Yesterday after a 10 days of waiting for all necessary documents to be signed and delivered, I finally sent them to ACS. It’s an additional package they requested consisting of the certified copy of my birth certificate, and certified copies of reference letters from the previous and present employers and partners.

The story with the birth certificate is crazy. Here, in Ukraine, it’s prohibited by the law to certify any copies of passports either local or international. So initially, I sent a simple photocopy of the document. After four weeks of processing an ACS officer contacted me with the request to send a certified copy even though I clearly stated it’s against the rules here and can’t be done. I realize they have their own regulations that I need to obey, but how on earth I am supposed to get these documents without breaking a law. Is this what they want from me? To start a new life by breaking two or three laws in my previous?

Fortunately, when I was mulling it over it conjured up that they accept birth certificates as an alternative way of identification. That worked. I translated the copy and certified it all over. One other funny thing to notice is that one notary, when asked for an advice with certifying the passport, suggested having a quick journey to a neighboring Belarus where they can certify my passport and papers without a question. Odd, isn’t it?

Another, no less amusing, story is with my reference letters. The originals are all in English, inasmuch as all my partners are English-speaking. Local laws state that a notary can’t certify a document in a foreign language. It means that even though the document flies to another English-speaking country, it has to be translated into Russian, the signature of the translator should be certified and only then the copy of the document itself can be certified. Now this is weird. Is it harder for them to place a stamp on the paper if it’s not a government document? I don’t know, but it seems to me that all notaries can’t see farther than their own noses and are extremely rigid thinking strictly inside their boxes.

On Tuesday the documents will arrive to Sydney. Let’s see how it goes now.