Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Authenticity authenticated

Here in the U.S., I have never been asked to show any of my degrees. Perhaps because it is verifiable by other means, I am not sure, but employers generally don't ask for proof that you do indeed possess a high school diploma, a B.A., an M.A., or a Ph.D.

In fact, when my husband was getting ready to come to the U.S. on a fiance visa, he asked me if he should translate or notarize his degrees. I told him that no one was going to ask to see them. No one has.

In Chile, though, you are often asked to provide copies of your degree. There was a job I considered applying for a few months ago, but they wanted a photocopy of any degrees I had, and I hadn't even received my Ph.D. degree in the mail yet. This would not have even been an issue applying for the same type of position here in the States.

To use my degree in Chile, I have had to take it through a strange process of authentication. I ordered an extra copy of both my M.A. and Ph.D from my university that was notarized by a university official, confirming its authenticity (I didn't want a stamp on the back of my only copy).

I then had to take it to the Texas Secretary of State where they issued a letter, stapled to each degree, stating that the notary public who notarized my degree is indeed authorized to notarize and that if she said it is a real degree then it is.

Now I have to take it to the Chilean consulate where they will legalize it for use in Chile. They essentially will issue some letter saying that if the Secretary of State recognizes the official who notarized my degrees, then they are indeed authentic.

Now I have to make sure they won't ask for my transcripts too...

Isn't beaurocracy a blast

I now leave you with G's mad/happy face:

12 comments:

mosey said...

Good lord, bureaucracy. It's obvious that your daughter is flabbergasted as well.

Natalie said...

Don't forget taking them to be stamped at the Ministry of External Affairs in Santiago as well! They stamp to show the Chilean consulate in your home country actually exists... That part is quick and easy, and importantly, freeeee!

I think it says something that there's maybe one notary for town in the UK, and here there's a whole street of them...

lydia said...

that process sucked. the last step wasnt bad though... and i even say that though i had to travel 2 hours each way!


you dont have to (re)validate it though, right? some contacts that are university professors had to (i didnt..yet?) i've heard that part sucks and gets expensive. http://www.uchile.cl/uchile.portal?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=conUrl&url=8312

Annje said...

Natalie-I haven't forgotten, I just hope I remember a few months from now when we are there. Are you in Chile then?

Lydia- I hope not (I'll cry), but I'll look at that list of requirements. I caught on recently that I might need to do the same thing with my transcript though. the last time I did something similar I was in Chile, and it definitely sucks to do it from afar.

Danielle said...

Some things are just complicated...

Margaret said...

uggh- at least that's one bureaucratic process I've managed to escape all these years, although I did have to show my degree all over town (even to open a bank account!) and somehow managed to lose my only copy of my Master's!
But, if you can jump through all those doctor-type hoops, you can manage in Chile too!

mrs.notouching said...

That is definitely one thing I do not miss about growing up in Europe... EVERYTHING was such a pain. I understand the need for verification, but there has to be a better way...

Abby said...

oh i should really do this too, but i've been putting it off, big time! but your post has inspired me. i WILL validate my degree (because really, what's it worth if it doesn't have five thousand stamps and three million verifying letters attached??)

ps. your daughter is so precious.

Eileen said...

Abby, you'll want to validate your degree before you leave (if ever, ha!), and you want to take your AFP money with you. I have never validated this either, though I did have a GIANT effing problem in Provi getting my driver's license because I had no proof that I'd graduated from the 8th grade.

Good luck getting it all done, Annjeannette! We'll have so much fun when you get here with your dossier of paperwork! Any news on the house? Fingers crossed for you!

Sara said...

I did that! There is a final step when you get here. You have to take it to some office in downtown Santiago for the final stamp and receipt combo. Fun times...

Phoenix said...

Ugh. Fun with red tape.

Keep breathing!

anymommy said...

We had to go through that same authentication process with ALL of our adoption paperwork. It was insane. Hope all of this prep work for your move goes smoothly for you.