In today's episode, we conclude our Apostille series with joy and anticipation.....or do we? bumbumbum. Reader, I apologize. I had every intention of giving the happy ending you so rightly deserve; however, surprisingly, things have not gone according to plan and will likely need one more post in our Apostille Of The What series. So where were we? Ah yes, we were about to spend more money to learn again that we are not as smart as we thought we were! Oh, when will I be humbled?
My husband, who is used to my never-ending "wait, I have an idea," has agreed to get fingerprinted again. Luck this time was on our side, and the DOJ fingerprinting could be done from any LiveScan instead of us driving another hour to get it. I hand him the completed paperwork, so he still loves me, and he heads down that Thursday after work. It goes smoothly, and off his fingerprints go. I find a time that Friday after work and meet a charming woman who takes my fingerprints and appears to be competent (and she is, but I guess I'm not, haha). A few days later, we receive my husband's records, and instead of like 7 pages due to his adventures as an 18-year-old, it shows only 1 arrest over 6 years ago!
**I know they request an absence of a criminal record, but I spoke with my lawyer, and there are some caveats. 1) His arrest was not in the last 5 years, which is what they are asking for. 2) Having a criminal record does not automatically get you denied; it can really depend on the type of crime. So all my drug and gun runners and terrorists will likely be denied. Now, this is all just a guestimate, and the hope is that it will be approved, but we don't know for sure until we turn in our application errrrr fingers crossed. At this point, the lawyer confirmed they help fight denials. Ok back to the story, I receive my pristine record (aka never got caught, haha), and we are ready to go back to LA!
Back to LA
Before we leave, I check all the sites, and it seems we are good to go. One note that said if you want to have your DOJ background apostilled, call this number....for some reason, I thought, "oh, we already know what to do! I don't need to call!" Shocker, that was a mistake... So husband takes his turn of driving to LA because I will probably run someone off the road if I have another 6 hour LA adventure. He pops up there and back in about 3 hours and said there was no traffic (yay for him but also really annoying for me). 2 days later, my husband gets a voicemail saying our paperwork will be returned as it was not notarized! What??? It looks exactly like the one we got from the FBI, and that didn't have to be notarized, and isn't that what the apostille does? After making the husband play me the voicemail, I again hit google. I look and can't find anything that states this information. I saw that if you didn't have the original, then you would have to have it notarized, but I did send the original. I realize now might be a good time to send the email I disregarded earlier.
I email the immigration DOJ email firstname.lastname@example.org, stating I'm confused about what they mean about the notary and that the voicemail stated they would send us an example. Still, I want to ask now, so I don't waste time if I am confused when the example gets there. I also tell them I couldn't find info anywhere stating it needs to be notarized. They email me promptly with a webpage that "clearly," states that we need to request a certified letter after sending them our fingerprints https://oag.ca.gov/fingerprints/visaimmigration/faqs-en.
I'm pretty sure they just made that webpage to drive me nuts, but that's probably unlikely! I could not find that website anywhere, by the way. Also, by the way, when I sent my fingerprints to the DOJ immigration unit, who knows we will need a certified letter for the Visa, they don't send the letter unless we email them requesting the letter...cause that makes sense. I request the letter then have my husband e-mail them also to request the letter. A few days letter we get an example of how to have a notary sign-off on it, but I'm too scared to try that and decide to wait for the letters.
This is where we currently stand and why I can't give you a conclusion at this point. It's been about a week, and we are still waiting on the letter. Luckily we are listing our house this week and have been super busy DYI everything, and we have been too tired to have anxiety. My husband wanted me to let you all know how much DIY he did: countertops in all 3 bathrooms and kitchen, landscaping, painting, framing all of the mirrors, not to make them look like they are from the '90s, flooring in the bathrooms, electrical work, etc. He acknowledged that I also did a lot: most of the painting, cough cough, refinishing all of the cabinets, organizing and getting rid of all our stuff, etc. He acknowledged it saying, "You did a lot too but not like I did." I told him that I would phrase all of this exactly like this and that this is a total plug for his ego, and he smiled and said," I know, but it still shows how much I did," haha.
He also encouraged me to write a post about our housing remodeling adventures, but I told him that it all went well, and that's not funny! He wanted me to let y'all know if you need any advice or help with housing projects; he can answer questions. He doesn't get informative without funny is just boring. I can definitely do one on the selling your house process, though, because I'm sure something will go wrong! I make fun of him, but he really can do everything. As I tell him, "I know I kept you around for a reason!"
So there you have it right now, we are waiting for our certified letters to make another LA trip. Depending on what happens first, I will either be telling you about the financial certification process, more apostille stuff, or our nervous break-downs, you know, whichever happens first. I am in the meantime going to write a clarification post about some of the questions I have received to fill in some of the gaps. There will also be the journey of bringing 2 dogs overseas as well! Not to mention the kid stuff...aww, man, we really have just begun!
Shout out to all the people who have said such nice things and all of you who have hung in there during our adventure!! It is so very much appreciated, and I'm not gonna lie a little ego boost for me too! As I have been discussing this more with everyone, I have found that pretty much no one has had this much of an issue, so I'm not sure if I should be happy for you or seriously question my reading abilities...I mean, I did always get in trouble in school for ADDing out and skipping the NOT part on the test. I digress; next up will be a clarification post with common questions and hopefully some good news! Our next episode will be entitled, What the Apostille, Now I'm homeless! It's a series spin-off, but don't worry, our lovable fools will still be in the cast! Until next time, same bat-time, same bat-channel (I hope that's not copyright infringement?).