Getting my Birth Certificate shouldn't be this hard

One part of moving to any other country is the act of applying for a work visa. It’s pretty much a requirement where treaties (e.g. the European Union) aren’t there to ease the situation. A necessary evil, if you will. Because in most cases, the process is not really well documented and you’re going to spend a lot of time trying to figure out exactly what you need.
And believe me, we are far from actually getting this one sorted out. Jason’s been a massive force in getting us some iota closer to having it done, but the reality is that we’re going to be flying by the seats of our pants until documentation is actually done.
One thing we need for an application is a birth certificate. But not the one you put in your wallet. You need the big one. Where you were born, your birth weight and time, who your parents are and where they were born, the name of the hospital and the doctor who delivered you. Might as well ask for my life history, while you’re at it.
I don’t have this form. Nor does my mother. No problem, though, in this day-and-age, you need only sign onto a website and order one. Right?
Service Ontario has a pretty slick system, I’ll give them that. But here’s my #1 major fault with it. I already have a birth certificate. I’m on record. I have a card in my wallet with a number on it that (I presume) uniquely identifies me.
But it doesn’t mean sqwat. I have to fill out the form as if I’m a new birth. I have no idea how much I weighed when I was born. No idea who the doctor was (Mom remembered, though — proves you aren’t going senile!). I even had to provide a guarantor. What the heck??
Ordered, though. Should get it in about five days. Then we have to get eight passport pictures, marriage certificate, and a few other things to get our visas sorted out. Yeesh. I foresee a lot of flying in my future.

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  1. Wow. Sounds like getting a working visa for Costa Rica is way harder than getting my fiance visa for the UK. Mine just required a lot of financial documentation. I don’t think they could care less about my birth certificate. Seems they’re more concerned that I won’t be relying on public funds once I’m there.
    Hope it goes as smoothly as possible for you Geoff!
    BTW, I’m leaving Calgary for good on 18 June. Not sure if you’ll be around, but I’ll visit CM around the 16th. If not, we’ll catch up in the future. At the very least, you, Alex and the wee one will always have a place to stay anytime you’re in the London area.

  2. Geoff,
    Try getting a birth certificate from Quebec if you were born before 1980. Up until then, the province would accept BAPTISM certificates as proof of birth and residence. When I tried to cross into Montana the first time with this mimeographed, handwritten document in French and Latin (Catholic Church), the border guards laughed at me.
    BTW, took 3 tries 5 years ago before they found a Francophone that got my name correct on the official (wallet sized) birth certificate.

  3. Terri — It’s not bad getting it, it’s just the hoops to jump through. As it turns out, Alex has to apply for her long form, which we didn’t previously realise she didn’t have. Ergo, pain-in-the-arse to get. Are you in town before the 16th? I leave on the 15th.
    Mouselady — I hear ya! Alex had to get her birth certificate so she could change her name. Not fun, but luckily she had enough records to start with to get one. I’ve heard horror stories of people having to go find records in church registers.

  4. Can someone help me get my birth certificate from hong kong?
    I was born in 1957 in kowloon. Can I retrieve my info the web?

  5. My cousin was born aborad in Costa Rica to an America Mother he is now 40 yrs old. where does he get is birth certificate. he never got a birth certifacate from costa rica and he has now a green card ..

  6. Trying to Get an Ontario Birth Certificate, mine was washed, I have travel plans to go to the US In 3 weeks, can’t get my passport because my birth certifcate is damaged.
    But I have moved a lot over the last number of years, and don’t know anyone on the guarantor list that I can get to sign for it.
    Is there anything I can do>?
    My birth certicate I still have but it is about2/3rd there , one side is missing.

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