What Are Embassy Services And How Can One Use Them?

An embassy is very similar to a consulate with a small amount of difference between the two services. Both these structures are representative departments of a foreign country or government that is located within another country. In this article we give you information about the embassy and the related embassy services that individuals can avail when travelling in a foreign country.

Role of the Embassy

The embassy plays an important role that represents the home country abroad. This institute handles diplomatic issues that include the preservation and protection of the right of the citizens when abroad. The ambassador is an individual who has the highest authority and acts as a chief diplomat and spokesperson for the home government. These ambassadors normally reside in the embassy. Normally, a singular embassy is located in countries abroad as compared to consulates, which are many in a single country. The embassy can have a separate wing that can perform the functions of a consular service and even provide the Outsourcing of consular services to certain private institutes; however a consulate cannot perform the services or function as an embassy.

Embassy services that are provided and not provided

This institute has a set of public and private services.

The private services include:

• Hosts the travelling of dignitaries
• Deals with international political and business relations
• Houses the national ambassador

The public services that are available to travelers include:

• Replacement of lost or missing documents that is needed for traveling.
• Provision of advice and support in certain situations that involve accident, holding as hostage, criminal activity, serious illness or death of its citizen
• Contacting the next of kin when needed and organizing the visitation and travel.
• Coordinating with the local law officers where the citizen is involved in abduction or missing.
• Providing aid to distressed travelers.
• Providing aid during the time of civil war or unrest or any unpredicted natural disaster.
• Overlooking the overseas payment of social welfare benefits
• Recording and registering the birth of citizens abroad

The institute also provides an outsourcing of consular services mentioned above to private institutes abroad. However, there are certain services that are not offered apart from the above mentioned Embassy Services. These include the storage of luggage or valuables of citizens travelling abroad, provision of service that is inclusive of postal services, banking or travelling, any form of financial aid, provision of translation and interpretation services, provision of legal service, advice or any advocacy, supplication of services that includes special treatment, bail, intervention to provide early discharge from jail or protection against any criminal investigation, or provision of any employment opportunities or services.

To avail of these services, one can easily walk to the nearest embassy or consulate. Due to the outsourcing of consular services to private institutes, travelers can now approach these centers for help too. Approach any one of the consuls and provide a detail explanation of the distress or problem one is undergoing and they will provide a solution to your problem.

Moving Overseas: Tips for Apostilles, Legalizations, Visas and More

Doing your homework

It may seem like a daunting task at times trying to determine the requirements for a visa, residency or even taking out a new nationality in a foreign country. As someone who has lived overseas in several countries for the better of 10 years, I can tell you that it never gets any easier. You want to make sure things are done right the first time but do not know what information to trust or even what questions to ask. So much information on the internet is outdated by the time you read it. Even when you get information from people already living in the foreign country, it may not be right.

Getting it right has to be your top priority. Knowing where to go and whom to trust is the key. Double checking details with other sources certainly cannot hurt. Even contacting attorneys or legal consultants would seem like a great idea. But are you getting the right information? Are those sources up to date and the most knowledgeable? You would be surprised at the answer. Many attorneys specialize in other areas of the law. While they are happy to take on new clients, they may not be specializing in immigration work and may not have much experience in it. They likely will not double check requirements with the government until you have retained and paid them something. By then critical errors may have already been made. You need a fresh and up to date perspective.

The only way to get fresh and up to date information is to do the research when you need the information. Not 3 or 6 months in advance. The process of doing the research can take people days, weeks or even months. If you are not experienced in doing this type of research by scouring the internet, contacting the government, consulates and embassies, you might just find the task overwhelming.

Trusting the right resources

The web has a lot of great information. It also has a lot of outdated and bad information. As someone who has done immigration work for years, I can tell you that people often times end up with bad information. Not because they did not try to get the best information possible but rather because they trusted the wrong source.

Believe it or not, the wrong source for information may be someone you might not expect. It may be your fellow expatriate that has been living in the foreign country for some time. Sometimes they just make an honest mistake and pass along erroneous information. Think of this information like a simple story that gets twisted and changed just a little bit by each person that repeats it. By the time it gets to you, it may not be so accurate or sound like the original story.

Accuracy is only obtained by verifying information with multiple sources. Even the government offices do not give out accurate information all of the time. They may not update their web sites, their printed material may be out of date, or any number of different scenarios can happen. Consulates are known to not be as up to date as they should be.

Forming a strategy

You know you have a few tasks you must accomplish. They include obtaining requirements for the legal transactions you need to accomplish, obtaining required documents such as marriage certificates, birth certificates, etc., getting them notarized when necessary, getting them legalized with an Apostille, Authentication Certificate or consulate legalization and possibly getting those same documents translated. You probably are not aware of how to accomplish the majority of these tasks.

For U.S. citizens, these tasks require you first obtain the destination country requirements. Then you contact the Secretary of State for each document you have. You may even need to contact the consulate for your destination country to find out what they can do for you. Once you get the information, it is time to go to work obtaining and legalizing documents.

Obtaining and legalizing documents will be one of the most time consuming parts of your overseas planning. If you are inexperienced at it, you can expect to spend weeks or months doing so. I have had immigration clients that simply threw up their hands and gave up on their dreams of moving overseas after trying to deal with a particular consulate on their own and without professional help. Despite being very patient and supportive of them, they simply did not have what it takes to get the job accomplished.

Patience and due diligence is the key to this phase of your new overseas life. If you are not task oriented, you may find this part of your move very frustrating. The consequences for not getting things done correctly can be very time consuming and expensive.

Dealing with the Secretaries of State

The folks that work in the various Secretary of State offices across the country are generally very patient and helpful. They want to help you get things right the first time. They realize that you are spending a lot of time and money for a good reason and that making an error means you may have to go back to do things over again. The speed, services and requirements of each Secretary of State is the tricky part.

The Secretary of State issues Apostilles and Authentication Certificates. What are an Apostille and Authentication Certificate you ask? They are attached to your original documents in order to make your documents legally acceptable in your destination country. They are in fact an extra piece of paper with official seals and signatures that is stapled, glued or otherwise affixed to your document. In order to determine if a document requires an Apostille or Certificate, all of the Secretary of State offices require that you tell them the country the document will be used in. That is an overall pretty simple requirement and it should take 3-5 business days on average to get your documents processed (not including mailing time).

Other requirements and procedures vary depending on the state. Do the original documents need to be notarized first? What types of documents are accepted? Do you need to include a prepaid return envelope with your documents and which courier companies do they work with? All of these types of questions need answering.

Once you get all of the answers, obtain and prepare the documents for the Secretary of State, you are ready to get the Apostille or Certificate. You will repeat this procedure for each state necessary. In other words, if your marriage certificate comes from California but birth certificates come from Nevada, you will need to contact both states and meet each state’s requirements.

Consulates and Embassies

Many consulates and embassies are great and very helpful. Every once in a while you will find one that is difficult to get ahold of by phone, email or both. It’s real important to make sure you ask for the right services and explain clearly what you need. The consulates should not be relied upon solely to be up to date on requirements for visas, residency and nationality. I know this sounds unbelievable but they are often times the last to hear about changes within immigration law. I have known consulates to not even be aware of all of the services they are required to perform. For example, a consulate was not aware that they provide certified letters summarizing Social Security benefits. They had to be provided with a sample letter by another consulate just to prove that they were supposed to do this job.

The jobs that consulates perform include legalization of documents and translations, issuing visas for tourists, residency, etc. They also can many times do powers of attorney for use in the destination country. They work as a hybrid of a notary and a law firm at times. Depending on the country and even the particular consulate, they will perform a wide variety of tasks.

Like any Secretary of State, in order to get your tasks completed, you need to know how their procedures work and what requirements they have. Processing times for the consulates can vary widely but generally should be a few business days for most things.

Since procedures and processing times can vary, patience and understanding will take you a long way. Remain calm and professional with the staff. Also try to be respectful of their time as they work with a lot of people and will often times try to assist you the best they can but even they have their limits. Make sure you ask things such as how much you need to pay them and how. You may also ask if things such as visas can be processed in the destination country after you arrive and if the requirements and processing times may be easier and faster after you arrive. This is sometimes the case. Do not assume that the same requirements exist for both the consulates and the government offices inside the country for things even as simple as a tourist visa. Do your homework.

When you do your homework, you may be worried about an issue that has become more common: past criminal arrests. Will the country deny a visa, residency or citizenship because you were arrested for some crime back 5, 10 or more years ago? The only way to find out is to do your research. Even then, it may come down to the director of that government office having to consider your circumstances and make a decision. I have seen plenty of people with criminal histories be approved for visas and even residency.

US Department of State

In some cases, you will need to get documents such as Social Security letters, government pensions, etc. legalized or Apostilled for use overseas. These documents are not handled by individual state Secretary of State offices as they are federal, not state. Individual states can only process documents issued by officials in their state. If your document is federal, you will need to contact the US Department of State, Office of Authentications. The procedure and requirements should be pretty close to that of the states but you need to contact them to double check.

When things go right

When you have done your homework, successfully completed the legalization of documents and moved onto your new country, it will feel great. Moving overseas is probably one of the most exciting, frustrating and stressful events you will experience in your life. The feeling of learning a new language perhaps is intriguing. The difference in culture can be shocking and exciting at the same time. What should you expect? The unexpected!

Things to watch out for

The unexpected comes in many forms. You will need to figure out how transportation works, find a place to live and perhaps even find work.

Transportation varies greatly by country. Be sure to read the State Department and CIA website information on a country for information on what to avoid and expect. Buying a guidebook on the country is a good idea too. Buses are generally very inexpensive anywhere. Taxis and airplanes can cost quite a bit depending on where you will be living. Perhaps private drivers may be the solution. Research even the smallest details such as taxi fares and how much you should pay to go from the airport to your hotel or apartment where you will be staying. You would be surprised how easy it is to pay two to three times as much as you should for even that first taxi after arriving.

Don’t be in a rush to buy a place. Try renting for 6 months or a year before buying. You will get a chance to find out if you like your neighbors, if the place is quiet and if the property has any unknown problems. You may even discover that you want to live at the beach instead of in the noisy big city.

Be aware of restrictions that may be in place such as if you are allowed to work for certain types of foreign entities such as government. The US government may have restrictions in place. Research employment matters well before accepting work. Make sure you understand how they are allowed to employ you, how many hours a day or week you are supposed to or allowed to work, etc. Make sure your visa type even allows you to work or own a business in the destination country. Employment and owning a business deserves a lot of research.

Post Adoption Ukrainian Legal Obligations

One of the documents you submitted to the Ukrainian Ministry when you asked for a referral appointment to adopt a Ukrainian child was a signed commitment promising to meet all post-adoption Ukrainian requirements. This is extremely important. In 2006 adoptions were temporarily halted because Ukraine felt American adoptive parents were ignoring these obligations and not registering their adopted children or filing the necessary reports.

There are many Ukrainian orphans desperate for loving parents like you. Please be sure to comply with these requirements so that other may grow their families through Ukrainian adoption. Your compliance will also be an issue should you decide to adopt again in the future.

Registration of the newly adopted child:

This must be done within one (1) month upon arrival at the Embassy or Consulate serving your region (see list below).

In order to complete an appropriate paperwork you must mail to the Consular Office the following documents:

1. Filled application (example);
2. Filled registration form (example);
3. Your child (children)’s original Ukrainian passport(s) and the copy of the main pages of the passport(s);
4. The copy of the second and third pages of the US passport(s) of each adoptive parent;
5. A copy of the Ukrainian Court’s Decree on adoption (in Ukrainian);
6. 1 passport size photo.
7. A return self-addressed postage-paid envelope (for FedEx – account number is required; credit card number is not acceptable).

Annual Reports:

You must file annual reports with the Ukrainian Embassy Consular Office once a year for the first three years after adoption, and then once every three years until the child reaches the age of 18.

They are looking for detailed reports about adopted child’s (children’s) living conditions and development and pictures of your family.

Reports should be forwarded either via e-mail to: [email protected] or can be sent by mail to the Consular Office of the Embassy of Ukraine at 3350 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007.

In addition, you have promised the following:

1. To provide an opportunity to the representatives of the Consulate/Embassy of Ukraine to communicate with the adopted children;

2. You must provide the adopted children with the opportunity to keep their Ukrainian citizenship until 18 years old

3. To inform the Consulate/Embassy of Ukraine about any change of address of the adopted children.

No excuses. If you have any questions, please contact us or the Embassy. Please be sure to have everything done on time!

Adoption Services International unites loving US families with Ukrainian children. We provide a unique professional, individualized, quality (including a maximum guaranteed adoption fee), personal adoption experience, at affordable cost and 20 years Ukrainian experience.

If you or someone you love would like to expand your family, provide a permanent home for a needy orphaned child, welcome a sibling for an existing child or discover an alternative for infertility treatments – contact us to learn more about Ukrainian adoption, Adoption Services International can help.

What Is an Apostille and Why Do I Need One?

Consider the following question. If you were presented with a document from another country how would you know that it was genuine? This problem is made even more difficult if the document is not written in your own language. Unfortunately we live in a world where documents can forged, recreated, adjusted and ultimately misused. The Hague Convention introduced the apostille service to assist member countries in the certification of documents that are required in an official capacity.

There are many examples of when an apostille may be required. If you were to marry overseas you may need to get an apostille certificate on your birth certificate or a sworn affidavit stating that you are single and legally allowed to marry. People purchasing properties abroad often need to legalise a power of attorney that allows an individual to act on your behalf during the transaction. If you have changed your name by deed poll and looking to move abroad the local government mat need to see a legalised version of your name change deed poll. If seeking employment overseas you may need an apostille certificate on a criminal record check or on your educational documents.

The requests for apostille certificates are increasing. More than 60 countries now recognise the apostille certificate and its use is becoming more widespread. If you need an apostille certificate then you will need to find a service provider in the country that the document originates from. For example, it is not normally possible to legalise documents within the UK that were created in India.

Before a document can be processed with the legalisation office it must be officially certified and signed by a notary public or solicitor, be an official government document or it should bear the seal or stamp of a relevant authority. Common examples of documents includes general registry documents, court papers and academic results.

Over 60 countries have agreed to this specific convention on Apostille Certificates, including the UK, most of Europe and the USA. The list of countries continues to grow and the apostille is increasingly being requested by more governments and organisations within each country.

Whilst the legalisation of documents may be seen as bureaucratic by some it has been welcomed by many countries that need to check the paperwork of another member state. The apostille is not a foolproof way of checking documents but it provides some assurance and helps to reduce the burden on local courts and embassies certifying documents.

Visa Requirements for the United States

Before you enter into another country you need to make sure that you travel legally by obtaining a visa. There are visa requirements that need to be followed in order to obtain a visa but there is a process to obtaining one as well. A visa is documentation that is issued by the government that gives someone permission to enter into another country.

There are three types of visas that an individual can apply for before entering the United States. One is called the visitation visa. This type of visa gives the individual permission to stay in the United States for a limited time regardless of the reason. A person may decide to obtain a student visa if they want to enter into the United States in order to attend an eligible school in the United States. There are certain limitations when applying for student visas. There are only a certain number of student visas available in the United States. Another visa that can be obtained is the non-immigrant work visa that allows an individual to come to the United States in order to work for a registered employer who has signed up with the Department of Labor in order to legally hire immigrants.

There are several reasons why you can apply for a visa and there are several visa requirements that must be followed in order to successfully obtain a visa. Visa requirements are created in order to protect the United States. It prevents an illegal immigrant to come into the United States if they are wanted in another country. When an application is filled out the individual assumes full responsibility in documenting all the information necessary.

The visa requirements will need to be proven when the application is submitted. Once the application has been submitted the process can take up to ninety days. If something is not included in the application then it will be necessary to delay the application until the information can be obtained and then resubmitted. This process can take twice as long and can cause a delay in starting college at a certain time or even a job. When you have visa requirements to meet, you need to speed it up and make sure that you handle it as soon as possible.

When visa requirements change, an immigration lawyer will know what you can expect in the new laws. The process is not simple and it is time consuming but you can make it work in your favor if you follow the rules.

In order to apply for a visa, your application will need to be submitted to the United States embassy. You will also need to go for a personal interview before your visa can be issued. It’s important to be prepared for your interview. If you have a problem speaking English you may want to have immigration attorneys to represent you, ensuring that you have a better chance of being represented for visa. These visa requirements are essential to successfully stay in the USA, usually considered to be the land of opportunities.

Americans Leaving the Country and Living Overseas For Economic Reasons

Packing the Bags

Being American and having lived overseas for a number of years, my point of view tends to be different than many Americans. People that are living overseas now or who have recently returned from faraway lands will speak of noticeable differences in this country, the people and the general happiness and joy in the faces of people.

When I last noticed the joy was about 5 years ago. People were doing well in general and the economy seemed to be strong. I went away to Ecuador, South America, where I started a family and got into business.

In my business, I had the unique opportunity to get to know a lot of people that were leaving their home countries: the US, Canada, Europe and other places. Most of the people immigrating there were from the US and Canada. While most of those people that moved out of the country and were living there 5 years ago are no longer there statistically, many more have since moved in.

The new people moving in to foreign countries are coming with the same explanation: they can no longer afford to live in their home countries. Their Social Security or pensions are not enough to survive or live comfortably on. The truth is, the majority of those people are correct: their monthly retirement incomes are not enough to live the American dream in many of the larger cities in the US. A few had more than enough income but were looking to shake things up and live their dream of going overseas.

Going overseas is not for everyone. It takes a special type of person to be able to pack up and leave behind their roots. Many people literally sell their homes, their belongings and show up with not much more than is on their backs at the time. Some maintain their homes here in the US just in case they decide to come back. What is the average age of these daring individuals? Most are over 70. Usually they are married. A few widows or single people may move overseas.

These people who average 70 or better generally adjust pretty well. They quickly meet people, get involved in community projects and become volunteers. Some start businesses because they simply cannot imagine doing nothing all day at home. Many take advantage of the opportunity to explore their new country and maybe even other neighboring countries. But what types of challenges do these people face once they get there?

New Challenges

Although not all people moving overseas are retirees, many are. The majority of younger people do not have the means or opportunity to simply leave their careers behind. For those select few that do, they generally adjust very well. For those older retirees, the challenges can be quite different.

Challenges for retirees can include trying to arrange for medical and dental care, making sure their pension or Social Security payments will reach them overseas and at a minimal cost, decisions with what to do with their lifetime of memories, houses, etc. How do they explain their move to their family members who think they suddenly have become crazy and irresponsible? They also have to try to navigate the often times complicated world of immigration law in a foreign country.

Medical and Dental Care

One of the priorities of senior citizens is to find medical coverage and facilities for their unique personal situations. While finding excellent medical care overseas is not generally a problem, it could be depending on where you go. Remember that many people are moving overseas to avoid the high costs back home which include medical care. In many countries in Central and South America, for example, a medical checkup may only be $10-$20 on average. Major medical coverage may be the sticking point. A lot of effort should be put into making sure the plans chosen are sufficient and will pay out should the need arise. You should also consider how long you may have to wait for emergency surgery including dental care.

Dental care generally is very cheap in Central and South America as well as parts of Asia. Many countries are famous dental vacation destinations. People can fly to various countries, receive major dental care and save money. Sometimes, you can get your dental work and take a vacation for the same price as just dental work back home.

Getting Access to Money

Obviously, making sure money will be available at all times is of paramount importance to everyone traveling overseas – retired or not. Some countries may allow tourists or residents to open bank accounts. Some countries may not. In those countries where they can, people have become very resourceful and found that if they simply deposit one of their personal checks in their foreign account up to about two weeks in advance, they can get their money without paying any special fees. They just need to plan a little bit in advance.

Of course, there are always money transfer services for emergencies but you would not want to use that type of service every month. The fees can get very steep, very fast.

Pulling cash out of ATM machines overseas can not only cost you money because of foreign exchange fees but also because the ATM machines often charge $5 or more regardless if you pull out $1 or $500. That gets terribly expensive especially when you need money for big ticket items such as apartment deposits, legal fees, etc. that may not be able to be paid by credit card.

Beyond the complications and expense of ATM withdrawals, the US government is also actively trying to limit the amount of money you can wire internationally on a monthly basis. Moving money in the future by wire transfer may continue to get more complicated and may require all sorts of paperwork to be filled out. Before leaving, make sure you leave instructions with your bank back home just in case you need to wire money.

When you speak with your bank, make sure you let them know you will be using any bank debit cards overseas. Also contact your credit card companies and inform them of the same thing. If you do not, you may find your cards frozen and you will have to call the bank or credit card company to get them working again. Not only can that be embarrassing but it can be really inconvenient.

People with assets still back home probably should consider leaving a power of attorney with a trusted relative. Many people moving overseas have already put their homes on the market but have not sold them yet. In today’s housing market, it can take a long time to sell a home so there may be no reason to put off your overseas move unless you cannot afford to go without the sale first. Bringing the minimum things possible with you is highly recommended. With all the airlines jacking up their fees on what seems like a daily basis, lugging along an extra 5-10 suitcases can not only be difficult but also expensive. You may have to make some tough decisions on what goes and what stays. Storing things with relatives might be an option. The other thing you can do is make an earlier exploratory trip to your destination country with the intention of checking out furniture stores, etc.

Exploratory Trips

If you do make exploratory trips, you have the opportunity to see what brands and qualities are available where you are going. Many American brands may be much more expensive overseas. Many imported Asian brands can be relatively cheap though depending on what it is. In Ecuador, for example, electronics are very expensive. You will pay twice the going US price for pretty much any appliance or electronic. Do your research however you can in advance and it will likely pay off in less moving expenses. Also, be sure you know the laws regarding the importation of your household goods in the foreign country should you decide to move your things anyways. The laws may limit your options until you have residency or nationality status. Even the quantity of electronics and other goods in your carry-on or checked luggage may be an issue so do your homework.

Your Family Back Home

It is not very uncommon for older retirees to need to explain why they have decided to leave their family behind and move overseas. Often times family members will try to discourage their parents or close relatives. The family members may be concerned about their relative’s safety or may be wondering if they are going off the deep end. These close connections are perhaps one of the main reasons why people only live on average just a few years away from their home country before returning. As someone who has known many retirees in exactly this same situation with their families, I can tell you that it is never easy for them. While people keep in close contact with their loved ones, they generally do not let these initial concerns by their family members stop them – and rightly so.

Keeping in Touch

With the internet and the generally low cost of making phone calls, keeping in touch with loved ones around the world has become fairly inexpensive and easy. Many retirees going overseas look for the most economical way to make phone calls. They sometimes will make them through internet phone programs such as Skype. Other times, they will buy something such as the MagicJack which allows you to make phone calls using regular phones but over the internet. Regardless of the means of making phone calls, the quality will generally be good and some of those solutions even allow for calls at 2 cents per minute or less.

Getting Legal, a Different Beast

These people, young and old, that want to move overseas never had to worry about staying legal in foreign countries for periods of time longer than a tourist would normally stay. The retirees will need to hire an attorney or legal consultant and get the process started as soon as possible in order to stay permanently. Ideally, they have already come prepared with required documents such as proof of income (Social Security, Pension, etc.), marriage and birth certificates, divorce decrees, etc. If they have not already obtained these documents and are already in the foreign country with the intention of staying as a resident or citizen, they have likely already made their first critical and expensive mistake.

Mistakes are not hard to make when moving overseas. Planning far in advance is very important. Just as someone would plan for their medical coverage or dealing with their assets still back home, a very high priority should be given to obtaining legal permanent status as quickly as possible. Many people travel to foreign countries every year and overstay their tourist visas. Some may not realize that they even need to be residents or obtain long term visas. Planning early may include obtaining those documents required to apply for permanent status.

Those required documents generally need to be legalized back home before going overseas. The exact process for that legalization of documents will depend on the type of document and even what country you are moving to. Each country will have established requirements for how you can prove to them that a document is genuine. The most common methods are the Apostille and the Certificate of Authentication.

Apostilles and Certificates of Authentication are issued by the Secretary of State in the US state where the original document was issued. For example, if it is a marriage certificate, the Secretary of State where you married would be in charge of legalizing that document. If it is a birth certificate, the state where the person was born would do the job. If there are documents from multiple states, each document must be sent to its respective state for legalization.

The process of legalization of documents may require additional steps such as notarization. You will only know the exact requirements for legalizing the documents and even what documents you need to obtain after research has been done on the foreign country’s requirements, the Secretary of State’s requirements and even the US Department of State’s requirements. In addition, some documents may need to be legalized by the respective consulate or embassy of the foreign country.

Once you have all of your documents properly legalized by the proper authorities, you are ready to present them to the overseas government. All of the research you have done will hopefully pay off with a smooth legal process for you.

What is Meant by Apostille Legalization in Ukrainian Translation?

A growing number of foreign companies wishing to set up base within the Ukraine are getting Ukrainian translation performed by dedicated agencies. Such agencies specialize in translation from any language into Ukrainian. As part of this process, if the document is intended for usage like legal instances, immigration etc., Apostille legalization is important to complete the Ukrainian certified translation process.

What is Apostille or Legalization?

If a particular document issued in the source country is intended for official usage within the Ukraine, it requires authentication at the source country itself. This process is called ‘authentication’, legalization or Apostille placement. The Apostille placement can be procured either from the Ministry of education and science, justice or foreign affairs. Before any Ukrainian certified translation can be performed, it needs to be authenticated.

Which Documents Require Authentication

Various documents requiring authentication include those for marriage within the Ukraine, inheritance, adoption, business or various other reasons such as cases where the documents are meant for official organizations or governmental bodies. In such cases, in addition to Ukrainian translation authentication is needed. If the documents are intended for personal usage there is no requirement for any authentication or Apostille.

Some examples wherein original documents or even notarized copies of documents legalized from the embassy or Apostilled include those of marriage certificates, birth certificates, divorce decrees or certificates, power of attorney, death certificates, school transcripts or diplomas, affidavits, adoption certificates, no marriage record or identity documents like passports etc. Such documents need Ukrainian certified translation for their legal usage within the Ukraine. In the Ukraine, identity type documents such as passports need not have authentication although it can be done.

The Hague Convention and Apostille

Ukraine is a member of the Hague Convention of 1961 and as per this regulation, all signatory countries will use the Apostille placement method as the technique of legalizing documents. Thus, when it comes to Ukrainian certified translation it is the Apostille method used in Ukraine. Whether the legalization or Apostille method is to be used depends on whether the source country is a member of the Hague Convention or not. For example, a document issued within the USA will use Apostille method because US is a member of the Hague Convention whereas in the case of Canada, the consulate method of legalization is applicable as Canada is not a member of the Hague Convention.

Letter or Stamp

Essentially, Apostille is a special kind of stamp or letter, which provides the pathway for the shortest method of authentication. All signatory countries who are members of the Hague Convention recognize the Apostille legalization as valid. The Apostille is a stamp or letter placed on the document and is never as a separate entity. In the case of Ukrainian certified translation the Apostille is always associated with the document being legalized.

Small Price To Pay To Get Married In Italy In A Legal Fashion

Due to it being a country associated with romance, many people may contemplate getting married in Italy. Should a couple decide on this, they will need to get the legalities sorted out and may need help in many other areas. This can be an experience of a lifetime, as couples are able to experience the culture of that particular country.

An Italian wedding can be especially romantic as everything at the wedding will be one hundred percent Italian. The decor, ingredients of the food and everything else will authentic and this is what makes this event so unique for non-residents of the country. Throw in a few local residents as guests and that will give the added flavor to the experience.

Legally speaking, documents will be requested by the local authorities and these will have to be submitted. Assistance is offered to get this sorted out legally, however it can be quite stressful. Documentation will be required from the country of origin and couples could be dealing with numerous offices, which could add to the stress. However, this is a small price to pay for a most memorable wedding.

One such document is called a Nulla Osta and this is obtained from the countries embassy in Italy. Religious and civil weddings require paperwork from the country or countries of origin. This paperwork differs from country to country. The processing fees for Nulla Osta are between twenty to seventy euros.

Stamp duties are also charged by the Italian Authorities. This is in the region of about sixteen Euros. There are companies in the country that couples can hire for help in this regard.

They will help with collating all the documentation and give legal and religious advice on all the ins and outs of getting married in Italy. Their services extended to booking the church and town hall for the reception. They even provide witnesses and an interpreter for the occasion.

Ideas To Help You Get Legally Married In Italy

Italy is the romance capital of the world and many couples choose to marry in this beautiful country. Being aware of the legal requirements involved is important in order for you to avoid problems in registering and being legally married in this country.

In order to be married you must first apply for what is called a Nulla Osta which is required by the Italian government by any couple who intends to wed. The steps that must be taken to obtain one of these depends on your country of origin but they are relatively simple.

There are a number of documents you may have to hand in to receive a Nulla Osta. These include, but may not be limited to, your birth certificate, divorce papers (if you have been previously married) and other passport. Only originals or certified copies are allowed.

Once you are married in Italy you will receive a marriage certificate. When you arrive back in your home country it is important that you register the marriage in your own country. This can easily be done by handing in the certificate to the Registry of Births, Marriages and Deaths.

Depending on your country of origin, there may be other requirements that need to be met before you are allowed to get married in Italy and it is important to have all of this information before you begin planning your big day.

Information regarding legal marriages in Italy can be found by calling the Italian Embassy in your city. This might be the best option whether you are certain you have all of the information or not as they can verify that you have taken all of the appropriate steps and you can legally be married in the beautiful country of Italy without any worries or problems.

Kimberly Murgatroyd is the author of “How to Get Married in Positano” – compulsory reading for anyone wanting more information on having a Civil Ceremony in the Positano Town Hall. To find out more information about how you can get married in Positano town hall, visit my website about how to plan a Amalfi Coast wedding.

Legal Embassy Immigration DNA Testing – How to Watch For Hidden Fees

Embassy / Immigration DNA testing

DNA testing is increasingly becoming a required step in completing the Immigration process for family members. A biological relationship between the petitioner and the beneficiary must be proven when the birth certificate is deemed not sufficient by the USCIS or embassy. Common relationship tests include Paternity, Maternity, Sibling and Grandparent DNA Tests. This type of test is also used when verifying a passport or a birth certificate abroad.

Normally, one party is in the US, and the other party in another country. When this is the case, the party here in the USA will have a professional DNA collection performed. A package is sent to the embassy for the beneficiary, and their collection is arranged through the embassy. The packages are bar-coded before leaving the lab and scanned again upon arrival. The samples are matched up in the lab, and testing can be completed within 3-5 business days after both samples are received back in the lab.

In other cases, both parties may be abroad. If that is the case, one package will be sent to the embassy containing the collection supplies for all, and both collections are done at the same time there.

An immigration case number is required for processing the order, as well as names and addresses of all the participants.

There are many companies offering these services, however there are a few things that make some stand out above the others. First and foremost, you want to be absolutely certain that you are dealing with an AABB accredited laboratory. This accreditation is required for producing a Legal Immigration DNA Test Result.

Secondly, consider shipping. Shipping is an important aspect of the immigration DNA testing process since there are packages going back and forth between countries. Embassies receive a lot of mail and process many documents each day. You are wise to make sure that your packages are all sent via trackable means, such as FedEx or DHL. You should be given tracking numbers of the package going to the embassy AND the package going back to the lab in the USA. Just as importantly, you want to make sure that your result will also be shipped with a tracking number. What good is it to go through the complete process and the results never show up? This could become a very costly issue.

Other things to consider when choosing a company for your immigration DNA testing are collection fees for the party to be collected in the US. Check to see if that is included in the pricing, or if that is something you will have to pay out- of-pocket at the time of collection. Also, do you get a copy of the result? You should! You should have access to a non-legal copy of the result for your records. Some companies may not provide that copy to you, or it would be extra. With Paternity-USA, the party that orders the test will receive an online code and a web address to a result database. They will be able to go online and view the result as soon as it is available. The hard copy is sent to the embassy or USCIS office as directed in the Immigration Case Letter.

The bottom line is that not all DNA testing companies are equal. Some advertise a low price, but once you consider everything that will make your transaction safe and successful, you may really end up paying more. A low advertised price on a web site may not be the price at the end of the process. Make sure you get all of the information before placing an order. I recommend a one-stop-shop where everything (including shipping, collection and results) is included in the price, and you know what you are getting from the beginning. The process is confusing enough without playing games with pricing. Make an educated decision before purchasing an Embassy or Immigration DNA test.