Friday, April 1, 2016

Getting the FBI Background Check

Start now. No really.

Even with the expediter ($79.99) and using Livescan to deliver the fingerprints ($39.99) turnaround time to get the FBI letter into my hands was 9 business days. Then Federal Express to Washington DC expediter to get the Apostille (otherwise 6-8 weeks). Arrives at expediter on Monday. Enters system on Tuesday AM, returned to expediter on Friday PM. Federal Express to Cyprus because the documents will not be in my hands before we fly there.  Even with the expeditors on both ends of the transaction, an FBI Background check can take 4 weeks. You cannot "save time" by having your background check sent directly to the expediter in Washington DC to be carried to the counter for the Apostille. They can't accept it. You need it sent to your attorney, who will forward it to you (or directly to the expediter), then to Washington, DC to the Department of State counter, then 3 -5 days later, back to the expediter and on to courier service.

So TL;DR Start process of getting FBI check early. Use expediter as your docs will expire before you get all completed otherwise.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

So some things have changed...

It's been a lifetime since purchasing the dream house in Pacific Palisades and our family actually moved to the Bay Area fairly recently. We are on the road again- this time to sunny Cyprus (no not Orange County, CA) and two parents, three kids and two dogs are making the big overseas move. Our belongings are being compressed into a 20 ft container and we are going through our paperwork and checking it twice.

 Here is what we were told: · 
 All types of valid Visas: employment visa, visitor Visa, Schengen Visa, etc. 
 · University Diploma (It should be Apostilled in home country) 
 · CV in English – electronic format · Criminal Record (It should be Apostilled in home country)
 · International Passport 
 · For married: Marriage Certificate (1 per couple – Apostille) 
 · For divorced: Divorce Certificate (Apostille). 

 Needed documents for Spouses 
 · All types of valid Visas: employment visa, visitor Visa, Schengen Visa, etc. 
 · University Diploma (It should be Apostilled in home country) 
 · Criminal Record (It should be Apostilled in home country)
 · International Passport · Marriage Certificate (1 per couple – Apostille). 

 Needed documents for children 
· Birth certificate (It should be Apostilled in home country) 
 · School report 
 · Criminal record for children above 16 years old.
 All the documents should be original, translated, authenticated by the competent local authority in the country of origin of the person concerned and must be apostiled. 

So first thing, for my fellow Americans, is to actually gather these documents.

Birth Certificates/Marriage Certificates- In California, go here for faster service, you may have to go to the County in which the birth or marriage was recorded and get a certificate. You want the AUTHORIZED COPY (not the informational one) this can take up to 4 weeks by mail or can be done at the counter in the county where filed.

Divorce Certificate- California only has 1962-1984 on file via internet. The rest you will need to go to the Superior Court of the County in which divorce was filed. Get the Certified Copy. Six weeks by mail if you are lucky, 3 days by counter

University Diploma OK this is trickier. If you can find yours, make a color copy. Now go to a Notary and make the following statement " I, (your name) hereby swear (or affirm) that the attached reproduction the (University Diploma) dated (date on diploma) is a true, complete photocopy of the document issued to me by (Name of School). Sign in front of the notary and have your signature notarized. If you can't find yours, you are going to have to request a certification or transcript from your school. You will need a notarized copy. Some schools will do this, mine didn't.

Criminal Record This one takes the longest. Even with an expediter, expect two weeks PLUS another week for the apostille. If you are in California, you can request your record for the Department of Justice and FBI via LiveScan and it will take about 3 weeks plus a week to get the signature, THEN 6 weeks to get the apostille. If you get the FBI Certificate, it goes to Washington, DC for the apostille. If you get the DOJ Certificate you can take it to the California Secretary of State for the apostille.

Getting the apostilles in California: two choices- Sacramento or Los Angeles (you may want an expediter) take your entire stack of papers notarized or issued in California and go to the Secretary of State's office. You will pay $20 per signature to get the apostilles done. I was lucky and the line was very short the day I went. An expediter will want $29 per signature, overnight postage and a fee of up to $250 to hand carry your things through. If you can't get to Sacramento or Los Angeles as a day trip, you will need the expediter.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Where was I?

It's been a while. The kids were all enrolled in the local 900 API schools. They are responsible for getting themselves there and back by foot. We shop at the local Sunday Farmers Market, eat in the village restaurants and generally don't leave the area in a vehicle more than once a week. In all, we are happy here.

About our purchase, we were able to refinance our 2008 mortgage to a 30 year fixed 5.75% in 2011. The process was long, painful and fraught with missing or lost documents, multiple employees, 3 mergers and finally a brilliant loan officer at Surety Financial who managed to close in 45 days.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

140 boxes and we are IN!

the move happened smoothly, only one vase and my camera are toast and there are a few weeks left before school. All is well.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

And the fence comes DOWN!

Friday the construction fence comes down!. A new record-breaking almost whole house remodel.
We took possession in January and we are moving in in less than a week.

Our thanks to a stellar architect- Oscar McGraw who navigated the Palisades Architectural review and the city permitting process with aplomb and alacrity

and to John Byrne Construction- a general contractor with our budget and timeline firmly in mind

it has been a pleasure to work with these talented gentlemen.

Pictures coming soon.

Now I need a landscape planner to turn our new front and back yards into water-wise and properly draining beds and we will be in business!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A tub with a view

The new soaking tub roughed-in, with a view of the rooftops and telephone wires.

I'm seriously NOT complaining. This spot used to be counted as a bedroom.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

House progress!

Doors and Landscaping next!