Thursday, 15 January 2004

i didn't want to go anywhere right now, anyway

My passport expires in May, so I thought I'd better get around to renewing it. After pouring through the Canadian Passport Office site and the Canadian High Commission site, and then after speaking to a lovely Quebecoise woman at the Canadian High Commission in London (I loved hearing that accent again) and a not so lovely woman at the Home Office in Croydon, I discovered that it's all going to be a bit of a pain. I need a guarantor to sign the back of my photo to attest to the fact that it is indeed me. Easy peasy if I was living in Canada, but I need to find a guarantor in the UK. This is made more difficult by the very, very short list of guarantors for Canadians living abroad. It's much shorter than the usual list and wouldn't you know it, I don't actually know any mayors, judges, or police officers. So, I have to get a notary public to witness my signature and look at my ID. Fine. I can do that. Then there's the issue with my work permit. I've got a special stamp on my passport which obviously won't be present in the new one. What do I do? After being on hold for an eternity, I find out that all I need to do is make sure I've got my old passport as well as the new one when I travel and re-enter the UK.

Right, so that's £60 for the notary public to scribble on my photo, £4 for the passport photos (love those photo booths at Tesco!), and £44 for the passport. That's £108 (or roughly $245 Canadian) for my passport. On the plus side, at least I get to update the photo. The last one made me look like Uncle Fester because I was fat, pasty, and had my hair pulled back. On the down side, I can't go anywhere until I get all this sorted, send the paperwork in, and the new passport arrives.

Which is a real drag when you've been planning holidays in your head for the past couple of weeks. *sigh*

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