I’m brand new to nomadgate as we’re just starting our GV application process for our family of three (myself, husband and twenty year old son) . We’re trying to gather all our supporting documents for our son and we’re finding it to be fairly difficult to get the documents requested by our lawyer apostilled (specifically bank statements, school enrollment letters, tuition payments). Does anyone have any suggestions for how to apostille these proof of dependency and proof of studies documents? We can get things notarized first but our Secretary of State in Washington isn’t guaranteeing they will apostille even a notarized bank statement or school letters. They are more positive about the school letter but only with an official seal and wet signature of registrar but it was not a full yes. The bank statements are more challenging.
Any advice, tips, recommendations? Would using a service like Monument provide more assurance of it getting apostilled? Looking for any insight out there.
Just to wish you good luck! I also have a son who was 20 when I applied in October last year, but I decided not to include him in the application as I thought it was pretty unlikely he’d still be a student dependent on me under 26yo by the time of my second renewal. Still waiting for my biometrics appointment!
The state apostilles state and county documents. The Dept Of State apostilles federal documents. For non-governmental documents, you’ll have to make do with a notary.
There is a long discussion thread about apostilles a ways back which includes definitions and the like.
Just as Jeff B mentioned, the apostille can be placed either on the original government document, or else on a notarized copy. In the former, it verifies the signature of the government’s official. In the latter, it verifies the signature of the notary.
So in the case of dependant’s document, all of them I believe would be non-government issued.
Hence you go take a notarized copy, and then place apostille onto the said copy.
Really helpful, thank you for that clarification!
Is there any clear definition of what it means to be dependent?
In school and living with parent?
What if the child has a part-time job while also in school and living with parents, does he still remain dependent?
What if child is in school but also has a full time job and savings, but living with parents?
Is there any clear guidance on this?
I don’t know the criteria for working in addition to going to school. What I learned from our lawyer is you need to show your child is financially dependent on you. I think if they still rely on you for money each month and are a full time student then this means they are dependent on you. I would however confirm all this with your lawyer.
I also wanted to share that our lawyer in Portugal said the amount coming in each month to your dependent child should be between 300-500 Euro per month. Maybe this helps? But she did say you could not have any salary coming in on the dependent bank statement. So a full time job would likely disqualify a dependency. Again, check with your own lawyer but this is what we found out.
Hi Amy, we are in Seattle and also applying for a family, including college age children. We’re at the biometrics stage, so I’d be happy to share what specific steps we took to get the paperwork right if that’s helpful.
That would be so helpful and great! Can you we connect offline of nomadgate to sort some contact details? How do we do that? Thanks for your offer to help. Really appreciate it.
We are from state of WA as well… unfortunately, from my understanding the state of WA will only Apostille documents that they (WA state governmental agencies) issue. So for example, if you order transcripts from the WA state education board (not from the school itself), you should be able to get the state to Apostille the document, but they won’t Apostille something issued directly from the school. They will not do tuition payments as those are not from a governmental agency (unless of course you had a loan through a state government loan) nor will they do bank statements because both of those are not WA state issued.
We have only used Monument for apostilles for Department of State/FBI records and had obtained apostilles for things like marriage and divorce certs directly from the state, so cannot comment on what they can help you with outside of that; you would need to speak to them regarding ability to get an Apostille from somewhere for non governmental issued agencies. They very well may have a solution or at least be willing to do some investigation for a small fee. They are super tied in to these processes so if anyone has any ideas, they would. If there is no way to get an actual Apostille, you will need to have your immigration lawyer speak with SEF to find out what they will accept. It’s likely that your lawyer (assuming they have experience working with American expat families) has a solution as well. You will not be the first to have this issue, so there is a solution, it just might take some legal intervening on your behalf.
THanks for the info. Yes, Ive determined now that the State will only apostille the government issued docs and everything else needs to be first notarized and then apostilled. I think this solves some of the issues even if its one more step but will make for a more likely accepted application.
I appreciate that feedback on using Monument and it looks like we will do the same thing. It seems easiest to have their assistance with the FBI background check.
I appreciate your insight! Very much appreciated.
Yes, I would be very interested to hear how you are navigating the college age kids in this process. I think we are getting most everything we need (single status letter was really easy, surprisingly).
Was your biometrics appointment within the 6 month timeline? Or even the 3 month window for FBI background check? If not did you need to provide repeated docs at that biometrics stage (like proof of dependency, proof of studies, FBI background check etc?) We’re wondering how long the initial application stage is from actual biometrics appointment ?
I did have a pretty specific question on your proof of studies letters for your kids, so let me know if you want to connect. Again thanks for reaching out.
Hi, Aimie - I can’t speak to the issues regarding your kids, but I can tell you that it will be a miracle if someone gets a biometrics appointment within the same validity window (3 months for FBI check and 6 months for state docs) as the initial application. Our experience seems to be right down the fairway - some have had a longer time, some have had a shorter time. We finalized applications around July 1, 2021, and were pre-approved around September 1, 2021. In late June 2022 we were notified of biometrics openings. Therefore, we had to get all our docs re-issued and re-apostilled. While SEF is moving faster now than it was a year ago, I doubt they will be caught up for another year or so.
Oh wow, that’s a long delay! Thank you for giving me that rough timeline- super helpful.
SEF was shut down for a period due to COVID. They re-started, but were understandably behind. Then the change in the law caused a rush in applications in 2021 (and especially in late 2021). Then there was the political/legal wrangling about SEF being “disbanded” and its work being passed around to other agencies. Kind of a perfect storm for delays…