Thursday, September 18, 2008

No... no it certainly can't be easy!!

So I've been doing my immigration homework (gracias a Dios!) and I've discovered that getting my documents apostilled is not going to be as easy as I'd thought. Of course, lil ol' idealistic me thought: this won't be a problem. I'll get everything together at the beginning of December, send it in together and *poof* I will suddenly have all my documents together in case the immigration officials need them!!

Okay, so my imagined scenario wasn't that ridiculously simplistic, but it came nowhere near to the reality of what I'll have to do.

After a bit of research, I've discovered that documents must be apostilled by the Secretary of State in the state where they originated. Not only that, but they must be notarized by someone in their state of origin as well!

See, I guess the problem is that I had to go and live all over the place instead of just sticking to one general geographical area. I was born in one state, educated in another, and currently reside in yet a third (thank God I don't have to deal with getting La Hija's birth certificate apostilled or we'd be dealing with a fourth)! So, in order to get my birth certificate, college diplomas and police record apostilled, I will have to deal with three different states. Two of these states will be a piece of cake; the third, however, is a bit far away and I have yet to work out exactly how I will deal with getting my documents notarized without having to travel there. I've got time to figure it out.

In other news, I got my CV out to Mi Amor and threw in a picture La Hija colored and a picture collage I put together of the two of them. It always feel really good to check something else off the list of things to get done.

I've gotten two more boxes ready to ship... now I'm just waiting until I can actually afford to send them!


Steve Cotton said...

I finally gave in to the Tyranny of the List, as well. I haye To Do Lists, but I love marking things off. It does give a sense of accomlishment, doesn't it?

aighmeigh said...

Definitely, not to mention that it helps keep things on track. I don't know if it's the same way with you or not, but my time left in the US seems to be flying by! So much to do, and increasingly less time to do it in!!

Though, that is not at all a bad thing :)

Honduras Sprout said...

I found out after the fact that I could have taken care of everything in country rather than in the states at the consulate. As long as I brought all the documents needed with me. The consulate just wanted to rip me off that is why they insisted I have to go there and pay money to them. Which, they overcharged to line their pockets.

I got residency through being a mother to a native so that involved getting the dual citizenship of my son established. We had a lawyer who knew what needed to be done.

We needed a translated birth certificate and I did that myself. Thanks to photoshop it still looked like an official document, just printed on regular paper. No one said anything about who or how it had to be translated. Do you have a lawyer in ES? We went through about 8-10 months of extensions (can't remember) and now I have my official residency card.

aighmeigh said...

Wow... I never thought about doing an at-home translation for that! I had to do that with the absent parent permission form when we got La Hija's passport, so I'm sure we could swing that too. Great idea!!

We don't have a lawyer as of yet, but I think that El Capitán knows someone we could use. We have been told definitively that I can't apply for residency until I have lived there for 6 months, so I guess we'll just wait and see. Having a relative in the US with power of attorney will be essential, methinks--especially if my future employer wants documents I didn't bring with me!

I'm leaning more toward getting La Hija's ES birth certificate once we're living there as well. it'd be one less thing to deal with ;)

Kathleen said...

Actually, when I was doing my paperwork the Peruvian consulate didn't want to help me submit any paperwork. They did the legalization stuff (a stamp and fees), but that was all. When I submitted my stuff for my residence visa in Lima, I was severely scolded for not utilizing the consulate in the US. Kind of a "damned if you do and damned if you don't" type of thing, eith everyone pointing fingers at someone else.

One thing I found out was that Latin American countries are notoriously bad for red tape, long lines, and paperwork out the yingyang. Be prepared.

Also be prepared for a delayed culture shock. Even though you have your love there with you and you've visited and think you know the culture, think you love your home and neighborhood, there comes a time when the infatuation wears thin and you begin to question what you are doing and why. Do your self a favor and get something to do: a job, find a group, study something, and be sure you get a pet to keep you company when your husband is gone to work. Having a baby there will keep you busy, but she won't take the place of having someone to pour your heart out to when you need to. And make yearly visits home.

aighmeigh said...

Kathleen, you're so right about needing something of my own out there. There have been many conversations about my need to have a life outside of the home, so we're investing in a second car (this week, actually) and we're trying to work it out so I can work outside of the home.

I've promised my family that we would come home each summer for at least a month or so, as teaching should allow me ample time off.

I am not looking forward to all the legal stuff we're going to have to deal with. With the runaround that we've been getting already, I'm sure it's going to be a ton of fun! :)

It's nice to know that governments are wonky all around the world! :D