Saturday, May 26, 2012

Passports and Visas Part 1

I promised a whole post dedicated to Passports and Visas! Well here it is. It was no small feat both in time, travel and money! 

Six Dutch Passports
Dutch Passports
Both Albert and I have Dutch passports and so we decided early on to get Dutch passports for the girls as well. You never know when the Dutch decide to change the rules with regard to their eligibility for the girls. As it turns out, thanks to the very nice man at the Embassy, the girls have until they are 28 to get their Dutch passport as at least one of their parents has a Dutch passport. I'm not sure if anyone has applied for children's Dutch passports recently but it requires a big paper trail. Along the way I learned some new words, do you know what an Apostille is? Well here is a link to tell you all about it. All you need to know is that it is another way of taking our money :( and a very nice sticker on my official papers. Also how many of you have got current (as in the last 6 months) birth certificates of all your children including a marriage certificate? I DO! (again had to part with money). 

At least now I can recite as well as produce my children's full names and birthday dates under stress/duress! Funnily enough apart from all the paperwork and passport photo's the actual Dutch passport were quite a bit cheaper than the New Zealand passport. HUH? Some things do not make sense to me.

(Just for those of you who don't know, you have to present in person at the Dutch Embassy in Wellington including the children. So we combined a sporting event with a visit to the Dutch Embassy as they are only open on certain dates and certain times. The girls thought it was pretty funny that we were going to Dutch soil even though we are in New Zealand!)

This deserves a heading all on it's own! I thought that I was clever and ring up the Dutch official photographer (The Dutch government is soooo fussy that it is not worth going anywhere else) and ask to see whether he could take/print out New Zealand passport photo's at the same time. Not only did he print me out two sets of everyone (bar me as I only have one passport) ie. one NZ set and one Dutch set, he also, being the nice man that he is, gave me a $10 discount per person. I was quite pleased with my self. 
Albert starting working on the American visas! He discovered that in order to apply for the American visas online, they had to have a different digital passport photo of each of us! ARGGGH. Off we went to the local Kodak store and got our photo's taken AGAIN at a cost of $20 each which only took about 5 minutes. The nice man in the store asked whether we wanted to have the photo's printed as well for an extra cost, ahem no thank you. (got plenty of passport photo's thank-you-very-much). I can send you a signed one if you like ;)

Five NZ passports!

New Zealand Passports
A piece of cake (albeit quite expensive per passport), you just mail them in! WOW what a change compared to the Dutch ones. Very nice looking passports too. (Albert is a NZ citizen also and so can have dual passports.)

Albert and the girls are using their New Zealand passports as their main travel documents. These passports are also the ones who have the American Visa in them. I travel on a Dutch passport which is OK apart from the fact that I have to travel on my maiden name as my passport is in my maiden name. So my ticket is in my maiden name, air points, American Visa, my permanent resident sticker. Once I get back to NZ I will seriously consider applying to become a NZ citizen, it will make life so much easier and cheaper in the long run. The only reason I haven't become a citizen yet is the cost. 

American Visas 
I will dedicate another blog post to this as it was quite a long process, but worth while. 

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