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One of the most complicated counties to submit translated, certified and authenticated documents is Ecuador. We have completed the process successfully hundreds of times and are glad to share what we’ve learned. The time needed to complete the process varies from state to state, but we will estimate turn-around time for this article.
- Request an Apostille or Authentication for the Original Document.
If you have a birth certificate, local, state or federal background check, divorce decree or a notarized document, you must submit an original copy of the document to the Secretary of State from the state of issue, irrespective of your current location. If you have a federal document, such as an FBI Background Check or Identity History Summary, you must submit it to the Federal Authentication Office in Sterling, Virginia. For state documents, you can mail or request an apostille in person. There are many agencies that will submit on your behalf, but you would need to mail the originals to the private authentication agency first, and then they would submit your documents and return the originals by mail, which doesn’t really save much time.
- Translate Your Original Document and Apostille
A translation agency, such as SES Translators, will then need to provide a certified translation of both your original document, such as your background check or birth certificate, for example, and the apostille. Both the source document and apostille will need to be translated into Spanish.
- Apostille the Translation
After the certified, notarized translation has been completed, the translator will need to mail the translation to the Secretary of State in the state where the translation was completed. The Secretary of State will then attach an apostille on top of the entire translation package, which is known as an apostilled or authenticated translation. Once the state issues the apostille, they will mail or FedEx it directly to you, and that is it!
- Summary and References
The following wording comes from the Consular Services Page of the Government of Ecuador: Public documents used or submitted to the government or one of the civil registry offices in Ecuador have to be legalized with an Apostille. An Apostille is NOT the same as a seal or a stamp from a commissioned notary public. An Apostille is a legalization that is only issued by each Secretary of State or by the Federal Government. For example, if you have a birth certificate authenticated with an Apostille, and you were born in California, you must contact the Secretary of State of California in order to request an authentication, or Apostille, for your original birth certificate. As a rule, these are the most commonly authenticated or apostilled documents, but not all: birth or marriage certificates, criminal or police background check certifications, income verification letters, professional or academic degrees, and so on. Most need to legalized with an Apostille.
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