Apostille is the internationally recognised treaty that ratifies the authenticity of documents. Korean Immigration will accept Diploma Copies and Original Nationwide Criminal Background Checks that have been Apostilled as legitimate and therefore will be able to fully process the visa. Without an Apostille, they cannot accept either of these two documents and this will mean a delay in getting the visa.
Please be aware that If you don't first get your Criminal Background Check and the Copy of Diploma Notarized by a notary or lawyer, you won't be able to get an Apostille. Please refer to the article - Getting Notarization before Getting Apostille.
Canada was not a signatory of the Apostille treaty. As a result Canadian applicants are required to secure a Korean Consulate verification stamp as an alternative to the Apostille authentication after getting a Notarization by a public notary/lawyer.
Following is a detailed guideline for getting an Apostille in USA and other Countries.
1. Criminal Background Check (FBI checks required - CRC)
All Americans MUST have their national level FBI Check authenticated with an Apostille Seal Certificate.
YOU MUST request that the FBI authenticate your criminal background at time of submitting your fingerprints to them; the FBI will NOT pre-authenticate your check unless you specifically request it at the time of order. Make sure to review our article - Getting Criminal Background Check before you order your FBI check.
Firstly call your Secretary of State office to determine whether or not they will apostille an FBI check. Most Secretary of State Offices will offer a faster service if you visit them in person.
If your Secretary of State office doesn't provide the apostille service then you need to send your FBI check to the US Department of State office as an alternative. However please note that it would take almost 1 month to get it back from them. So do not just mail your FBI criminal background check directly to the US Department of State. We will will recommend the proper course of action to get your FBI CRC apostilled.
2. Bachelor’s Degree (Diploma)
All Americans MUST submit a photocopy of their degree/diploma which has been notarized by a Notary Public and authenticated with an Apostille Seal Certificate.
Before you are able to secure the Apostille authentication you will need to bring your original university diploma to a notary public or lawyer with a notary license and ask them to make you a notarized copy. The notary will photocopy your diploma and sign and stamp the copy - you now have a notarized copy of your degree. Once this step has been completed you can bring or send the photocopied version of your degree (with notary stamp and signature) to the appropriate office to secure the Apostille authentication.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is the best option for getting an apostille in the UK and it is faster and cheaper than other apostille services.
The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs is the only office in Ireland that is able to authenticate documents. Note: The Department of Foreign Affairs will only Apostille documents that were issued from institutions in Ireland; meaning, they will not Apostille degrees or CRC’s from UK schools and offices.
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is the office that Australian teachers must use for their Apostille authentications.
4. New Zealand
The New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs is the only office in New Zealand that is able to authenticate documents.
5. South Africa
The South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation is the only office in South Africa that is able to authenticate documents.