With a ceremony Wednesday, Costa Rican officials marked the country’s adhesion to the Hague convention for the legalization of foreign documents.
What this means to expats is that the foreign documents they present here do not have to be authenticated by the Costa Rican consulate in the area where the document was produced. This includes such documents as birth certificates, college transcripts and marriage certificates. The documents will have to be certified by the foreign agency that certifies the signatures of notaries, usually the secretary of the state in the appropriate state in the United States. The process is called apostille, and the certifying agency attaches a small certificate.
A.M. Costa Rica reported at length on the process when the Asamblea Legislativa accepted the Hague convention in February.
For Costa Rican documents going elsewhere, the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto will validate the documents.
The ceremony Wednesday included the certification of a Costa Rican’s grades issued by a private university. The student, Luis Felipe Alfaro Navarro, will be continuing his education in México.
Similarly, if a foreign professional, a physician, dentist, nurse or teacher, seeks to work in Costa Rica, they will need to have their school transcripts validated in their home countries. Some 103 countries subscribe to the convention.
Foreign minister José Enrique Castillo Barrantes said that Costa Ricans will be able to follow the progress of their documents online after they present them to his ministry.