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How to issue or receive important documents in quarantine: a lawyer answered questions from ForumDaily readers

How to go home during a pandemic? How to apply for a pension in Ukraine while in the United States? how, without leaving home, do translation and apostille of documents? ForumDaily answered these and other questions from ForumDaily readers Karina Duval, a lawyer licensed in the United States as a foreign consultant, with more than 20 years experience.

Photo from the personal archive of Karina Duval

A reader's question: How to go to Russia?

Karina Duval: To enter the territory of the Russian Federation, Russian and foreign citizens must have a certificate of a negative test for COVID-19. The need for mandatory quarantine has been canceled since July 15. A citizen arriving on the territory of the Russian Federation must have a medical document confirming a negative test for COVID-19. Such a certificate must be issued no later than three days before arrival on the territory of the Russian Federation. Otherwise, the arriving person will be obliged to pass tests within three days already on the territory of the Russian Federation. The testing procedure is carried out on a paid basis.

If the coronavirus test results are positive, the arriving person will need to self-isolate until he recovers and receives negative coronavirus test results.

A reader's question: How can I restore my pension in Ukraine if I do not receive it here in the United States (I am a US citizen, but I have not renounced Ukrainian citizenship)?

Karina Duval: You need to issue a power of attorney to a person in Ukraine who agrees to issue a pension for you. Or come in person. For Ukraine, you remain a citizen of Ukraine; it does not matter if you have US citizenship.

A reader's question: I have been living in Russia for many years, but I own a house in California. Now I learned that it was destroyed by fires. The house was insured. Is it possible to get insurance without coming to the USA, but while staying in Russia? If so, how?

Karina Duval: First, you need to contact your insurance company and find out what it needs from you. I believe that your personal presence is highly desirable, but if this is not possible, contact an American lawyer and find out the nuances.

A reader's question: My parents in Ukraine bequeathed all their property to my son. Now he is still a minor and lives in the United States (he has American citizenship). How, then, can you enter into an inheritance? Who must write a power of attorney if the child is a minor?

Karina Duval: The answer to your question depends on how old your son will be on the day the inheritance is opened. In some in cases the child acts with the consent of his parents, in others - the parents act independently in the interests of the child. While your parents are alive, it is premature to ask this question.

A reader's question: Given the situation with the coronavirus, in what time frame is it realistic to issue and receive an extract from the register in Russia, while being in the United States?

Karina Duval: I can receive an extract from the register of real estate for you in 5 days in electronic form and in 10 days in paper form (signed and stamped).

A reader's question: I need a translation and apostille of certain documents, but because of the pandemic, I try not to visit public places unless absolutely necessary. Is it possible to somehow organize this process without a personal visit to the office of a translator and a notary with the safe delivery of translated and certified papers? And what's the price?

Karina Duval: Of course, neither your personal presence nor your signature is required for the execution of a notarized translation of documents. This can be done remotely, regardless of the state of your residence. The cost of services depends on the type of documents you need to translate. Our office will be happy to help you with this issue.

A reader's question: I need to recover my father's birth certificate. As a son, can I get a copy? I have not seen him for 20 years and I do not know if he is alive. The certificate is necessary to confirm the relationship with the grandparents, who have passed away long ago.

Karina Duval: While your father is alive, you cannot receive any documents for him - you need a power of attorney from him personally. After death - yes, you can (a birth certificate is issued). I think we should start by looking for the father or the act of his death.

A reader's question: I have a husband in Pennsylvania, but I don't know his address or telephone right now. I live in New York myself. The marriage was concluded in 2012. I have a residence permit (obtained in 2014). Does he have the right to request child support from me? Will I be able to get a pension from him and at what age? Now he has been disabled for many years.

Karina Duval: I can help you find the address and telephone number of your husband in Pennsylvania. Regarding your child support obligations to each other, you should address this question to a licensed attorney in the states of New York and Pennsylvania, as this issue can be resolved in court by the competent court in the place of residence of the plaintiff or defendant.

A reader's question: Я US citizen, living in America. My parents are in Russia, they want to rewrite the house for me. How to do it right?

Karina Duval: They can transfer the rights to the house by concluding a contract of sale or donation (of their choice). Such an agreement should be drawn up by power of attorney - it can be drawn up in the USA.

There are two ways to issue a power of attorney in case of staying abroad. In 1961, two landmark documents were adopted: the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Hague Convention, which abolishes the requirement of legalization of foreign official documents. This means that anyone abroad can apply to the consulate and issue a power of attorney there, which will have the force of a notarized power of attorney issued in his home country.

Alternatively, he can contact a notary and issue a notarized power of attorney followed by an apostille affixing. Such a power of attorney will also have full legal force in any of the countries that are parties to the 1961 Hague Convention. Our office specializes in issuing powers of attorney for foreign countries, and we will be happy to help you.

A reader's question: How to sell a house in another country? How to get a pension or benefit if a person lives in another country?

Karina Duval: First of all, you need to figure out if you are eligible for a pension or benefit if you live in another country. If the answer to the first question is yes, then the second question to which you need to find the answer is: Would it hurt you to get benefits abroad? In some cases, while receiving Russian / Ukrainian benefits, you risk losing American ones. Make sure you are not at risk. If the answer to this question is yes, then in order to receive pensions and benefits in the Russian Federation / Ukraine, you need to issue a power of attorney to an authorized person on the territory of your country, who, acting in your interests, will arrange everything for you on the spot.

To sell a house, you also need to have a trusted person in your home country and give him the appropriate authority, that is, issue him a power of attorney.

A power of attorney can be issued in the USA. There are two ways to obtain a power of attorney while living abroad. I repeat: in 1961, two landmark documents were adopted: the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Hague Convention, which abolishes the requirement of legalization of foreign official documents. This means that any person, being abroad, has the right to apply to the consulate and issue a power of attorney there, which will have the force of a notarized power of attorney issued in his home country.

Alternatively, you can contact a notary, who will issue a notarized power of attorney followed by apostille affixing. Such a power of attorney will also have full force in any of the countries that are parties to the 1961 Hague Convention. Our office specializes in issuing powers of attorney for foreign countries, and we will be happy to help you.

A reader's question: What consular services can be obtained in New York without a personal visit to the consulate? Since we have a mixed family, the consulates of both Russia and Ukraine are interested. What are the terms for receiving such services (maybe it will be faster with a personal visit)?

Karina Duval: Almost all issues, the solution of which requires contacting the consulate, provide for a personal presence. The only exception is notarization of copies of documents.

It should be remembered that most of the issues can be resolved without contacting the consulate. An alternative is to contact an American notary, who has the right to perform almost all the actions that the consulate is authorized to perform (except for issuing passports). Documents drawn up by a notary require further apostille affixing. Apostilled documents are fully valid in any of the countries that are party to the 1961 Hague Convention.

Our office specializes in paperwork for foreign countries, and we will be happy to help you. When contacting our office, notarial actions are usually carried out on the same day.

A reader's question: When filling out an application for a green card, I incorrectly indicated the country of origin. The application was chosen as the winner. But I don't know what to do next and whether it makes sense to continue, given this error. I filled out the DS 260 form and stopped. Is it worth continuing the paperwork?

Karina Duval: If you are having difficulty filling out any immigration forms, you will need to contact an American immigration attorney. I only practice the law of Russia and Ukraine.

A reader's question: I have been in the States for 1 year, I am renewing my status for the second time (I want to change it to an L1 work visa). Please tell us about the timing, chances, and the ban on issuing work visas until the end of the year.

Karina Duval: If you are having difficulties with immigration status, you need to contact an American immigration attorney. I only practice the law of Russia and Ukraine.

A reader's question: Will my potential job affect my husband's 50% pension when he retires 10 years later at age 70, or should I not start working at all? She had never worked in the USA before.

Karina Duval: Your question does not apply to the legislation of either Russia or Ukraine, which I practice. To obtain reliable information on US social security law, you need to see an appropriate American specialist.

Questions answered Karina Duval - lawyer, notary, international law expert.

Attorney registration: # 78 / 857
NYS registration: 4775086
Notary public, registration: 02DU6376542

You can ask your lawyer a question by mail: karina.duvall@gmail.com

or get advice by phone:
in USA: (718) 704-8558
in Russia: +7-921-946-0582

Miscellaneous documents Educational program notary Karina Duval lawyer services

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Lawyer opinion: why do immigrant children need citizenship of their parents ’native countries

Conflicts in the family: lawyers talked about how to protect yourself and your immigration status

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