Wednesday, April 04, 2007

How to Become a Resident of Honduras

I have begun the process of applying for residency in Honduras. This will allow me to stay longer than the typical 90 day tourist visa and I will only have to renew once a year. Applying for residency in another country is a part-time job with all the hoops they make you jump through. Notorize every single piece of paper, have all these documents with income and marriage, births, bank accounts, health certificates with tests and statements of health and shots along with a clean criminal record from the BCA (Bureau of Criminal Apprehension). Then apostillize everything; which for those who don't know what that is, it's basically authenticating the notory signatures. Every single piece of these papers and documents has a price tag. Not only because I have so many documents, I also have to have at least 3 of each document. Today I got 4 birth certificates from the county office and it cost me $50. I still need to get 2 more marriage certificates, which I had to write a letter with a notorized signature to the county that filed the marriage so they can mail me the certificates rather than me driving 3 hours round trip to get them. That will cost $18 for both. I'm debating if I should get 1 more set of documents just to be safe. Also need to get 2 passport photos taken of me and 2 of Sister Sprout.
Once I have alllll the documents notorized, I have to bring them to the secretary of state in St. Paul, MN and then they will charge me $5 per sheet to be apostillized.

To continue on with the fun, once I have that done at the secretary of state I have to pack myself and the kids into the car and drive all the way to Chicago and visit the Honduras Consulate where they will then do something with all the paperwork and of course take some cash or money order of only $300. Once they do what they have to do with the papers and put their stamps on everything, I have to then bring everything over to Honduras and from there they will have to tranlate the documents into Spanish at a charge. Then file things again and I've heard it takes about 4 months to be approved for residency but can take much longer too. Up to a year.

I'm hoping that once I'm done in Chicago, that the hardest part will be over- running around.

Does this sound like a circus act to you? Like they have us run around and do all these things for their own amusement?

If you were wondering about our monkey boy- Brother Sprout, he's 1/2 Honduran, so gets out of this mess. He just gets to come along for the ride to Chicago.

This post was a mouthful. Did you get all that?


Ranty said...

Yep, it's totally crazy. In my experience, the consular staff are less than helpful, too. (Though I only dealt with the Houston and Miami offices.)

It sounds like you're getting everything in gear though, so that's awesome!

Josie said...

Government offices are the same no matter the country... Yup. If it makes you feel any better, we paid around US$1400 for my AUS residency papers all up.

Evelyn said...

Seeing all this about Honduran Immigration is a bit scarey. I have been to immigration and the Dept. of Labor in Honduras and they made it seem quite simple. I'll be moving out there next February and haven't really even begun the paperwork. I will definitely get multiple copies notarized and authenticated of all my vital documents while here in the states. Thanks for the insight. I'll be sure to check back and see how things went. I wish the best to you and your beautiful family.

Honduras Sprout said...

Hi Evelyn!
So you talked to Honduras Immigration? Hmmm...I suppose it does sound quite simple when what you need to have is neatly listed out.
What it came down to for me is time and organization. Taking time off work to go to doctor’s appointments, The Secretary of State, the DMV for certified copies, etc. When I explained to the doctors & banks what I needed often I was given odd looks. Trying to get things notarized was an additional step that often left me waiting or having to go to another person down the hall.

In short, simple, but time consuming. Also, all your documents have to be current from the last 2-3 months so no need to rush on getting them now if your not moving until next year. I spread it out over about a month gathering things.

Where in Honduras are you moving to?

Stop back b/c I'm going to do a post about my trip to Chicago to see the Honduran consulate, but I'm just getting back online b/c my modem broke & needed replacement.