I’ve pretty much had it in paperwork and FEES! for our move to Spain. The paperwork is outrageous and every piece of paperwork requires a fee to be paid. And with a family of five, those fees are really adding up. We have yet to have submit our visa paperwork ($100+ per person) or have our documents translated into Spanish by a certified translator ($30/page) and we are already at $1,000 in paperwork fees. We’ve had to be fingerprinted, background checks completed, new birth certificates requested, doctor’s notes stating we are “free of contagious diseases according to the International Health Regulations of 2005”, a marriage certificate issued in the last 3 months (even though we were married 13 years ago), and then our documents had to be certified by the Apostille of the Hague. What’s that you ask? More fee’s. That’s what it is. We had to drive to Olympia (1.5 hours one-way) to have the kids birth certificates and our background checks certified. I.E. $125 for some person at the Secretary of State to say that these are indeed valid documents in the United States of America. Well, technically it was $15 per document but then because we arrived in person (per the recommendation of the Spanish Consulate) there was a $50 “rush” fee. THE PLACE WAS EMPTY!!! There was no rush. ARGH! Meanwhile, we had to send our newly issued Marriage Certificate to our dear friend in Michigan so she could take it the the Apostille of Hague in Michigan to be certified and it cost $1!!! Well, we did have to overnight mail it and have it overnight mail it back but it still doesn’t add up to the fee’s by the State of Washington.
So while we were in Olympia we visited the State Capitol and then invited ourselves over for a BBQ at our friends home!