Saturday, 14 March 2015

Passport to Nowhere


It has been some time since the 2 Grumpy Old Sods had to face their greatest enemy: Bureaucracy. However last week landed a doozy in our laps. Some of you will remember that back in October 2013, I refused to pay the outrageous sum of £75 to renew my passport and HM Passport Office yanked up its drawbridge and refused to return my passport pics and my old passport.

Seventeen months later, we decided to try again: the arrival of Little G and the suggestion of a family holiday in Italy luring us out from our bunker. Thus I went and got the passport pic from Hell (if I go on holiday 1. I wear my specs and 2. I smile - why can't my pics reflect this?) and BH filled in the online form telling HM Passport Office VERY CLEARLY that we couldn't fill in details of my previous passport as they had retained it in October 2013. Along with the pictures we sent at the time.

Two weeks later, HM Passport Office, bastion of utter stupidity and plain downright incompetence, sent a letter saying they couldn't accept my application as I hadn't filled in ''Section 10'' properly. This refers to my old passport. Which they have kept. As we told them on the original form. So we couldn't fill it in.

And now we have to fill in the whole thing again online. And send in 2 more pics, signed on the back by someone who has known me for 2 years so that excludes the cat. And even then, they will only ''consider my application'' so no guarantee of a new passport.

To add insult to injury a few days after my application was refused, BH's new passport arrived. As he says, if I wanted a new passport for some nefarious purpose, I'd get it at once. He is very tempted to ask HM Passport Office to fast track my application. Oh - and could they recommend any safe border crossings from Turkey.

17 comments:

  1. Maybe they they thought if you looked like passport pic you're too ill to travel?...*chortle*...

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  2. I've recently become a UK citizen with all it's pleasures and pitfalls. I found the UK passport requirements more strict than the application for citizenship, In the end, I gave up and decided just to stay in the country for the foreseeable future. As for those ghastly photos, my head turns into a solid block and I look like Max Headroom's sister. Hubby says they are for biometric recognition. I think they are a means of torture and humiliation. Sorry about the rant. I do feel your pain, honestly I do. ; )x

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    1. Mad, isn't it. I may have to forgo a lovely holiday coz Passport Office can't sort me out...

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  3. Charming! though I agree with you. Doubt if I'll get beyond Luton airport .

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  4. Wife is dreading the same nightmare. She's a US citizen who is going for UK citizenship and then a new passport. Will they send her back to a random country?

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  5. wear a black balaclava and show bits for yer eyes for the bio metric piece..

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  6. Do you think there is or should be a special hell for all bureaucrats?

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    1. Yes DL ...I have written so many blogs on the horror of it!

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  7. Unreal. I'm dreading having to renew mine! Luckily I have a couple of years left to gather my strength. The last one was remarkably easy for me, but then I had a very nice man at the consulate in Amsterdam helping me. Since then they have closed that office and everything has to go to London...

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  8. Carol I can relate so much to your problem. I am in the process of renewing my three children's passports - one is progressing to an adult and all three need to change their surname. I'm sure you can imagine the correspondence I've had from them on this!! My head is about to explode!

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    1. eek..D has a passport for the baby..but she doesn't look like a babay any more. Daft

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  9. Why does it always happen to you? Can you make an appointment at the passport office to explain in person to them? You don't want to miss out on that holiday.

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    1. It happens to me too provide the rest of you with amusement.

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  10. My passport photo has bright red lips & frightening staring eyes. The automatic computers refuse to recognise it as me & every time I come back into UK the border guards spend ages looking at it & then me in utter horror. In Portugal they don't bother to look at it.

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    1. I once had to spend ages at the Czech border as last pic made me look like a terrorist. Rest of family stood on other side laughing

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