Sunday, October 18, 2009

Apostilles in Canada....No existe!

My first few years in Mexico I would hear other ex-pats talking about getting their documents "apostilled" for immigration. I had never been asked for such a thing and had never even heard the term. I learned that an apostille is an internationally recognized form of notary, basically a stamp that indicates that a document is legitimate and legal. The apostille process was introduced to the world in 1961 with the "Hague Apostille Convention" in order to reduce the heavy amount of paperwork and expense needed to fully legalize a document for international use. Apostilles are applied to paperwork such as birth certificates, marriage and divorce certificates, bank statements and educational documents.

I always wondered why I had never been asked for such a thing, but just counted myself "lucky". My luck ran out this year. In the process of changing jobs, after six years of FM3's and FM2's, immigration has asked for my education documents, fully apostilled. I started to investigate how to do this and discovered that Canada does NOT HAVE apostilles. Greeeeeeeat. Now what. Googling around I learned that Canada did not sign the Hague Convention so instead of the nice and "easy" apostille, I have had to go through the "legalization and authentication" of my documents. What does that mean? One, I had to get the documents (thanks to a blogger friend in Toronto my university transcripts were obtained, THANK YOU Manolo!). The Toronto transcripts had to be Fedexed to my parents in Windsor who already had my high school diploma. They then had to get the docs notarized by a local lawyer. Next, they sent everything to Ottawa to a company that would take care of the legalization and authentication part of the game. Legalization came first from the Canadian government, and the documents were then sent to the Mexican Embassy for authentication. Fingers crossed, knocking on wood, that has now happened and hopefully the package is on its way to Mexico. The whole process has cost about $500 CAD plus all the courier fees.

But oh no, it's not over when they get here! Everything will need to be translated into Spanish and notarized again. More pesos flying out of my wallet and more time wasting before I can get my papers!

This has been quite the learning experience, and a giant ball of stress for me. Trying to do this from a distance is a killer! I think at this point, I would recommend that any Canadians who plan to move to Mexico start getting all your ducks in a row and find a local authority on the authentication and legalization process. It seems that every person I know has been asked for slightly different documents, so you never really know what you are going to need, but it's best to find out before you get here so you are not taken by surprise. It's time consuming and expensive and stressful.

I will be so relieved when this mess is finally over with, cross your fingers for me everyone!


Manolo said...

you're welcomed Canucka. I know how complicated can be to move to another country (it apparently gets more complicated when Canada is involved in the equation, why is that? ;-) )
Good luck in your mexicanization.

Matt Swift said...

Wow, what a pain in the ass!
If there's anything more you need from Canada let me know - i'd be glad to help.

Matt Swift said...

PS. Why you no add my blog/soundclick site?
Yo Sucko?

Gaelyn said...

What a hassel. Hope it works faster than usual "manna" time.

Calypso said...

The libertarian in me says, "Who are these people?" I realize you want to keep the peace and comply - but, i would rebuke the entire matter - and probably be thrown out of the country ;-0

ElleCancun said...

Hmmm.... You know how many times I've heard the appostilles word thrown out as well! I knew it didn't exist in Canada!! Thank you for clarifying!! I wonder why I've never been asked for the documentation you require - could it be due to the fact we are legally married? Hmmm..... Now i'm scared. Thank you for all this information!!

paul nj said...

i know what you mean,i went threw the same thing when i got my condo,but so so glad i stuck it out.And if you get stressed out just go to the beach,and remember its 40 degrees in nj aha !!!!!

barry said...

Thanks for the explanation Kel, never knew exactly what that was either, but from folks I knew having to get it, thought it was a religious thing,, cause they Always began with OH JESUS!!!!Best of Luck and speedy resolution,, we shall all cross fingers and hold our tongues just right... Hey I got a Haitian set of Multi-purpose Voodoo candles,, you want I should light them. Hasta amiga

CancunCanuck said...

Manolo- You are a great friend and a life safer, thanks once again. I knew you would at least understand the urgency and the red tape I am facing, I am sure you've faced your own mess emigrating to Canada!

Matt- PITA indeed. And you do not sucko, simply an oversight in my crowded head, will try to make some blog roll changes today!

Gaelyn- Thanks amiga, I sure hope it's moving ahead from here and at a bit of a quicker pace. :)

Calypso- I do so much tongue biting and cheek biting and fake smiling when dealing with immigration, it's a wonder I can still speak. :)

On Mexican Time- I don't know why everyone seems to be asked for different documents, makes me a bit crazy really! I can't believe this is the first time in six years I have been asked for it, perhaps they just sit in their office thinking of ways to cause us all a little more grief every year.

paul nj- Ouch, 40 degrees? Brrrrr. Yes, it's all worth it, but I just can't wait to naturalize and be done with it all!

Barry- Haha! I had a few religious jokes floating around for this post, but I went the safe route and threw them out, teehee. Now voodoo, that's something I can sink my teeth into! :P

Unknown said...

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