Friday, 16 May 2008

Passport to hell

For the last month or so, my overwhelming concern has been to get Emily's passport sorted out so we go on our booked and paid for trip to Spain at the end of June.

If this was the 70s or 80s, all this would have entailed was adding her name to the dependants portion at the back of my passport and probably alerting the authorities I'd done this. Now, I have to fill out some labyrinthine document, in the correct colour, and jump through various hoops that aren't outlined anywhere.

The first steps are easy, go to a photo booth and get the shots done, go to the post office and get an app. I then found a mate to countersign the application, saying he'd known me for two years, and was a British passport holder. Then the problems set in ...

Passport application take 1. I signed my name in the box, but hit the edge of the box.

Passport application take 2. Written in blue ink.

Passport application take 3. Where's the birth certificate.

Having quickly hurried back to the post office with said document we move on to ...

Passport application take 4. Now the countersigned certification on the back of the photo is a bit big and, when cropped, won't fit on the back of the photo properly. I would like to point out here, this requirement is not mentioned anywhere (and I think the post office woman made it up).

Passport application take 5. Finally, I hit pay dirt, pay my money and am away, one month and 2 days since we got the first application and photos taken. However, we're not out of the woods, as I was made aware that the passport office may not accept the application as her eyes in the photo aren't straight (her head is at an angle). To this end, the receipt I received with post office stamps all over it has the word "advised" next to the word "Photos".

So, after more than a month, I still don't know where we stand with the application of my baby's first passport, but I have paid for it.

Emily should finally get her passport in the next 2-3 weeks, but as it's her first passport there may be an interview required. Can't wait for that.

Bureaucracy is a beautiful thing.
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