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Legalization of documents between Italy and the U.S.A.: The apostille


Legalization of documents between Italy and the U.S.A.: The apostille

Italy and the United States are both members of the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 abolishing the need to legalize foreign public documents. Based on the Convention it is no longer necessary to ask the embassies or consulates of the two countries to legalize a document or certificate. Legalization has been substituted with an “apostille”  which is placed on the document. Thereafter the document  is recognized as legal in the two countries.

The Apostille is a stamp or seal placed on documents or certificates released by foreign authorities with the goal to confirm their authenticity and render them valid for use in the country where the document needs to be used or presented; in this case from the United States to Italy and vice versa.

In the United States, the apostille is released by the Secretary of State of the state which released the original document.   The following  are the State offices which fall in the jurisdiction of the Consular office of the Italian Embassy on Washington D.C.

With regard to documents released by Federal Authorities, for example  for the Identity History Summary also known as criminal background checks issued by the FBI, the apostille will be released by:

For further information on the apostille:

  • From the website of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation click here
  • From the website of the US Department of State click here