Friday, January 27, 2006


Passport to Hell

So a little while ago I mentioned that we finally got Audrey's Canadian citizenship certificate and that the inevitable move after that was to get her a Canadian passport as well.

How "effing" difficult is it to get a passport these days do you reckon?!

The first time we applied for her Canadian passport was also the first time we applied for her Canadian citizenship. Due to a misunderstanding of the rules of the photograph dimensions, it got rejected. Entirely my fault...mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!

So we decided the passport wasn't a priority and resubmitted our application with new photos for her citizenship, and as you know, hussah and hurrah it arrived the other day.

I then decided it would be an easy (ha ha!) task to fill out the passport forms, and use the same photos we got from her citizenship application for her passport one. No problem! All the paperwork was together, all I needed was a guarantor to sign the form saying that Audrey was indeed Audrey.

I think most people know but for those that don't guarantors usually have to be in some sort of "reliable" profession (I use the term reliable loosly), like a lawyer, police officer, doctor, and occasionally an accountant. On Audrey's UK passport that was easy because a good friend is an accountant, so it was a simple ask. However the Canadian's don't recognise the noble (ahem!) accountant as a reliable guarantor, so I had to go up the pecking order.

Fortunately my sister has a friend who is a solicitor, and she had very kindly agreed to guarantee Audrey's original Canadian passport application - the one that got rejected. So it was a simple choice to use her again for the job. I asked first, got a favourable reply and sent off the lot to her only to get an email saying she would regrettably have to send it all back...why? Because she is no longer a practising lawyer!

The phrase that sprang to mind rhymes with "clucking bell".

So, back it all came, with a suggestion to maybe try my local General Practitioner. Failing that I would have to fill out another form "In lieu of a Guarantor" and swear an oath at a local solicitors office, along with paying all the fees that go with that...and I didn't want to go there.

Therefore I took it upon myself to drop in at the doctors surgery on my way to work yesterday and ask if they would complete the forms and sign the back of the photo. The answer was a yes, but there was a charge...£17.50 to be exact, but it sounded cheaper than a solicitor (just about anything would I think) so I decided to go for it and left them with all the blurb they needed to get on with the job.

This morning, I dropped in again to see if they had managed to do it, and they had! Hurray! I can finally send this application out today!

But wait...what's this? No, no, no! Please don't do this to me!

As I looked through the application, I noticed that the photo that required the doctors signature had indeed been correctly signed, and a large inky stamp had been used saying "I confirm that this is a true likeness of..." - behind it was the second photo of Audrey, her face spotted with once very wet ink from the stamp, now completely dried onto it and completely impossible to remove.

Doctors are meant to be smart aren't they? Well, let me say, this one is completely lacking in the "common sense" department.

I got to work and told Martha. I pretty much knew she'd convince me we needed a new photo, but I somehow tried to tell myself this ink stain would be fine. However, those pesky Canadian beaurocrats are sticklers for everything being exactly right, so it didn't take Martha long to convince me that there wasn't a hope in hell that the application would be accepted with a ruined photo.

Therefore with nothing to lose, I decided to try to remove the ink from the picture with a cloth. And remove it I did, along with most of Audrey's face!

Finally defeated, I picked up the phone and called the photographer so they could send out two fresh copies of the photo - two is the minimum order, but I only needed one. In a way it's nice, because the doctors signed one is fine, so we'll get to keep a copy of what is actually a lovely photo of Audrey, as you can see!

So, fingers crossed, tomorrow I will get my new photos and finally be able to send off her passport application. If it gets rejected after all of this, you'll find me in the garage with a noose around my neck!

Bon weekend!

Wow! What a pain in the tush!
OGO - Actually, given the grief you've been put through lately, my problems pale into insignificance! But yes, since you mention it, it is a pain in the backside!
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