Correct stamps and obtaining USA and UK police reports
Each country has its own procedure for issuing certificates and for apostillising them or for legalising them. Whilst I cannot on this website give details and procedures for all countries, I can offer this general advice:-
Identify which documents you are going to require for your residency application in your specific circumstances.
Find out how these can be obtained by your country’s authorities and apply.
Find out whether your country is a party to the Hague Convention which allows the Apostille stamp to legalise the document for use in Andorra. (See the tables below and find out whether your country is a party to the convention)
- If your country is a party to the convention, find out who is the issuing authority and how to submit your documents for the Apostille stamp.
- Ensure your documents are either in English, French, Italian, Portuguese or Spanish (in some but not all cases in German)
IF the documents cannot be obtained in any of these languages they must either go for OFFICIAL translation and be notarised as such in your country, and then BOTH the original document AND the official notarised translation must be Apostillised. Alternatively the original documents can be Apostillised without a translation but then officially translated in Andorra. The alternative should be used depending on the language and only if it is impossible to obtain notarised translations in your country. These translations done in Andorra may also now require an Apostille from Spain as most translators are based there. I have recently had problems getting Apostilles in Spain so I recommend that this option as a last resort.
All of this may sound complicated but in most cases is quite straight forward and I am here to guide you.
Obtaining the FBI Identity History Summary Check ( FBI Police Certificate)
Immigration requires that if you were either born in the USA, or apply with a USA passport, or sometimes if your last country of residence is the USA, then you will require an FBI police report (now known as an identity history summary check). Please note for the purposes of immigration a State police certificate Apostillised or not Apostillised is not acceptable.
USA citizens and permanent residents can either apply directly to the FBI or may use a system of approved channellers who are authorised to process your fingerprints and documentation on your behalf.
Please note to use a channeller you must be in the USA. However I have now a process to obtain the Apostillised FBI Certificate directly within 7 - 10 days. If you apply directly to the FBI it will take 16 weeks currently. If you are a USA citizen or a Permanent Resident and intend to apply for residency please contact me first, this saves a huge anmount of time.
Fingerprints can be done here in Andorra or at one of the FBI approved finger print agencies with whom I have contact. Otherwise a USDA Embassy or law enforcement agency can assist BUT the prints MUST be of an extremely high quality else they will be rejected again and again. I have also managed to circumvent the requirements at Immigration where prints keep getting rejected.
If your country is not a party to the convention you will need to find out which department is responsible for legalising documents for use in other jurisdictions, normally the Department for Foreign Affairs, or Ministry of the Exterior, and then:-
The same procedure for translations should be applied as if being Apostillised.
After the correct legalising stamp has been appended the documents (and official translations if done) must then be presented to the Embassy of Spain OR France in your country for their stamp to be added. This is a most important additional step not required for Apostilles. The Embassies of Spain and France look after the interests of Andorra overseas, although on some occasions this needs to be explained to them !!
In all cases I recommend to applicants to e-mail me the documents for approval in advance from Immigration. I can also assist with your questions, and please if in any doubt contact me as this is a vital step in your application and if the wrong stamp is applied it WILL be rejected AND you will need to resubmit the documents when corrected.
All applicants for andorran residency and for work permits will need to present certain documents from their country of residence in support of their application. Immigration will only accept those documents if they bear the correct stamp. Please note that an Apostille stamp or stamps for Legalisation can ONLY be obtained in the country where they are issued, so all this needs to be done before your arrival in Andorra.
If you have any problems whatsoever with identifying the authorities, or you are unclear which circumstances apply to your particular country, please contact me for advice.