Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Joy Of The Administration...

...The American And The French

Jeremy turned 5 a couple of months ago and since his passports' expiration date is coming soon we had to go and renew them… first at the American Embassy then the French Embassy

American Embassy first:
My, my,my how much proof do you need to show them that you are indeed an American citizen? You would think that a previous passport and a birth certificate would be enough.

First you need to make an appointment via the embassy web site (appointment only available during school/business hour of course! - 8.30am to 3.30pm), then you need the previous passport, the child’s birth certificate, the DS-11 form (not signed!), two recent 2 inches by 2 inches photos (photo requirements post to follow!), Parents’ passports (both parents need to be present) and $85 (ouch!).

Then they asked us if we brought pictures of Jeremy to show that the child in the previous passport is identifiable with the applicant [...] if the passport photo was taken when the child was a baby. (?!!)… Which reminded me of how frustrated I got when we registered Chloe’s birth at the American Embassy in Argentina. One of the papers needed was my Ultrasound (??!!!). We, in fact, forgot it and I offered to show them my C-section scar while pointing out that it might be a better proof that an ultrasound (because everybody knows how ultra sound pictures look like the actual baby!!).

French Embassy second:
We didn’t plan to go to the French embassy that day but since we drove by we decided that since we were on a roll we’d better keep on playing (paying?)

We showed up (no appointment required), gave them the birth certificate, the previous passport, 2 pictures and 15 euros. We also did a French ID (1 additional photo – free of charge!)

Well next year is Chloe’s passports renewal: French, American and Argentinean… I’ll keep you posted!!