Wow! This is my 100th post. I am actually surprised I have written that many posts. I guess that just means I have had a lot of adventures! I thought of doing a “100 things I’ll miss about the UAE” or something, but I realized that I wouldn’t want to have to read that and therefore neither would you!
Instead I will share this bundle of joy with you! This is Rosie, the new addition to the Mutch family. She was born on 20 July and this was taken the following day. She is so cute! And I think she is smiling!
Okay, now that you’ve seen that cuteness, let me tell you what I’ve been up to. Aside from working, playing and selling my stuff, I have been organizing my documents for the move to Costa Rica. If you have been following the blog, then you know that I had to get documents authenticated before I came to the UAE in order to secure my visa. Well, I have to do the same in order to get my work visa for Costa Rica. It has been an interesting (and not yet complete) process, which I will tell you about in case you want to join me working in Costa Rica. If you are curious about the UAE process you can read about it here and here.
First things first. Document authentication is a great way for governments to make money! From what I have experienced, I think I might want to figure out a way to get in on the business. Anyway, for now I will just be handing over my hard earned cash in return for stamps on my documents.
Costa Rica and the United States are both part of the Hague Convention regarding document authentication, which is GREAT. Basically this means that documents that are properly authenticated in their country of origin (in my case the US) are legal for use in the other without any additional steps. This is a huge relief and saves a lot of money! From the US I need to have my birth certificate and a police clearance authenticated for use in Costa Rica. Because both police clearance and birth certificate came from Oregon, they simply needed to be verified by the Secretary of State of Oregon’s office. And this can be done by mail! This step was very easy, especially easy for me because my secretary in Oregon (aka my Mom) did most of the work for me.
Now, the difficult part was the one document I need from the UAE. The UAE is not part of the Hauge Convention and there is no Costa Rica Embassy here, so things are a little bit tricky. From the UAE I needed a police clearance as well and somehow I needed to get it authenticated for use in Costa Rica. Countless emails and phone calls and I finally figured out how to do it, I think. Here is the process:
- Request police clearance from Abu Dhabi Police sector. Wait three weeks for text message to confirm completion, that never comes.
- Check on-line now that website is working again and see that it was completed three weeks ago.
- Go to Al Ain Police directorate to get completed police clearance ($15 USD), printed in Arabic (20 minutes).
- Pay $27 to have the clearance printed in English (30 seconds).
- Take clearances to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (across the street) to find out they close at 2pm.
- Return another day, pay $43 to get the English document stamped and signed (two minutes).
- Take the English document to the US Embassy in Abu Dhabi (hour and 15 minute drive each way). (In order to get the US Department of State to authenticate for use in Costa Rica the US Embassy has to verify the stamp and signature of the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs). US Embassy verification, $50 and about five minutes.
And now I am at the final step, which will wait until I return to the US in a few weeks. That step is to send the English version stamped and signed by all the proper authorities in the UAE and pray that it is all correct so the US Secretary of State can authenticate it. If that all goes well then I’ll have it complete and ready for Costa Rica. If not, then you can bet I’ll be telling you about it.