Did I mention that the legalization process in Brazil is an exception to the rule? We found that out and it cost us some nerves, but let’s start out with a lucky coincidence. The best bride ever and me were very lucky, because the sister of the best bride ever had to go to Brasilia on a business trip and she agreed to take the papers to Brasilia to have them legalized at the Ministry of External Relations and the Danish embassy. This process would have taken us roughly 4 weeks for each legalization, doing it in São Paulo or via mail, but in person and in Brasilia, the legalization was actually done in two days! One day at the Ministry of External Relations, one day at the Danish embassy. How lucky we were, how happy we are now. But isn’t something missing? Yes it is: a third legalization.

Relying on “experts”

But nobody in Brazil wanted to give us the third legalization. Why? We didn’t know and talking to our marriage-in-Denmark “expert” did not help so much. He told us that he knew of couples who “slipped through” with only two legalizations, and we should try to get the third legalization anyways. But where? Even the website of the Danish embassy in Brazil only talked of two legalizations. When the best bride ever called there however, the employee did not want to give any information – we should check this with the registrar’s office in Denmark where we want to get married. Finally, a friend of the best bride ever, who happens to be also a lawyer, gave us the information that in Brazil, the Ministry of External Relations, of Interior and of Justice are organisationally united, therefore we would not need another legalization. With this information, I thought I’d try my luck in Denmark and searched the web for information. And finally (and because they have a website in English), I called the Citizen Service of Kopenhagen.

Scandinavian Friendliness

Having dealt with administration in Brazil and Germany, I was very curious (and a little shy) about how things would work in Denmark. First positive surprise: everyone speaks English. Hooray! Second positive surprise: everybody is incredibly friendly and very helpful. The woman on the phone took some time, she was looking up all documents we would need in Kopenhagen, she even found their Portuguese names and tried to pronounce them – which led to total fail of communication, because me trying to understand someone talking with a very strong Danish accent pronouncing something in Portuguese just did not work out. But we had fun, we were laughing a lot and in the end, everything seemed to be a lot more relaxed than I thought possible.

And I realized: We already had all the documents, two legalizations would be accepted and regarding the question, whether the documents should be translated by a sworn translator in Brazil or in Germany, the answer was: “it only has to be a professional translator”. “Wow!” – I thought, and for the first time, getting married in Denmark not only seemed like a good idea, but also quite possible. And as the Brazilian documents are already sufficiently legalized, the only thing we need now is a proper translation.

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