Getting the Apostille of the Hague

One copy of all documents must have the Apostille of the Hague, which must be requested to the Secretary of State where the school is located.

In this link you can find the contact details of all Secretary of State offices for each state, as well as the specific instructions for getting the Apostille of the Hague at each state.

When contacting the Secretary of the State, make sure to:

  • Find out the cost of the Apostille in your state. The student will need one Apostille for each document that is taken or sent to the Secretary of State so at least 2 Apostilles should be paid (one for the Official School Transcript and one for the Letter of Convalidation)
  • Find out what type of notarization your state requires: is it enough with a regular notary or it is also needed the County Clerk?
  • Determine if you will be able to go in person or will need to mail your documents to the Secretary of State. Most students will need to complete the process by mail.
  • The website will usually say how long the process takes by mail, or if you need an appointment to get the Apostille in person.

If mailing your documents to Secretary of State for Apostille, prepare all necessary materials:

  • For mailing documents in, some states require a completed form printed request from their website or a cover letter. Follow your state’s instructions from the Secretary of state website to complete this form or cover letter
  • All states have some charge per Apostille requested. You need one Apostille per document so should expect to pay at least 2x the charge
  • Make sure you have valid payment - check or credit card is best, so that you can see when the paperwork was processed by the charge or withdrawal of money.
  • Prepare envelopes for mailing the documents to the Secretary of State and include with the documents an envelope for the Secretary of State to mail the documents with the Apostille back to you
  • Always use certified mail so that you are informed when the envelopes arrive and are mailed back to you. If the student is unsure how to purchase certified mail envelopes, either the host family or IEC can help.
  • Include contact information of someone in the US in case there are problems. This could be the school contact, host family, IEC or EF at the following address: EF HSEY Attn: Convalidation, 1 Education St., Cambridge, MA 02141

Normally the process should be completed before the student departs, so the documents are brought with him/her to Spain. If the student cannot complete this process before returning home, he/she is can ask the host family, IEC, school contact, or EF for help organizing it. The students will still be responsible for ensuring all documents (letters and envelopes) and payment are ready before departing.


Sample of Apostille of the Hague  

Sample Cover Letter for the Secretary of State

© EF Education First 2011-2020. EF High School Exchange Year is operated by EF Educational Foundation for Foreign Study, a non-profit corporation designated by the U.S. Department of State to operate a J-1 student exchange program. Note: Featured photo/videos do not include prospective students, and are representative of program participants.