Tag Archive for: costa rica

Degree Legalization for Costa Rica

Thinking about a move to Costa Rica? You aren’t alone! Costa Rica has become home to thousands of Canadians flocking to a piece of paradise. And for good reason too – the economy on this island has been soaring to impressive measures. Tourism, agribusiness, and its natural resources make for a wide diversity of opportunities. As businesses set up shop and people flock to vacation there, a growing need for professionals in all levels is becoming apparent. And as you may have encountered first-hand, this is great news for anyone looking to make a settlement there. Whether you’re a professional or student, one thing’s for sure – you’ll need degree legalization for Costa Rica!

Preparing Your Degree

If you’re applying for a job or higher education,  the institution you’re applying to would want to check your credentials. You’ll need degrees and diplomas on hand and ready to submit them.As legalization professionals, one of the issues we see people encounter is a lack of preparedness ahead of time. For example, many people often don’t have their degree or diploma on hand. This leads to a rush job and panicking.

For this reason, you should request the document as soon as possible. It often takes institutions several weeks to prepare and mail them out to you. From that point, receiving it through courier services or snail mail can also take time. Also on that note – it is good practice to also have your transcripts on hand and processed, in case you need to provide this as well. Best practice calls to have all of these documents ordered together so you can expect to receive them around the same time.

Degree Authentication for Costa Rica

Once you have your degree or diploma and official transcripts, you will need to have all of these documents authenticated and legalized in order for them to be valid for use in Costa Rica. In Canada, Global Affairs Canada (GAC) located in Ottawa is responsible for all document authentication. There may also be an option to authenticate them through provincial Document Services Office. To find out which office you need to go through, you should contact the embassy to consult with them. Alternatively, you can contact Legalization Service Centre, where we have up-to-date information on all authentication and legalization information.

Document Legalization for Costa Rica

Following authentication, which can take up to 30 days to complete, your documents will need to be legalized by the Costa Rican embassy in Ottawa. The embassy will review the documents, along with the authentication stamp, to verify that the documents and authentication meet their country’s standards. The embassy will place their stamp or certificate completing the entire attestation process.

What makes document processing difficult?

Document authentication and legalization can be dreadful work. In fact, it’s often the least looked-forward-to part of the process for many Canadian applicants. For security reasons, GAC can take a very long time to process your documents, which can feel cumbersome. Moreover, any out-of-province travel you have to do can mean time spent away from work and hundreds or thousands of dollars in travel costs alone. For these reasons, we highly recommend using a service provider to manage these processes. Not only will a service such as ours save you time and money, but we take the headache out of figuring out what to do next.  In most cases, all you have to do is submit the required documents and everything else, including delivery to their final destination, is up to us.

Still have questions and confusions? Don’t be alarmed, it’s natural to feel this way. Moving to a whole new country, whether for a short while or long, is a huge step. There’s definitely a lot to get done, but keep your head up high and remember that all of this is temporary. But for everything related to attestation, just give us a call. We’re happy to help you every step of the way!


Image Credit: Hemis/Alamis Stock Photo and Lonely Planet

RCMP Criminal Record Check for Use in Costa Rica

Whether it be for employment purposes, business, or retirement, Costa Rica has become one of the top destinations for short and long-term residence for Canadians. This doesn’t come as a surprise either! It is home to a large diversity of wildlife, dispersed rainforests, and famous Costa Rican coffee. Costa Rica is both filled with natural tranquility and endless possibilities for exploration. If you are one to make the move, you’re likely to find many like-minded Canadians. But what do you need to know in terms of paperwork for the process? Costa Rica has a thorough vetting process to allow residency to foreigners. There is one particular document worth a mention: the RCMP Criminal Record Check. Here is everything you need to know about  preparing a criminal record check for Costa Rica.

What is an RCMP Criminal Record Check?

The RCMP Criminal Record Check is a comprehensive government certificate to indicate an applicant’s criminal charges, felonies, and misdemeanors, whether on-going or resolved. As the name suggests, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) produces this document.

Whereas in the past, a criminal record check from a local police station used to suffice, the Costa Rican immigration requirements for this have changed since October 14th, 2019. In order to provide a full and complete criminal record clearance for any Canadian individual, they now require a police record check from the federal level of government conducted by the RCMP. This record includes the following key components:

  • Name
  • Identification
  • Rolled (ink) fingerprints obtained by the RCMP

Attestation of the Criminal Record Check for Costa Rica

The RCMP criminal record check (CRC) must go through several steps before it’s valid for use. It needs to notarized, authenticated, legalized, then translated to Spanish. Any local notary public can notarize this document. The document must be submitted to Global Affairs Canada (GAC) for authentication and then to the Costa Rican embassy for legalization.

How long does the whole process take?

This will be one of the longest parts of the process. Remember, it requires several key steps to complete. The time it takes depends on whether the record is clear or there are matches to note. Producing the original documents alone can take up to six months. Once you have it, notary and legalization can take another few months to complete.

If you are conducting this process outside Canada, add more processing times. If you are already in Costa Rica, it can take longer to submit the required documents and fingerprints. Receiving the documents back, can take longer due to mailing wait times.

How We Can Help?

At Legalization Service Centre (LSC), we understand how tiring the entire process can be. For starters, you need to create a file with all of your required documents for immigration in one place. Once all the documents are gathered, they need to be submitted for authentication and legalization. Our team at LSC can help expedite the process by making these submissions for you, in person. Authentication and legalization can both be expedited because we know the particular requirements of the process off the back of our hands.

Settling in Costa Rica is an exciting decision and one that you are probably keen to begin. Regardless of whether you are completing this from Costa Rica or here in Canada, the paperwork required is very seldom the fun part. Lucky for you, at LSC, that’s all we do every day! Give us a call or send us a message for more information. Even if you aren’t quite ready to get started, we’re always happy to have a chat.


Image Credit: Luxury Travel Adviser