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Management of vital documents in Costa Rica

When we talk about vital documents such as birth certificates, we know that it can be a challenge to assimilate all the relevant information. The first step back, are the institutions which can take months

Management of vital documents in Costa Rica

When we talk about vital documents such as birth certificates, we know that it can be a challenge to assimilate all the relevant information. The first step back, are the institutions which can take months to get a document that certifies your birth. It can be an exhausting process. However, with the right tools and years of experience, we have managed to achieve a standard process for birth certificates.

However, what happens when a birth certificate has an unusual situation? For example, we know that many of our clients have exceptional situations that can make this task a little more complicated. From Outlier Legal Services and OLS Documents, we want to help make this situation more efficient and avoid all the headaches that a document such as a birth certificate can give you.

Below we present you some situations that could be similar to yours and could help you, have a clearer horizon in your Costa Rican journey.

Birth certificate of countries that were a Colony

We know this may sound like a specific situation, that is not relatable to everyone. For example, if you were born in a country during the British occupation and also have a document that proves it. It is a plus if you have it in perfect condition, the issues start when it is in poor condition and cannot be used for the immigration process. The main problems begin when there are no records of it because it is an old document. For these processes there is something called rectification.

What is rectification? Under English law, “The courts have the power to correct a document which has been drawn up in such a way that incorrectly reflects the intention of the parties“. What must be ordered is a rectification delivered by the same country, in order to certified a copy of the document that is damaged or lost.

This process is only requested on occasions when it is impossible to obtain a copy of the original document and the available one needs to be legible. In this case, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica requests the rectification in order to issue a letter that proves that we cannot obtain this original certificate and that the Department of Immigration accepts it.

Steps to follow:

  1. Contact the embassy of the corresponding country.

  2. Send a copy of the document, requesting the rectification.

  3. The document must be received by the authorities and a photograph sent to the corresponding case coordinator.

  4. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will issue a document to the Immigration Department, documenting that the original document cannot be obtained and the rectification must be accepted.

Certificate of a child born abroad

If you are a US citizen who was born outside of the United States, you have to request a birth certificate called “child born abroad“. This process is straightforward, you just have to make sure if your parents registered you at the nearest US embassy or consulate. Afterwards, you will be given a consular report of birth abroad. If you have been a US citizen all your life, despite being born in another country, that means that you will be registered at the corresponding Embassy.

This is an efficient way to obtain the birth certificate of your child who was born in a territory other than the United States, but is also a US citizen. This document can be requested multiple times. To obtain a copy of your child born abroad certificate, you must request it from the Department of State, which provides replacements, copies or amendments to your certificate.

A child born abroad documentation can be requested by the individual named on the birth certificate, a parent (if the child in question is under 18), an authorized government agency or an authorized person with written consent. Please note that requesting a replacement can take 3 to 4 months. For documents before 1990 it may take even longer because they have not been digitized, so it may take longer to review the national archives. It is important that you take this into account, when needing this document for a migration process.

Management of vital documents in Costa Rica

Birth Certificate from a country that no longer exists

If you were born in a country that doesn’t exists anymore, such as South Vietnam or the USSR, your birth certificate is no longer valid and we have to get a new one. In this case, we have to work together with our team in order to achieve it.

Steps to follow before going to immigration:

  • Make a sworn statement before a Costa Rican notary that certifies your situation

  • Request a letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in which it is certified that the country does not exist, therefore, no original document can be presented.

In this case, we would need in the country to be able to make the affidavit.

If you have any other situation that was not mentioned here, or if you have more questions about these kind of procedures, ask us. We will be more than happy to find an answer and work together to achieve your dream of moving to Costa Rica.

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igonzalez@outlierlegal.com

Disciplined, proactive and curious, Isabel Gonzalez is an International Relations and Law student who has worked as a volunteer abroad and travelled around the globe. These experiences have provided her with excellent interpersonal relations skills as well as helped her be fluent in three languages: English, Spanish and Italian.

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