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Study Abroad Blog

Letter of Clearance – Revisited

Posted on August 23rd, 2007 by Matt Brattin

During the last few days before I left, Blanca and I decided to get a few documents together that she will need for her Spanish visa whenever she gets her passport. The only reason I have decided to post about this is because we encountered a problem while getting the letter of clearance that I wrote so thoroughly about in my “So You Want A Student Visa…” post. Well, in light of the situation we encountered, I added to that post to hopefully help others out in the future, but I’ll discuss what went down here too.

When we got to the step where we go to the county clerks office for a certification of the notarized letter, we were told the notary needed to do more than simply stamp the document, we needed a full acknowledgement because according to the girl I spoke with they have no way to verify she is a real notary…because I guess it would be too hard to look at her number on the stamp and look it up herself, what with the county clerk and county recorder sharing the same office space, but really, what would I know? Anyway, when she told me I needed this acknowledgement I whipped out my document that had been completed months prior and went over it with her, just to clarify what she was telling me.

In my frustrated state, I asked her if she was telling me this document I had, which was notarized by a woman who has been a notary probably longer than I have been alive, had made it through the sheriffs department, her own clerks office, the secretary of the state’s office, and finally the Spanish consulate…all the while it was incorrect? She stared at my document for a few seconds, stumbled over her words a little and quickly walked to the back of the room. She came back a minute later and explained that yes, my document was wrong and she informed the approver not to do it again…then she gave me back my apparently incorrect document that somehow made it through four government agencies, yet was never caught…

Anywho, so we had to call the notary back and arranged to meet with her again so she could get us the acknowledgement form and she explained that for every employee in the clerks office you will get a different answer on how the document needs to be done. I wasn’t surprised, but we jumped through the extra hoop and got it done.

I just wanted to give a heads up to anyone else who may encounter a similar situation, so just to be safe, if you’re Sheriff’s department does as ours did and gave us two letters of clearance, have the notary do one with and one without an acknowledgement and just let the county clerk tell you which one they want to certify.

Oh, one last thing I’d like to mention, Blanca became a citizen on Wednesday the 15th! So, we applied for her passport the next day and now we are just waiting and praying that makes it through that mess relatively quickly so she can apply for her visa soon and come join lonely ol me over here in Barcelona! Can’t wait!!

That is all for now, will post again soon about the trip!

Adios

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