Legalizing Documents

All things related to Moving to Chile, tips, tricks, FAQS. Here is where to exchange information between those that have already moved and those planning to move to Chile so you do not need to learn the hard way. Please also check Living in Chile forum for related information.
chesswolf
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 62
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2012 1:44 pm

Legalizing Documents

Post by chesswolf » Tue Aug 02, 2016 12:29 pm

I did a search on the forum and couldn't find a clear answer.

What exactly is the process for legalizing documents? We (me, my wife, and daughter) will be moving to Chile at the end of the year and I've learned it's best to legalize key documents before we go - things like our birth certificates, our marriage license, and probably our degrees to be safe (am I missing anything here?) but HOW do I legalize documents?

User avatar
Space Cat
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 1377
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2014 9:20 pm
Location: Valdivia

Re: Legalizing Documents

Post by Space Cat » Tue Aug 02, 2016 1:07 pm


thisisreallycomplicated
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 2040
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 6:25 pm
Location: Coquimbo

Re: Legalizing Documents

Post by thisisreallycomplicated » Tue Aug 02, 2016 2:37 pm

If you're in the US, you could try Washington Consular Services:
http://www.wcss.com/

I used them back in 2011, and didn't have any problems.
“Now it’s conspiracy – they’ve made that something that should not even be entertained for a minute, that powerful people might get together and have a plan. Doesn’t happen, you’re a kook, you’re a conspiracy buff!” – George Carlin

Kel
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 124
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2007 3:34 pm
Location: South of South

Re: Legalizing Documents

Post by Kel » Tue Aug 16, 2016 3:27 pm

Get started now! Legalizing documents takes months and months!
--First you get your documents notarized.
(Get several sets, you don't want to do this again ever!)
This can be difficult if you live in a different state than where you or your child were born.
In one case I had to get a new certified birth-certificate because I lived so far away.
--Then you send them off to the secretary of state where the notary has a license
the secretary of state will verify that the notary signature/stamp is legitimate
Then you send them to the Chilean Embassy in your region of the USA
The secretary of state will verify that the secretary of state signature/stamp is legitimate
Finally, when you arrive in Chile, you take them to a place in Santiago
They will verify the embassy signature/stamp is correct
At each stop they will add another stamp/signature

Phew!

If you leave near any of these places, you can speed up the process by going in person; however, much of it must be done by mail and this is very time-consuming.
Taking aim from the grassy knoll...

User avatar
admin
Site Admin
Posts: 17905
Joined: Sat Aug 26, 2006 11:02 pm
Location: Frutillar, Chile
Contact:

Re: Legalizing Documents

Post by admin » Tue Aug 16, 2016 5:25 pm

As of this month, August 2016, Legalization of documents according to the old rules is no longer required.

International Apostles are now legal documents in Chile. We will be publishing new articles on the process of obtaining Apostles in Chile, and the problems you will likely encounter for a while.
Spencer Global Chile: Legal, relocation, and Investment assistance in Chile.
For more information visit: https://www.spencerglobal.com

From USA and outside Chile dial 1-917-727-5985 (U.S.), in Chile dial 65 2 42 1024 or by cell 747 97974.

papageno
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 559
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2015 6:46 pm
Location: Colorado & Puerto Varas

Re: Legalizing Documents

Post by papageno » Tue Aug 16, 2016 5:44 pm

admin wrote:As of this month, August 2016, Legalization of documents according to the old rules is no longer required.

International Apostles are now legal documents in Chile. We will be publishing new articles on the process of obtaining Apostles in Chile, and the problems you will likely encounter for a while.
Hopefully, for a residence application, they will accept a set of documents they accepted earlier under the old rules. ..??

chesswolf
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 62
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2012 1:44 pm

Re: Legalizing Documents

Post by chesswolf » Tue Aug 16, 2016 11:20 pm

Thanks for the help everyone. I have just placed documents in the mail to my secretary of state. We leave in late December, so I should hopefully have enough time to get everything done.

Admin, do we now need to Apostile the documents instead of "legalize" them? Is it worth my trouble to do both just to be sure?

thisisreallycomplicated
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 2040
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 6:25 pm
Location: Coquimbo

Re: Legalizing Documents

Post by thisisreallycomplicated » Wed Aug 17, 2016 3:59 am

Kel wrote:Get started now! Legalizing documents takes months and months!
I had WCS do mine, back in 2011. I don't remember exactly how long it took, but it didn't take very long. Maybe a week or 2? Things might have changed since then, but if you're in a hurry, give them a call. They should be able to tell you how long it'll take.
“Now it’s conspiracy – they’ve made that something that should not even be entertained for a minute, that powerful people might get together and have a plan. Doesn’t happen, you’re a kook, you’re a conspiracy buff!” – George Carlin

User avatar
admin
Site Admin
Posts: 17905
Joined: Sat Aug 26, 2006 11:02 pm
Location: Frutillar, Chile
Contact:

Re: Legalizing Documents

Post by admin » Wed Aug 17, 2016 8:34 am

One or other, because doing both will just confuse the hell out of the beucrate recieving the document.

Realy i have been concerned about various beucrats not knowning about the new law, then i had this comforting thought. Most chilean's, including a lot of attorneys, would not know a properly legalized document if it came up and bit them. So they really are not going to know the diffrence between legalization and an apostil.

That said, at the end of the day it will depend on what the recieving beucrat is happy with.
Spencer Global Chile: Legal, relocation, and Investment assistance in Chile.
For more information visit: https://www.spencerglobal.com

From USA and outside Chile dial 1-917-727-5985 (U.S.), in Chile dial 65 2 42 1024 or by cell 747 97974.

User avatar
admin
Site Admin
Posts: 17905
Joined: Sat Aug 26, 2006 11:02 pm
Location: Frutillar, Chile
Contact:

Re: Legalizing Documents

Post by admin » Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:30 am

Here is a fun example of people not knowing about legalization in Chile, that should probably know about it. An actual case of someone not recognizing legalization when they see it.

We are handling a fairly large international estate settlement. Among other things, there is a fairly sizable portfolio of stock. Sufficiently large, that we had to hire a pro at one of the larger investment banks in Chile to handle the liquidation of the stock. We were representing a client of one of the largest international investment banks in the World, that happened to own some stock in Chile. I don't think it would have crashed the share price, but sufficiently large to move the needle if it was just dumped on the open market all at once, as the company was relatively small.

In this case, let's just say, the lawyers have lawyers it is so sprawling, and we are just handling one small piece of it that was located in to Chile. There was no shortage of international legal expertise to check and double check every document involved.

So, we are in this conference room at this investment bank with the broker. All our documents are fully legalized. They have been approved by the court, the IRS, the postman, and just about anyone else that we could think of that might need to sign these documents. Perhaps the president of Chile was the only one that did not review the documents involved, but who knows perhaps she did. We had been working on this case for like three years.

The legal department of the investment bank in Chile has reviewed all the documents and given the big thumbs up that everything was in order, and they deal with legalization all the time. It is one of the reasons it is so hard to get an appointment in at the New York consulate, because all the international investment banks are dealing with a mountain of legalization for Chile due to the stock market being there.

So, anyway, there is this other retail broker / bank that holds the stock in escrow, that needs to transfer the stock to our broker. We have sent copies of everything to the broker responsible for it. We are all in this conference room, and they have one of those table top conference call systems. We call up this broker to coordinate the transfer of the stock to the broker we hired.

Everything is going good. We are reviewing the documents. This broker, with a stack of fully legalized documents right in front of him, at least several dozen, out of the blue suddenly starts giving us a lecture on how to legalize foreign documents and inheritance laws in Chile. Luckily the guy on the phone could not see us, as everyone in the conference room mouth's dropped open in disbelief. We know the guy has a copy of the same file we all have in front of us, as we have been talking about information on this page, and that page, for a good 30 mins.

It was a classic case of someone never having seen a document that was legalized, literally not recognizing the document sitting right in front of him as being legalized. There was also a bit of an ego thing going on. The guy on the phone was just some run of the mill local retail bank broker / executive, and needed to assert a bit of authority by acting like he knew what he was talking about. Instead it came off like he googled something he half understood, and was trying to read it back to us. We all just sort of rolled our eyes and moved on.

So, as much money as we have made over the years dealing with legalization, I say good riddance to a ridiculous bureaucratic procedure from the roman empire (or whatever king) thought it was a good idea. We (and Chile's economy overall) will likely make a lot more money, simply by the hassle of legalization not being such a bureaucratic deterrent to investing in Chile. The amount of time and resources wasted on such a meaningless process is mind blowing.

The funny thing is, the ambassador of Chile to Colombia a couple years ago admitted in an interview that they were just forging her signature and stamp anyway on the streets of colombia. People up to no good, were simply forging the legalization. Only people that were trying to do everything the legit way, would actually go through the full legalization process.
Spencer Global Chile: Legal, relocation, and Investment assistance in Chile.
For more information visit: https://www.spencerglobal.com

From USA and outside Chile dial 1-917-727-5985 (U.S.), in Chile dial 65 2 42 1024 or by cell 747 97974.

lost gringo
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 363
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2014 4:12 pm
Location: South Park, Patagonia

Re: Legalizing Documents

Post by lost gringo » Wed Aug 17, 2016 1:17 pm

Maybe I just got lucky but when I did my residency paperwork a few years ago, legalization was probably the easiest part. Don't know where you are doing the legalization but in the states, if you live near a Chilean Consulate, all you need is the notarized and Apostiled(by the Sec of State, obtained by mail) document and you can walk-in to the consulate where you pay a small fee(I think it was around $15).

You can then either wait(usually an hour or so) while they legalize it or provide them with a stamped, self addressed envelope and they will mail it to you. The hardest part was paying the fee as I had to go to their bank, pay the fee, then come back to the consulate with the receipt of payment.
Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.
allegedly said by Mark Twain

User avatar
admin
Site Admin
Posts: 17905
Joined: Sat Aug 26, 2006 11:02 pm
Location: Frutillar, Chile
Contact:

Re: Legalizing Documents

Post by admin » Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:04 pm

well, I'll be dammed. Must be election year. The U.S. embassy actually is sending out something useful. Just found this email in my inbox from the state department.
U.S. Embassy

Santiago, Chile



Routine Message for U.S. Citizens

August 18, 2016



This Message is to alert U.S. citizens residing and traveling in Santiago that beginning August 30, 2016, The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (Apostille Convention) will be implemented in Chile. As a result, U.S. public documents for use in Chile will no longer be subject to the legalization process. U.S. state-issued documents may be apostillized by the appropriate U.S. state competent authorities, a list of those authorities may be found here. Federal documents may be apostillized by the Office of Authentications at the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Authentications. Once an Apostille is obtained, no other form of authentication may be required.

The U.S. Embassy in Santiago will no longer perform routine authentication services for Chilean public documents for use in the United States. Information on obtaining Apostilles for Chilean public documents may be found on the Chilean Foreign Ministry’s website here.


Additional information on the Apostille Convention and its application may be found on The Hague Conference website’s specialized Apostille Section.


I did not include the links. Who knows how badly they have been hacked. :roll:

I still would not recommend enrolling in their spam alert program. I was tricked in to it once about 10 years ago, and this might be the first spam from them that had some relevance to life in Chile. Normally it is a some highly alarmist worded warning about a protest or something. Forget emergencies. They will just tell you to call the police.
Spencer Global Chile: Legal, relocation, and Investment assistance in Chile.
For more information visit: https://www.spencerglobal.com

From USA and outside Chile dial 1-917-727-5985 (U.S.), in Chile dial 65 2 42 1024 or by cell 747 97974.

Post Reply