2006-01-18

Passport Renewal

It just gets more complex year after year. Not that the paperwork
is complex but it's the bureaucracy that gets complicated. I
wonder what is the benefit? Is security really that much of an
issue? I wonder if this security issue is just the fact that
everyone is so scared of losing their job to foreigners coming
into the country?

Anyway I spent two hours at the canadian trade office submitting
my application. When they looked at my passport photos, I get,
"Oh I'm sorry these are not acceptable, the color is off" They look
alright to me, besides a "professional" photographer did them, as
was called for in the application. They looked at my signature
and said again "Your signature must match your old passport".
After having so much trouble trying to sign like the old signature
I gave up and signed a declaration to change my signature.
They just don't make things easy. And the fees - three of them.
The passport fee of 75$ canadian, 25$ for consular service fee
(what is this I really wonder??!?!?) and because I didn't have a
garantor I needed to pay another 50$ to fill out another form,
which had exactly the same information as was contained on
the main passport application.

Just what is that consular service fee? And what is that
additional 50$ going towards? What service did I recieve? I
certainly didn't get "good" service from them to deserve that
extra 75$. Visa fees are pretty much the same as passport
fees - another way of ripping off travellers.

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