Documents issued in one country which will be used in a foreign country, such as powers of attorney, affidavits, birth, death and marriages records, must be “authenticated” or “legalized” before they can be recognized as valid in the foreign country.
We strongly encourage U.S. citizens to authenticate their documents (especially educational, marriage or birth) in the U.S. before coming to Iraq. The U.S. Consulate General Erbil is unable to authenticate documents which originated in the U.S. The process for authentications / attestations is not quick, please plan accordingly.
If the document is for use in Iraq, you must complete the “chain of authentication process” in which a series of authorities will affix a succession of seals beginning with your document and ending with the seal of the Iraqi Embassy in Washington, DC and the appropriate office of the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
If your document is for use in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, you may choose to complete the “chain of authentication process” with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Representation in Washington, DC and the KRG Department of Foreign Relations (DFR) in Erbil.
Documents Originated in the United States
Step One – Obtain the document and complete the first authentication.
- Education institutions (college degrees, vocational/educational certificates, transcripts): Documents issued by educational institutions should be originals and be obtained from the educational institutions. Most schools have notaries public to provide certified copies of the degrees or transcripts. Contact the school to determine how best to have your document authenticated by the state’s Secretary of State. In some cases, you may be required to bring the document to a county office for authentication, and then authenticated by the state’s Secretary of State.
- Documents issued by a U.S. state: State documents are those originating with a state court or agency (birth, death, and marriage certificates, etc.). They must be authenticated by that state’s Secretary of State. Contact them or send your original document or its certified copy for initial authentication of the town/county/state’s issuing officer. Information on the offices of Secretaries of State for the U.S. states.
- Notarized Documents: The procedure for authenticating documents executed before a notary public, such as affidavits or acknowledgments, varies from state to state. It is advisable to contact the state authentication authority to learn what steps are necessary between the notary seal and the state level authentication.
- Documents issued by federal courts: Documents issued under the seal of a federal court should be sent to:
Justice Management Division, Security Program Staff
Physical Security Office, Room 6531
9th and Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20530
Telephone: (202) 514-2314 or 514-4667
- Documents issued by federal agencies: If your document was issued under the seal of a federal agency, it does not require a state level authentication. You may proceed directly to Step Two.
Step Two – Get your document authenticated by the U.S. Department of State Authentications Office.
Once you have completed the state level authentication, you must get your document authenticated by the U.S. Department of State Authentications Office.
- All documents that in a foreign language must be accompanied with a certified (notarized) English translation.
- Please submit a completed Request of Authentications Service DS-4194 form with all of your requests. In Section 4 of the DS-4194, the Country of Use for each document must be specified before the document(s) can be processed.
- Online, editable version DS-4194 (for Internet Explorer use only)
- Printable, PDF version DS-4194 (PDF 36 KB) (for all web browsers)
For the mailing address and contact information, please see the office’s website at: http://www.state.gov/m/a/auth/
Processing time for authentication requests sent by mail is at least 15 working days. There is a walk in service, open 7:30 am to 11:00 am, which allows for the authentication of documents on the same day. For additional information, call the Federal Information Center at 202-485-8000.
All seals and signatures must be original and all the dates must follow in chronological order.
Step Three – The Final Authentication
The final step of the authentication process is done at the Iraqi Embassy in Washington, DC Please contact The Embassy of the Republic of Iraq for more information:
The Embassy of the Republic of Iraq
3421 Massachusetts Ave. NW,Washington, DC 20007 202-742-1600
If your document is for use in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, you may choose to complete the “chain authentication process” with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Representation in Washington, DC. Please contact the KRG Representation for more information:
The KRG Representation in Washington DC
20036, 1532 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20036
Step Four – Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Iraq
Once you have finished the Final Authentication with the Iraqi Embassy in Washington, D.C., you may take your document to the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
If your document is for use in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, you may take your document to the KRG Department of Foreign Relations (DFR) in Erbil.
Assistance in the Process
The companies listed below claim to help in providing attestation / authentication services. Please note that the U.S. Consulate General Erbil is not affiliated with any of the companies listed below and does not recommend them specifically. This is for your information only, if you require assistance in the authentication process.
Authenticate 4 Me
Professional Document Retrieval and Authentications
1718 M St NW
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: (202) 280-8433
The U.S. Consulate General Erbil assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability of these companies.