Friday, September 19, 2008

Dealing with government departments

As I anticipated, Clarissa's interest in going to CAMP USA is resulting in plenty of delegation and all of it to me!

The first thing I've been looking at is her passport and it's not going to be as easy as Wini's passport.

The rules have been changed so that applicants need to provide evidence of their parent's status eg citizenship or permanent residence as part of the application process. For Horace and I as permanent residents, this turns out to be a passport with permanent residence stamp. However, it can't be any old passport; it has to be valid at the time the applicant was born. Lucky me or Clarissa, mine expired a few years before she was born, and so far no luck with even finding Horace's.

There is another approach to prove she's an Australian citizen that doesn't involve showing our passports to Foreign Affairs and Trade. And that's taking the same expired passport to Immigration and Citizenship and getting a certificate which identifies Clarissa as an Australian citizen.

So, get this: Foreign Affairs and Trade won't accept my passport as evidence Clarissa is an Australian citizen but Immigration and Citizenship will! And what is the magical thing that makes all this possible? The answer appears to be $55!

I'm not particularly happy that two departments have inconsistent rules and I've sent off emails to both departments and my local member of parliament. What's more I asked for the policy to be change. I'm not expecting anything to change (or turning blue because I'm holding my breath), and over the weekend I'll kick off the process of applying to Immigration and Citzenship to get the certificate. What else can we do? Clarissa want to go and the quicker we get her passport the better.

What's that saying; "You can't fight City Hall (and government departments)"? And I ought to know ... I work for one!

1 comment:

Kirsty said...

Aaaaaargh! dealing with red tape can seriously do your head in sometimes! Good luck getting it all sorted:-)