Sunday, November 7, 2010

Passports, etc

So it's time for a new passport a) because the one I have is full – all those in-and-out of the UAE stamps (not to mention 12 countries in 2.5 years!!!) mean there is no room for a visa should I need one, and I will – and b) because mine expires in March and this is one thing I am not leaving to the last minute.

I have been curious to find out that Canadians face much stricter rules than a lot of nationalities when it comes to this issue. Our passports must be renewed every five years, and we need a proper guarantor: a lawyer or doctor or the like, not always that easy when you haven't lived in a place that long.

Brits, for example, only need to renew their passports every 10 years and any old person they've known for two years can vouch for them. I'm still waiting to find out if I need to part with my passport at all during this process. That prospect scares me. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As a Canadian who had the unfortunate experience in dealing with the incompetent embassy here in Abu Dhabi, I have to warn you about the issues you will have to face. First and foremost, it takes one MONTH to renew the passport! Sudanese, Algerians and other so-called '3rd country' citizens can get it renewed ON THE SPOT, but us Canadians can not get the same service (even though we pay much higher fees!). The Embassy here is the ultimate symbol of Canadian bureaucratic incompetence shipped abroad.

When you call them, I would be interested if they still conduct their conversations entire in French, while conveniently forgetting that most Canadians in the UAE speak English (which, surprisingly, is also one of Canada's official languages -- but what do you expect from a bunch of Quebecois diplomats?)