Living In The Philippines Forum

Living in The Philippines => Emigrating section => Topic started by: Art, just a re(tired) Fil-Am on May 23, 2015, 01:54:08 PM

Title: Has anyone needed an Apostille Notary and whatever for?
Post by: Art, just a re(tired) Fil-Am on May 23, 2015, 01:54:08 PM
Recently I heard and read the words "Apostille Notary" for authentication of U.S. documents, which I never know about until now when I was processing my SRRV documents and still in progress to get my documents authenticated at the San Francisco Philippine Consulate, when that word came up in the mix and throw me for a loop which really confused me of what's it all about and did it pertain to me or anyone else doing their SRRV or 13a visa application?
Anyone who has experienced this sort of authenification process, give me your 2 centavos worth?  ::) :o
Title: Re: Has anyone needed an Apostille Notary and whatever for?
Post by: bigrod on May 23, 2015, 02:38:17 PM
Art,

From what I have read the police clearance whether local or FBI needs it.  Local would need it from the Sec of the individual state, FBI would need it from the Sec of State of the United States.  If I remember correctly BudM posted that he did this with his FBI clearance.
Title: Re: Has anyone needed an Apostille Notary and whatever for?
Post by: Art, just a re(tired) Fil-Am on May 23, 2015, 03:22:27 PM
From what I gathered it's pretty vague what documents the Philippine Consulate can authenticate without a prior notary and apostille notary from the Sec of State. 
The checklist from the PRA requires that my SRRV application, medical exams, police clearance, DD214s, bank security deposit and source of income require authentication also. So what's the use for the Philippine Consulate of authenticating anything when the Sec of State is doing it all? Doesn't make any sense.
I will be seeing an authorized apostille agent (only 3 in our area) next week and I'll find out what's up with all this BS, because I can't speak with a real person over the phone at our Philippine Consulate, but I did send them an email on Friday and Monday is a holiday.
Title: Re: Has anyone needed an Apostille Notary and whatever for?
Post by: BudM on May 23, 2015, 05:36:19 PM
Art,

From what I have read the police clearance whether local or FBI needs it.  Local would need it from the Sec of the individual state, FBI would need it from the Sec of State of the United States.  If I remember correctly BudM posted that he did this with his FBI clearance.

bigrod....Art and I have aleady been conversing on this the past 12-18 hours or something like that.  No, I did not have to get FBI clearance notarized and then/or appositely notarized by Florida or anything like that.  I don't know where Art is coming from on all this because I sure did not go through all that BS.  He hasn't determined yet, or at least I missed it somewhere, as to who is telling him to follow this procedure.  I don't have the slightest idea what it is all about.  All I know is, I went to the Embassy in person for walk-in.  I did not have to do that stuff.  I do know that if I mailed them in for processing, I would have to have sent them to the state first for notarization.  What kind of notarization?  I don't know.  I did not bother to screw with that.

Art...If the Philippine Consulate there is telling you all that stuff, if I was you, I would do like I mentioned before.  Contact the Embassy in Washington D.C. and verify the procedure and tell them of your situation.

I am sorry.  I do not know what else to say.
Title: Re: Has anyone needed an Apostille Notary and whatever for?
Post by: iamjames on May 23, 2015, 05:57:30 PM
From what I understand an Apostille Notary is used to certify that your notary is qualified. They simply attach a note to the documents to say that the notary is qualified/recognized. It is generally just a second check for international documents.
Title: Re: Has anyone needed an Apostille Notary and whatever for?
Post by: JoeLP on May 23, 2015, 06:10:35 PM
This is the Philippines and each office manager of their own office may say something different, so who knows.  But, that being said, the last time I was in the Immigration office in Calbayog CIty, the manager said to me with a lot of confidence, that because I lived in the Phils for more that 6 months, I wouldn't need any of those American clearances. 

Not sure that clears up anything, or makes it muddier, but that's what I was told.  He said because I MUST leave next summer, the best thing for me to do, concerning my 13A is to just keep doing what I am now(hit the office every 2 months to extend my tourist visa) and get out of dodge next summer(my 3 year mark).  After I get back, wait 6 months, then file for my 13A.  Then go through the process.

He said that staying in the Phils for 6 months before filing for it clears a lot of hurdles out of the way.
Title: Re: Has anyone needed an Apostille Notary and whatever for?
Post by: Art, just a re(tired) Fil-Am on May 23, 2015, 08:03:15 PM
Art,

From what I have read the police clearance whether local or FBI needs it.  Local would need it from the Sec of the individual state, FBI would need it from the Sec of State of the United States.  If I remember correctly BudM posted that he did this with his FBI clearance.

bigrod....Art and I have aleady been conversing on this the past 12-18 hours or something like that.  No, I did not have to get FBI clearance notarized and then/or appositely notarized by Florida or anything like that.  I don't know where Art is coming from on all this because I sure did not go through all that BS.  He hasn't determined yet, or at least I missed it somewhere, as to who is telling him to follow this procedure.  I don't have the slightest idea what it is all about.  All I know is, I went to the Embassy in person for walk-in.  I did not have to do that stuff.  I do know that if I mailed them in for processing, I would have to have sent them to the state first for notarization. What kind of notarization?  I don't know.  I did not bother to screw with that.

Art...If the Philippine Consulate there is telling you all that stuff, if I was you, I would do like I mentioned before.  Contact the Embassy in Washington D.C. and verify the procedure and tell them of your situation.

I am sorry.  I do not know what else to say.
You see Bud in bold, you just answered my question. That was what I was referring to aka an Apostille Notary, documents that are mailed to the Sec of State to be notarized/authenticated. "I do know that if I mailed them in for processing, I wou ld have to have sent them to the state first for notarization".
I'll know soon enough when I go see this Apostille agency and or go to the San Francisco Philippine Consulate so submit my documents for the final authentication.
No need beating a dead horse, but thanks for the heads up!  ;)
(click on the thumbnail below)
Title: Re: Has anyone needed an Apostille Notary and whatever for?
Post by: BudM on May 24, 2015, 12:21:14 AM
No, Art.  I did not just answer your question.  I apparently answered it at 9:30am Saturday morning in reply to one of the three messages that you sent me around 1:30am Saturday morning.  I did not get to answer you right away since I was sleeping.  Here are the last couple of sentences from my reply on one of those posts.  By the way, are you going to San Fran or mailing them there?  When I realized you were still in California instead of here, I was under the impression you are hand carrying that stuff.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From previously:
I don't know what is with all the BS in your following posts.  The only way I would have had to get that stuff notarized by the state of Florida would have been if I mailed them in rather than appear in person.
Title: Re: Has anyone needed an Apostille Notary and whatever for?
Post by: Art, just a re(tired) Fil-Am on May 24, 2015, 04:45:46 AM
No, Art.  I did not just answer your question.  I apparently answered it at 9:30am Saturday morning in reply to one of the three messages that you sent me around 1:30am Saturday morning.  I did not get to answer you right away since I was sleeping.  Here are the last couple of sentences from my reply on one of those posts.  By the way, are you going to San Fran or mailing them there?  When I realized you were still in California instead of here, I was under the impression you are hand carrying that stuff.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------From previously:
I don't know what is with all the BS in your following posts.  The only way I would have had to get that stuff notarized by the state of Florida would have been if I mailed them in rather than appear in person.
OK, here's my opinion of it all which now makes sense to me concerning this authentication process if I read it correctly from the San Francisco Philippines Consulate's website where it says "if"
http://philippinessanfrancisco.org/philippines-sf/consular-services-sf/faq-sf/#authentication (http://philippinessanfrancisco.org/philippines-sf/consular-services-sf/faq-sf/#authentication)

4. If sent by mail:(which is describing an Apostille Notary used to validate/acknowledge/recognize documents abroad)
Documents must be notarized by a Notary Public and Signature of the Notary Public must be authenticated by the Secretary of State where the Notary Public is registered, for applicants coming from states in the U.S.


If hand carried to the Consulate (no notary mentioned about the Sec of State) it says:
Any legal document issued in the U.S. must first be acknowledged or authenticated (‘consularized’) by the Philippine Embassy/Consulate General in order for that document to have any legal validity in the Philippines.  Please check the Consulate Finder or the Consulates Link for the states covered by the Embassy/Consulates General in the U.S.
Each “consularized” document will bear the seal of the Embassy/Consulate General and the signature of the authenticating officer.


Title: Re: Has anyone needed an Apostille Notary and whatever for?
Post by: hitekcountry on May 24, 2015, 05:16:39 AM
I don’t know if this is relevant to this discussion but one of the last times that I was at the Philippine Consulate in San Francisco I was told I needed some of my documents notarized. 

There is a Notary Public one floor down from the Philippine Consulate. The Philippine Consulate is on the sixth floor if I remember correctly and the Notary Public is on the Fifth floor.

I went one floor down to the Notary Public, paid them a few bucks, they notarized my documents, went back up to the sixth floor, submitted all my documents, they then found all my documents acceptable and I was done.
Title: Re: Has anyone needed an Apostille Notary and whatever for?
Post by: BudM on May 24, 2015, 08:30:26 AM
You must have had something completely different and dealing with a different agency hikecountry.

Thanks for clarifying the "if" and straightening me all out on that Art.  I don't need to worry about it though since I am done but good luck to you.  I would still just double check with the Embassy and make sure everyone along the line has their ducks lined up so you do not get any surprise at the end and have to maybe reschedule your flight a second time.
Title: Re: Has anyone needed an Apostille Notary and whatever for?
Post by: hitekcountry on May 24, 2015, 09:07:07 AM
You must have had something completely different and dealing with a different agency hikecountry.

As far as the Philippine consulate in San Francisco there is only one. The next closest one is in Los Angeles.  So that for sure is the same office Art is dealing with.

As far as what it takes to get various documents approved I don't know but in my case authentication by the Notary located in the same building was accepted as legal by the Philippine Consulate.
Title: Re: Has anyone needed an Apostille Notary and whatever for?
Post by: Art, just a re(tired) Fil-Am on May 24, 2015, 10:55:25 AM
You must have had something completely different and dealing with a different agency hikecountry.
As far as the Philippine consulate in San Francisco there is only one. The next closest one is in Los Angeles.  So that for sure is the same office Art is dealing with.
As far as what it takes to get various documents approved I don't know but in my case authentication by the Notary located in the same building was accepted as legal by the Philippine Consulate.
Thanks for the info. I'll make a note of that when we go to the Philippine Consulate next week. Should be a breeze then.
Title: Re: Has anyone needed an Apostille Notary and whatever for?
Post by: BudM on May 24, 2015, 11:37:11 PM
You must have had something completely different and dealing with a different agency hikecountry.

As far as the Philippine consulate in San Francisco there is only one. The next closest one is in Los Angeles.  So that for sure is the same office Art is dealing with.

As far as what it takes to get various documents approved I don't know but in my case authentication by the Notary located in the same building was accepted as legal by the Philippine Consulate.

I should have mentioned that I wasn't talking about the Consulate.  I meant the agency at the receiving end after they go through the Consulate.  It doesn't matter to me though and I am done with all this.  Too many variables and my head is about to pop.
Title: Re: Has anyone needed an Apostille Notary and whatever for?
Post by: Lee2 on May 24, 2015, 11:46:55 PM
Art, the only thing I know about the SRRV was that a friend that had to send off his birth certificate and other documents to the states they were issued in, to get them verified or whatever they call it and then he had to present all those to the embassy in the US for the red ribbon or whatever it was, before heading back to the Philippines. He told me the Philippines will not accept any documents that have not be proven to be authentic by the states they were issued in, probably best to check with the embassy there because my info is second hand.
Title: Re: Has anyone needed an Apostille Notary and whatever for?
Post by: Art, just a re(tired) Fil-Am on May 25, 2015, 12:55:54 AM
Art, the only thing I know about the SRRV was that a friend that had to send off his birth certificate and other documents to the states they were issued in, to get them verified or whatever they call it and then he had to present all those to the embassy in the US for the red ribbon or whatever it was, before heading back to the Philippines. He told me the Philippines will not accept any documents that have not be proven to be authentic by the states they were issued in, probably best to check with the embassy there because my info is second hand.
What you have described is what an apostille notary is because legal documents were mailed to the U.S. for authentication as stated on the Sec of State (example for Calif) website. http://www.sos.ca.gov/notary/authentication/ (http://www.sos.ca.gov/notary/authentication/)
and also on the State Department website: http://goo.gl/SoEY5r (http://goo.gl/SoEY5r)
The Philippine Consulate does their own authentication of already U.S. local notarized documents.
That's just what I figured out after reading about all this stuff and what was discussed here.
Anyway, we're off to the San Francisco Philippine Consulate next week and I'm sure going to find out the process of all this authentication BS.
Bud's head is ready to pop after picking his brain for hours off-line. Thanks Bud for all your feedback!
Title: Re: Has anyone needed an Apostille Notary and whatever for?
Post by: BudM on May 26, 2015, 01:08:33 AM
No, it is not from picking my brain offline.  It is from banging it against the wall because I did not see one person comment where they did the same as me or knew of it being done the same as me but all to the contrary.  And what I did and did not do is not second hand knowledge passed on to me but fact.  I know what I know.
Title: Re: Has anyone needed an Apostille Notary and whatever for?
Post by: Ronin on May 26, 2015, 08:12:07 AM
This won't help the OP but here's my SRRV experience...

I did the paperwork myself.  It's really strait forward.  Didn't need a birth certificate, my passport was good enough.

I did have to have my prior divorce decree notarized at the US consulate in Cebu, no problem.

For the US police clearance I simply logged onto one of those sites that will do a criminal records search for $15.

Next I had to have the US police records search notarized.

The police records search was simply a list that looked like it was forged in notepad lol.  The consular looked at me like I was crazy and said that won't work.  It looked really bad.  I think he notarized it anyway.  Somehow I forgot to include the notepad police clearance in my final SRRV package.   The PRA told me to submit the clearance when I could get it. 

They then happily took my money and issued me a SRRV after the processing was completed in Manila.

I had my SRRV for about a year and then surrendered it as we are moving to the US now.  Processing for the surrender took almost two months.

I did my processing in Cebu.  If I did it over again, I would go with one of the processors the PRA recomends in Cebu.  The processors are paid $500 USD for every application they successfully submit so they will walk you through the process ($500 for about a days work!).

From what I've read, it's much more difficult to submit for the SRRV from outside the Philippines.
Title: Re: Has anyone needed an Apostille Notary and whatever for?
Post by: Art, just a re(tired) Fil-Am on May 26, 2015, 09:43:40 AM
Well, if they give me a hard time or deny my SRRV application, I'll just stay on the Balikbayan program or we'll just move back to the U.S. and buy myself a fishing boat and a little house or condo near the California Rio Vista Delta and go fishing as often as I can or as long as I'm able to! If my wife doesn't like my idea, I guess I'll have to do it on my own.  ::) ??? :o
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aje6g9polBk (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aje6g9polBk)
Title: Re: Has anyone needed an Apostille Notary and whatever for?
Post by: iamjames on May 26, 2015, 03:42:48 PM
Well, if they give me a hard time or deny my SRRV application, I'll just stay on the Balikbayan program or we'll just move back to the U.S. and buy myself a fishing boat and a little house or condo near the California Rio Vista Delta and go fishing as often as I can or as long as I'm able to! If my wife doesn't like my idea, I guess I'll have to do it on my own.  ::) ??? :o
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aje6g9polBk (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aje6g9polBk)

I get such a headache from all the Visa complications, Bank Complications ... and the myriad others, that I would never take the bother to go through it all. Ill just stick with constantly renewing my tourist visa.
Title: Re: Has anyone needed an Apostille Notary and whatever for?
Post by: Art, just a re(tired) Fil-Am on May 29, 2015, 06:08:29 AM
Forget about all that stuff about Apostille Notary in my OP. I finally got all of my SRRV document requirements authenticated yesterday at the San Francisco Philippine Consulate.
We took Caltrain, a 1 hour train ride servicing only San Jose to San Francisco and back, $27 round trip, which includes a $6 senior citizen discount and then a 15 minute $10 plus tip taxi one way to the Consulate. We got there a few minutes after opening time at 9am. Submitted my documents by 9:30am and was ready for pickup by noon and we were out of there with my documents with a a gold seal emblem with red ribbons attached and riveted with a metal eyelet through the 15 pages of documents I submitted for authentication and no notary of any kind was required to any of my documents all for $25 since I hand carried, a walk-in to the Consulate. All mailed in documents to the Consulate require notarization from the Secretary of State or by way of an authorized Apostille agent prior to mailing all completed documents to the Philippines Consulate for final authentication/acknowledgement prior leaving for the Philippines for further processing of one's retirement visa.
Now all I need to do is go to the Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA) office in Makati, Manila and submit my SRRV application with my authenticated red ribbon documents which consists of my all of my physical exam findings/results, 14"x17" chest x-ray film, police clearance, remittance receipt of my $1,500 security deposit to the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), DD214s, old military records showing active duty at Clark AB over 2 years and proof of my source of income - annuity statements after we get back home to the Philippines. Our 4 months vacation here in N. Calif is long enough! We're anxious to get back home!
After when it's all said and done, I'll eventually have my permanent resident visa and SRRV I.D. Card. I will surely be a "Happy Camper"! No more BB stamps, tourist visa extensions and or visa runs!

Pics of the gold seal with red ribbons for different kinds of documents after Authentication and or Acknowledgement by the Consular Section on the 6th floor, where Philippine passport renewals are also done.
https://goo.gl/Z5vzYw
Title: Re: Has anyone needed an Apostille Notary and whatever for?
Post by: BudM on May 29, 2015, 07:09:05 AM
One authentication for 15 pages?  I paid double for two on total of 5 pages and they all went to the PRA.  When you went there, did you dress and look like you were poor?
Title: Re: Has anyone needed an Apostille Notary and whatever for?
Post by: Art, just a re(tired) Fil-Am on May 29, 2015, 11:31:53 AM
Yeah, I must of looked poor. I had the original set of 15 pages and a 2nd set of copies, but the cashier behind the glass window only charged me $25 for both set of documents.
Title: Re: Has anyone needed an Apostille Notary and whatever for?
Post by: piozam13 on May 29, 2015, 02:19:52 PM
Yeah, I must of looked poor. I had the original set of 15 pages and a 2nd set of copies, but the cashier behind the glass window only charged me $25 for both set of documents.

Congratulations!  Well done on the $25?  I had to send 2 × $25 for authentication of marriage certificate and "no criminal record" clearance and another 1x $20 for postage.  The clearance was not authenticated (validity expired) and sent back to me but I did not get a refund. 
Title: Re: Has anyone needed an Apostille Notary and whatever for?
Post by: Art, just a re(tired) Fil-Am on May 29, 2015, 04:08:26 PM
Yeah, I must of looked poor. I had the original set of 15 pages and a 2nd set of copies, but the cashier behind the glass window only charged me $25 for both set of documents.

Congratulations!  Well done on the $25?  I had to send 2 × $25 for authentication of marriage certificate and "no criminal record" clearance and another 1x $20 for postage.  The clearance was not authenticated (validity expired) and sent back to me but I did not get a refund.
That's why we decided to take a long 4 month vacation in N. Calif so I can just hand carry all of my documents for authentication to the Philippine Consulate in San Francisco, which was fun riding on a train into the city, where BTW we had a $50 breakfast in one of the nearby places to eat near the Consulate. Our local police dept was just minutes away to get my police clearance, which took 7 days to process, because they short on staff. Luckily my doctor's office for my physical exams and lab tests was just across the street from where we were staying at my in-law's place. It was just my doctor that was slow in scheduling all of my appointments, including all of my wife's lab work, physical exam for feminine things and cardio tests for her annual checkup, which the results were all AOK and even mine and all was covered by TRICARE and my Medicare portion for myself whatever it was for I don't know, but we'll probably still have to pay our share eventually when they get all of the billing figured out. All in all the process was actually a piece of cake. I worried over about nothing really.
Now just waiting for our flight out of here from SFO to go home back to the Philippines where we would rather be. California is OK just for short visits now and then, but we wouldn't want to live here again like our old past of 17 yrs ago, because it still seem to appear too much of a daily grind today as it was long ago of a so called "human rat race" lifestyle of working, retired or not!  ::) ??? :o ;)
Title: Re: Has anyone needed an Apostille Notary and whatever for?
Post by: Lee2 on May 29, 2015, 08:05:11 PM
Yeah, I must of looked poor. I had the original set of 15 pages and a 2nd set of copies, but the cashier behind the glass window only charged me $25 for both set of documents.

My opinion is that you were not charged the long nose tax, that was why only $25.  ;)

Also on the 4 months, one of my friends came back to Florida and mailed the stuff in with a prepaid return envelope and was able to get it all done within a month but he went to do the medical locally in Cebu as soon as he got back and told me it cost him less there than his deductible would have cost him in Florida, so Art now I know why you like California so much, must feel just like the Philippines with the slow pace of getting things done, joke lang my friend. Happy you got it all done and we are looking forward to hopefully getting to see you both again next year.

Title: Re: Has anyone needed an Apostille Notary and whatever for?
Post by: hitekcountry on May 30, 2015, 01:39:24 AM
One authentication for 15 pages?  I paid double for two on total of 5 pages and they all went to the PRA.  When you went there, did you dress and look like you were poor?

Either that or IIRC someone once said Art has that “Movie Star Look” going for him. 8) ;D

Well whatever, Sounds like quite an ordeal to go through, but you got it done, that’s great. Congratulations!!
Title: Re: Has anyone needed an Apostille Notary and whatever for?
Post by: BudM on May 30, 2015, 05:16:49 PM
One authentication for 15 pages?  I paid double for two on total of 5 pages and they all went to the PRA.  When you went there, did you dress and look like you were poor?

Either that or IIRC someone once said Art has that “Movie Star Look” going for him. 8) ;D

Well whatever, Sounds like quite an ordeal to go through, but you got it done, that’s great. Congratulations!!

Art doesn't only have a movie star look to him but he has a Filipino movie star look at that.  I don't know if I should ever let him in my neighborhood or not as there are rules here about being disruptive.  My wife's oldest son stopped here yesterday evening on his way to pick up his wife from work and he was riding his motorcycle of which I had to go and get on him about gunning it too much when he goes in and out of my drive.  All the extra traffic if Art showed up might get me thrown out of here.  Anyway, I knew that was the real reason why he did not get hit on the authentications like I did.
Title: Re: Has anyone needed an Apostille Notary and whatever for?
Post by: Art, just a re(tired) Fil-Am on May 31, 2015, 02:18:19 AM
Bud, I mean a simple small one story grand house with a pool, Jacuzzi, cabana with a kitchenette and covered patio, big stainless steel gas/charcoal BBQ grill, TV room with a really big screen LED HD TV, an off grid solar energy system and finally, an SUV. That's all and without any monthly payments!
Title: Re: Has anyone needed an Apostille Notary and whatever for?
Post by: BudM on May 31, 2015, 11:24:02 AM
Ahhh ok.  I don't even need or want a pain in the neck pool or SUV.  Rest is ok.