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Thread: The Residency Process...UGH!

  1. #1
    TRN Member Gypsytoes's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
    La Paloma, Ometepe Island, Nicaragua
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    Default The Residency Process...UGH!

    I just returned from the states. One of my goals was to start the residency process. UGH! The problems I encountered were monumental...but here's what I have done so far.

    A. Gather all documents
    1. Long form birth certificates (they need to have your mother and father's names on them.)
    2. Police reports on original letterhead. We had police reports done in June, but they were on copied forms and unacceptable, so we had to do them again.
    3. Marriage certificate
    4. Letter of heath...simply a statement from a doctor saying you are in good mental and physical health and you have no contagious diseases. This must be on a letterhead, signed by the doctor, and dated.
    5. Pension letter. My husband and I both receive little teaching pensions. Since my pension is larger, I only need to prove that I have a pension for my lifetime and I can support my husband and I both on my pension.

    All of these documents must be current...within 6 months. If any of these documents are outdated, you have to start all over again and have them done again.

    B. Notary
    1. Take all of your original documents to a notary. The notary will make one copy of all the documents and notarize the copies. Then, the notary will write a cover letter stating that he/she is a legal notary and list all the documents copied and notarized.
    2. This packet is stapled together with the cover letter from the notary.

    C. County Clerk's Office
    1. Take your original documents and the notarized packet to the County Clerk's Office where the notary got his/her license. They will look up the notary's name in their record books and give you a certified document with a pretty seal stating that the notary was legal and licensed in the state.
    2. This certification document is then stapled on top of the notary's cover letter( and the packet of copied documents)...basically certifying the notary.

    D. State Department of Certifications and Apostilles
    1. Send or take (I recommend taking) the packet of copies to your State Department and ask them to certify the County Clerk, who certified the notary. You will receive a Gold Seal from the Secretary of State which says that the County Clerk is a legal office and had the authority to license the notary.

    2. This is where I got hung up. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania wanted to certify all my original documents. They were hung-up on my birth certificates being copied by the notary, which is illegal. No matter how I tried to explain to them that I did not need to certify my documents, only the notary, they refused to give me a gold seal from the Secretary of State.

    The difference between an apostille and certification:

    Nicaragua is not a member of the Hague Convention, therefore we cannot receive an apostille stamp. Basically, an apostille stamp legalizes the documents to be used in other countries, which are members of the Hague Convention. Instead, Nicaragua uses what is called a chain of authentication to legalize the documents. This is called a certification. The Nicaraguan Consulates in the USA have copies of all the Gold Seals from the states in their jurisdiction. When you receive the certification and gold seal from the Secretary of State on the top of your packet, then you send the packet to the Nicaraguan Consulate in the US. They look up the gold seal and verify that it is authentic. Then, they stamp it, authenticating your documents.

    Since I used a notary in Pennsylvania, I had to certify the notary, then have the State Department of Pennsylvania certify the County Clerk's Office...all this before I could send it to the Nicaraguan Consulate in NY ( because the NY consulate deals with the state of PA). BUT, I COULDN'T GET THE GOLD SEAL!

    So, this is what I am going to do:
    1. My original documents are good until April, 2012. I am returning to the states in January. This time I'm doing everything in Florida. Florida understands Latin Logic!!!!
    2. I'm finding a Floridan notary to copy and notarize my original documents.
    3. I'll take the packet to the County Clerk's Office in Florida to certify the Florida Notary.
    4. I'll drive to Tallahassee and have them certify the County Clerk's Office. Then, they will give me the Gold Seal from the Secretary of the State of Florida.
    5. Then, I will hand deliver all my documents to the Nicaraguan Consulate in Miami. They will do same day authentications for $50. The office is closed on Monday.
    6. Then, I will fly back to Nicaragua with my authenticated packet...ready for the next steps...which I'll have to explain later.

    Words of advice:

    1. It doesn't matter what state your original documents came from. You do not need to certify the original documents.
    2. The process begins with the notary. You are only certifying the NOTARY. So, once you have your documents, find a notary in a state where they understand Latin Logic. DO NOT let them tell you that you need to certify each document. That can run into hundreds of dollars.
    3. Hand deliver everything. Do not send will take forever. If you personally visit the offices and explain what you need, you will have better luck. I sent my stuff to the Commonwealth of PA for the gold seal, included a cover letter explaining what I needed, and I was REJECTED. It cost me $45 just to send the stuff.

    I hope this helps, if you are interested in starting the residency process. only need a chain of authentication for the notary. You will save yourself lots of money and time. I know that Florida understands the process, so wish me luck in returning to Nica in January with everything authenticated and ready for the next step.

  2. #2
    Active TRN Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Default Re: The Residency Process...UGH!

    im on my 3rd residency was a lot simpler..when i got far the renewals have been easy..hope they dont do to them..what they did to renew a pistol permit..good luck

  3. #3
    The Bard of Jinotega MizBrown's Avatar
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    May 2010
    Jinotega, Nicaragua
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    Default Re: The Residency Process...UGH!

    I think you've put in a step that wasn't necessary in the cases I knew about -- the verifications by the county clerk. This may be a state requirement in your state, but wasn't necessary in Virginia.

    I found that the DC consulate is very good about telling you what you need to have before you leave the state and heard that they will verify documents from any state if you get State Department authentications first.

  4. #4
    Viejo del Foro Just Plain John Wayne's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
    Puerto Cabezas Nicar
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    Default Re: The Residency Process...UGH!

    Thanks for taking the time to post this, and you are right about people in Florida understanding the logic behind the madness..
    To be called a "Has Been" I must surmise, is much Greater than to be called a "Nevah Been"... JW...

  5. #5
    Viejo del Foro El Greco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Re: The Residency Process...UGH!

    Good Luck
    Dios es Amor!

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