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Thread: Details of authentication of marriage letter?

  1. #1
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    Details of authentication of marriage letter?

    I'm a US citizen with ВНЖ engaged to a Russian woman. According to the steps on the US consulate site, https://ru.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen...zens/marriage/
    #4 is "Have the marriage letter authenticated," then lists two places in Moscow where this can be done -- one looks like a normal document center, md.mos.ru, but the other one is the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which requires an appointment, as as I saw in another message, probably takes a long time to complete.

    I do not live in Moscow (I'm in St. Petersburg). I'm planning a one-day trip to Moscow to get the marriage letter stamped at the consulate and then immediately return home to St. Petersburg.

    On the Russian site gosusligi, the list of steps simply mentions: Документы необходимо перевести на русский язык и заверить их подлинность у нотариуса.

    I'd like to know from somebody who's gotten married in Russia, what the *exact* type of "authentication" of the marriage letter is required? The example the US consulate gives for the marriage letter is already in Russian language, so if it's not the translation that's being authenticated (there won't be a translation), just what is being authenticated?

    At a notary of a multi-document center, what exact service should be requested?
    "What we need, as the ancients understood, is not a politician who is a business man, but a king who is a philosopher." -- G.K. Chesterton

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bogatyr View Post
    I'm a US citizen with ВНЖ engaged to a Russian woman. According to the steps on the US consulate site, https://ru.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen...zens/marriage/
    #4 is "Have the marriage letter authenticated," then lists two places in Moscow where this can be done -- one looks like a normal document center, md.mos.ru, but the other one is the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which requires an appointment, as as I saw in another message, probably takes a long time to complete.

    I do not live in Moscow (I'm in St. Petersburg). I'm planning a one-day trip to Moscow to get the marriage letter stamped at the consulate and then immediately return home to St. Petersburg.

    On the Russian site gosusligi, the list of steps simply mentions: Документы необходимо перевести на русский язык и заверить их подлинность у нотариуса.

    I'd like to know from somebody who's gotten married in Russia, what the *exact* type of "authentication" of the marriage letter is required? The example the US consulate gives for the marriage letter is already in Russian language, so if it's not the translation that's being authenticated (there won't be a translation), just what is being authenticated?

    At a notary of a multi-document center, what exact service should be requested?
    i clicked on your link. did you read first the point Nr 3? THAT you have to either download, check if it needs a signature from someone at your Embassy... or do at your embassy. and since it is in English , it has to be translated into Russian langauge. therefore the original letter also has to have an apostille o nit. that will show the -notarius- who will do the translation that your letter was genuine. Do NOT go just to a translation bureau. or at least use one that is affiliated with a -notarius-. and then take it from there...
    There is no greater treasure then pleasure....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Benedikt View Post
    i clicked on your link. did you read first the point Nr 3? THAT you have to either download, check if it needs a signature from someone at your Embassy... or do at your embassy. and since it is in English , it has to be translated into Russian langauge. therefore the original letter also has to have an apostille o nit. that will show the -notarius- who will do the translation that your letter was genuine. Do NOT go just to a translation bureau. or at least use one that is affiliated with a -notarius-. and then take it from there...
    That's not possible since US embassy ceased all services to American citizens. It would be better to contact the country clerk and ask for certificate of no marriage or something like that or fill out the affidavit form stating that you're not married and have it notarized and apostilled in your state. Once that is done then have it notarized and translated into Russian.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Remington View Post
    That's not possible since US embassy ceased all services to American citizens. It would be better to contact the country clerk and ask for certificate of no marriage or something like that or fill out the affidavit form stating that you're not married and have it notarized and apostilled in your state. Once that is done then have it notarized and translated into Russian.
    apologies.i did not realised that the AMERICAN Embassy does not work for AMERICAN citizens anymore...
    There is no greater treasure then pleasure....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Benedikt View Post
    apologies.i did not realised that the AMERICAN Embassy does not work for AMERICAN citizens anymore...
    They don't and we still pay worldwide income tax to senile Uncle Sam. They're just more interested in bringing in more illegals from the south of the border.

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    I found another US citizen who did all this before me on another site. The marriage letter document in pt #3 is all in Russian, so needs no translation. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Moscow (and the Moi Dokumenti also in Moscow that I guess just ships the document to the MFA for you) looks like the only place that can authenticate/legalize a foreign-signed document for use within Russia. I'm trying to determine if another (e.g., St. Petersburg) office of MFA, which supposedly does offer similar legalization services, will do or not.

    As for the US consulate, I read their press releases as well about shutting down services, but I emailed the stated address for advice on what to do in my situation, initially got an automated reply that said "there will be no further replies," but then received a human reply giving me an appointment for next week a few days later. Whether or not I got one of the last appointments available, I do not know. But it doesn't hurt to email and ask about one's situation.

    In fact, the last time I checked, this page: https://ru.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/
    which mentions the reduction in services due to the 75% reduction in staff, explicitly mentions that marriage letter notaries are still being offered.
    Last edited by Bogatyr; 06-05-2021 at 10:43.
    "What we need, as the ancients understood, is not a politician who is a business man, but a king who is a philosopher." -- G.K. Chesterton

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bogatyr View Post
    I found another US citizen who did all this before me on another site. The marriage letter document in pt #3 is all in Russian, so needs no translation. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Moscow (and the Moi Dokumenti also in Moscow that I guess just ships the document to the MFA for you) looks like the only place that can authenticate/legalize a foreign-signed document for use within Russia. I'm trying to determine if another (e.g., St. Petersburg) office of MFA, which supposedly does offer similar legalization services, will do or not.


    In fact, the last time I checked, this page: https://ru.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/
    which mentions the reduction in services due to the 75% reduction in staff, explicitly mentions that marriage letter notaries are still being offered.
    When we did this some years back, you could get the letter from the consulate, make the short trip to the MFA, and get the letter authenticated on a while-u-wait basis. The whole process, beginning with going to the consulate and ending with the authenticated letter in hand, took a couple of hours.

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    The person who did this in Fall 2020 said that she had to return in 1 week to pick up the authenticated letter from the Moscow MFA. I do not know if making an appointment at the MFA ahead of time can reduce this to while-you-wait. The US consulate page writes that you have to call MFA in advance for an appointment, but the aforementioned person just dropped in, paid the gosposhlina, handed over the document, and got handed a receipt stating it would be ready in one week.
    "What we need, as the ancients understood, is not a politician who is a business man, but a king who is a philosopher." -- G.K. Chesterton

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bogatyr View Post
    The person who did this in Fall 2020 said that she had to return in 1 week to pick up the authenticated letter from the Moscow MFA. I do not know if making an appointment at the MFA ahead of time can reduce this to while-you-wait. The US consulate page writes that you have to call MFA in advance for an appointment, but the aforementioned person just dropped in, paid the gosposhlina, handed over the document, and got handed a receipt stating it would be ready in one week.
    Not from USA but from country with similar requirements. It worked exactly as you described, was about a week, once we had the consular letter of no-impediment to marriage or whatever it's called. One qualification, note the working hours/days of the MFA consular office at that address on neopalimovsky or something; it doesn't (didn't) work 9 to 5 five days a week. Otherwise was entirely painless, the sberbank branch nearby is utterly competent.

    One important warning: the ZAGS marriage registry offices in Moscow know this process and the documents well. Again from experience, this may not be the case outside of Moscow, including St Petersburg. I'm not saying it will be impossible but may require a bit more effort and time for the local ZAGS people to check and decide it's ok; attitude/knowledge could vary from shift to shift (is the true 'nachalnik' on-duty).

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    Having recently complete my (first) Moscow run for the marriage letter, I can add/confirm the following details:

    + the MFA has restricted working hours, they are only accepting documents in person via appointment, and for only 2 hours in the mornings. They recommend it's better to use the document centers, which are listed on the MFA website along with the blanks for the application form and the gosposhlina (which you can pay ahead of time before traveling to Moscow, worked fine [bring the receipt of course]) along with the appointment phone number. A human answered the MFA appointment line (on the link below) and my fiance requested all the details, the inspector on the phone was quite helpful.

    + The US consulate site marriage letter page is not complete (they list only one document center), but you can use one of about 8 different document centers (see the MFA site below for details)

    https://www.kdmid.ru/consr.aspx?lst=...%B3%D0%B5.aspx

    All the forms are on that MFA site, you can fill them out ahead of time. The doc center reception lady required me to finish filling out the forms before they'd give me a талон.

    + The document centers are much more flexible than visiting the MFA directly, but take longer (10+ days instead of just 5 for the MFA directly before the document will be ready), and do not offer delivery service, so either a return trip to pick up the documents in person is required, or arranging a delivery company with a notarized power of attorney to pick up then deliver the document. The doc center knew exactly what to do with the document, it wasn't a surprise to them at all.

    + The US consulate gave me an appointment even after the recent news about restricting services, but marriage letters seem to be on the very short list of services they still will perform. I recommend writing to the citizen services email address in any case. The consulate citizen services section was practically empty, only one other couple was there with me doing something.
    "What we need, as the ancients understood, is not a politician who is a business man, but a king who is a philosopher." -- G.K. Chesterton

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bogatyr View Post
    The consulate citizen services section was practically empty, only one other couple was there with me doing something.
    That was the case when I visited US consulate in February... skeleton staff.

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    You don't need a "letter".

    I guess, if you want, you can write this on a piece of paper - "I have never been married and nothing impedes me from getting married."

    Or -

    "I was married, then got divorced through a court of law. Now I am not married".

    I just held up my hand and said "I'm not married in America, nor have I ever been. I am single and free." Done.

    It is just an affidavit in front of a notary, so you are promising to tell the truth and they record that you promised to tell the truth. They don't have any way of verifying anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by americaninmoscow View Post
    You don't need a "letter".

    I guess, if you want, you can write this on a piece of paper - "I have never been married and nothing impedes me from getting married."

    Or -

    "I was married, then got divorced through a court of law. Now I am not married".

    I just held up my hand and said "I'm not married in America, nor have I ever been. I am single and free." Done.

    It is just an affidavit in front of a notary, so you are promising to tell the truth and they record that you promised to tell the truth. They don't have any way of verifying anything.
    True... US Embassy can't verify anything too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by americaninmoscow View Post
    You don't need a "letter".
    ... according to whom? ZAGS Russia? Do you have direct experience that this suffices? Who needs to verify this declaration?
    "What we need, as the ancients understood, is not a politician who is a business man, but a king who is a philosopher." -- G.K. Chesterton

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    I've been following the directions on the US consulate site in consultation with Russian MFA, and a fellow American who successfully completed the process in ZAGS the city where I live, so I think these directions are correct.
    "What we need, as the ancients understood, is not a politician who is a business man, but a king who is a philosopher." -- G.K. Chesterton

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