Friday, April 13, 2012

Federal Apostille Processing Change

I get a lot of internet search traffic to my blog because of my post on how to get a criminal background check for the purposes of an E-2 work visa for Americans.

Effective as of March 1st, 2012, the US Department of State has altered their paper work process in the Office of Authentications.  Before, there was just a regular PDF to download, print off, fill out, and then mail in.

That has changed and now "copies of the DS-4194 form are not permissible!"  The new instructions for filling out the form to get an Apostille Seal placed on your FBI background check are as follows:

1) - Download the form using this link (HERE)
2) - Install Cerenade Visual Reader Application (HERE)
3) - Open Cerenade Visual Reader Application
4) - From within Cerenade Visual Reader Application open DS-4194.FAR
5) - Complete the entire form for the finalized barcode to appear

A couple important things to know: The barcode generator in the program changes with every keystroke you make, so only when the form is completed and correct will the final printed off barcode matter.  Nothing can be written in with pen or changed after the form has been printed off.

There is no way to install this program on a Mac computer, therefore when you fill out this form, you must do so from a PC windows operating computer that is hooked up to a printer.  You cannot open a finished document on a Mac computer to print it off later.

Here is what the form looks like (page 1 or 2 screen shot) with the barcode generated at the bottom.  Good luck!


preston glen said...

you mention you can't save a completed form to print later from a mac; do you know if it's possible to save the form and print later from another pc?

Wes Broe said...

Yes, I believe if you are on a PC, you can save it before transferring it to another PC to print it.

preston glen said...

thanks. i'm a bit overwhelmed by this new process. when i first taught in Korea the process was much simpler. ah, the good ole days.

Cresap said...

Hi, I need a bit of help understanding this form. This may be a stupid question, but I'm confused about Section 4, where it reads Country/Number of Documents/Document Type/Document Label (Official Use Only). In the "country" section, do I need to put the country where the document will be used, i.e. South Korea, or do I need to put the country where the background check was conducted, i.e. USA?

Should that section read:
South Korea/ 1 / FBI Criminal Background Record / (blank)

or should it read:
United States of America / 1 / FBI Criminal Background Record / (blank) ?

Thanks in advance for your reply; I appreciate any help you can offer!

Surya Garikipati said...

I have the very same question that Cresap has. Also, I find it puzzling that the form once printed cannot be altered at all :-(

Wes Broe said...

You should put the country you are sending it to, so...

South Korea/ 1 / FBI Criminal Background Record / (blank)

Word Up said...

I found a State Dept. link where you can download the form as an HTML which means that you can complete and print it from a Mac!

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