter and did the legwork on his own; he reported that he received the completed paperwork sooner than I did. I wasn’t prepared to do that, out of concern that I might make a mistake and have to start over. All the expediters do all day every day is get documents signed and apostilled. If you’re applying for a GV, I think it’s well worth the extra couple hundred bucks. Good luck!

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Thanks so much!! I will check out Monument Visa!

The delay is at the US Dept of State so as @rlmnyc stated if a company is giving you a turn around time that seems really fast i would use caution.

I am using Mounument Visa as well as they seem to be the “cheaper” online system over doing it yourself and I initially thought I had to have the documents translated but the next ones will likely do myself especially if the US Dept of State is taking so long…

I am just waiting till my lawyers advise to start double processing these, as maybe in 2023 US Dept State will return to better operation mode…again just sad state of government working so backwards over a very standard form given that the USPS and FBI have these done in like 2 days total… so fun just waiting…

Best of luck to you!