Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Canadian Passport is Here!

Though I've been holding my first British passport for several months now, I now finally received my new Canadian passport.

On one hand, I appreciate the Canadians' personal touch - when one of my references' phone numbers was disconnected, a nice lady from Ottawa called me to ask what was up. Similarly, the Canadian consulate in Seattle was friendly and cheerful. Never once did I feel like I was being processed by a computer or an Indian call centre.

But why on earth did it have to take so long? Two months before it was processed [FYI: you know it's being processed because they charge your credit card when they start]. Another two weeks for them to mail it to the Canadian embassy in Seattle.

Why mail it to the embassy? Simple. They need to cancel the old passport. But in the current US immigration climate, you'd have to be stupid to let your passport out of your hands even for a second.

After all this, I still only get a five-year passport. WTF. You'd think they'd make a ten-year passport for those outside the country, especially since non-residents don't qualify for the passport renewal program. Thanks for the help - way to help those that need it the least!

Of course, with a day off work, some train tickets, and some clever fast-talking, several Microsofties have discovered how to get Canadian passports SAME DAY! Cheapens my accomplishment a bit. Email me if you want to know how these clever individuals did it.

BTW, this does not mean that my travel lockdown is over. The Nebraska Service Center has been processing some early August applications, so I predict that it will be another month before I can travel.

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