hague convention and reality

It is (was) the time to renew my residency and I was expecting a much simplified process because Nicaragua is now a signature of the Hague convention. Although renewal is easier than the initial issuance of a cedula, it can still be a frustrating process.

This is what I typically needed.

1. photocopies of my passport and my old cedula 2. passport photos 3. certificate of health 4. police record 5 proof of income (VA and Social security income needs to be authenticated by the embassy then translated into Spanish by a lawyer with at least 10 years experience, and finally authenticated my MINREX. 6. Pay for the form and fill it out. 7. Turn the whole package into immigration and a couple of weeks later I get a new cedula.

well as I said, I expected things to be different this time. I did not expect to need MINREX authentication. But I still needed it. I asked MINREX why I needed this if Nicaragua was a signature of the Hague convention. The lady literally did not have an answer for me. She paused for about 5 seconds thinking of an answer until I let her off the hook. So at least for me, it was almost the same old process. This time I no longer needed a certificate of health though. But, I got one anyway as I did not want to make a second trip to Managua from Matagalpa because of an error.

Still the good news is I should have my new cedula in a few weeks.

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My guess

What the apostille (http://www.nicaliving.com/node/21204) gets you is not having to go through the process of multiple-level authentication of foreign documents but, in your case, you didn't have any. If your pension documents had been in Spanish they probably could have been apostilled in the US and been accepted directly. Or, maybe not. That is, maybe MIREX would still be involved because they are the only folks in Nicaragua who can recognize the apostile.

The last time I renewed my residency I went to the embassy with a photocopy of my social security info (which immigration would not accept because it was a copy). The embassy wrote a letter, in Spanish, which really just said "this guy says he receives $X in social security each month" and got that authenticated by MIREX and all was OK.

There was no original (or copy) of the actual social security submitted (thus, it didn't need to be translated) and, seriously, the embassy letter did not say they had verified anything -- it really did say "I claimed". To me, that should not have worked but it did.

In general, saying "this worked for me" is typically more useful that "the regulations say ..." in Nicaragua. I contrast this with Costa Rica when things seem to be well-defined but with way too many steps to make sense. I have been very surprised with Guatemala and things seem logical, simple and just work. For example, to get a NIT (tax number) you walk into the SAT office, say "I want a NIT", you get asked your name and address (no forms to fill out or proof of anything), what you said is typed into a computer (as you are saying it), your NIT card is printed out, stamped, signed and handed to you.

Congratulations On The Accomplishment

Did you run the gauntlet yourself? Or use an ayudante?

Either way, another five years at our age is a long time!

Are the locations you need to visit in one place, or do you have to chase around Managua? What are the government office hours?

Getting the ducks lined up ahead of time really makes sense.

The answer should have been

MINREX are the only people that can prove, sign off on, or otherwise agree that the translation is genuine and acceptable. You could also have gone to the UCA language Dept. for something like $25 to 30.

your mileage may vary


Any more, any time I have to go to MGA I try to stay a night or 2 to allow for the contingencies and to smell the roses.

``Socialism works fine until you run out of other peoples` money``

Margaret Thatcher