Health certificates and Medical letters can be used as evidence of your health or well-being and may be required when seeking employment, applying for a visa, or adopting a child overseas. Those medical records and documents are issued by the doctor or medical attendant or physician. Usually, the health certificates can be valid for a limited period of time.
Before those medical documents can be used outside of the U.S., they must be notarized and apostilled or authenticated first.
If the destination country is a member of the Hague Convention of 1961, your document falls under the Apostille process (following Step 1-2);
If it's NOT a member of the Hague Convention of 1961, your document is required to go through the Authentication process (following Step 1-4).
Authentication or Apostille Process
Step 1: Get your Health Certificate and have it notarized.
Check with your doctor to request the notarized health certificate or other medical records. Sometimes, you may need a mobile notary to notarize it if they do not offer a notary on-site.
Step 2: Get it authenticated or apostilled by the Secretary of State
For Hague Convention Countries, get it certified with an apostille by the Secretary of State. It does not require additional certification by the U.S. Department of State or legalization by a U.S. embassy or consulate overseas to be recognized in a participating country. You are all set!
For Non-Hague Convention Countries, get it certified with authentication by the Secretary of State. Go to Step 3.
Step 3: Get it authenticated or apostilled by the Department of State
Have your health certificate authenticated by the U.S. Department of State.
Step 4: Get it legalized by the embassy of your destination country
Contact the embassy of your destination country to get the health certificate legalized.
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