Birth Certificate authentication for Spanish Student Visas from the US (Notarization vs Apostille)


Does the U.S. student visa application require a notarized copy of my birth certificate? Can notaries notarize vital records? What is the most official document I can have to prove my birth?

Did anyone else who did a visa for their master’s have the same issue? I can provide the official copy of my birth certificate issued by the county health department, which is the most official document I can have. Is the birth certificate that I have good enough to send them?


These are the answers of some Facebook group members:

”You need to have it apostilled, which is a form of legalization. This is done by the Secretary of State in the state you were born in. I’m curious who is telling you it needs to be notarized specifically”

”People often confuse “notarized” with “apostilled”. In this context, they really must mean the latter. Get a new copy of your birth certificate from your public health department or vital records and then it’s usually that particular state’s Secretary of State that handles the apostile. This can be a lengthy process depending on each state, so get started now”

”I got an official birth certificate reprint from my birthplace county records, in PDF format, by ordering it online. Then I used an online notary service to have that PDF notarized, which cost $25 and took about 5 minutes”

In conclusion, according to Spainguru Facebook group members, the US student visa application does not specifically require a notarized copy of your birth certificate, but an apostilled copy is the most official way to authenticate your birth certificate. If you can get your birth certificate apostilled, it will be the strongest proof of your birth. However, if you do not have time to get your birth certificate apostilled, you can still submit your official sealed copy of your birth certificate. The visa officer will then decide whether or not this is sufficient proof of your birth.