Passports

Old May 28th 2011, 11:53 pm
  #16  
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Default Re: Passports

Ugh - we are in exactly the same boat - the website said 4 weeks processing time - we fed x'd our passports off early March, they were signed for a couple of days later. We had a travel date noted of 19th April. The credit card was not charged until 24th April and have heard nothing since. The website now states they have a severe backlog. I called the British High Commission here and they were no help at all saying that we had to call the help line - which seems pretty much useless. We were hoping to go away in April, then May, then June, now even July is looking dodgy as it's only 4 weeks away and my visitor stamp expires on 4th June so if it doesn't arrive soon I will have no passport and my visitor stamp will be expired. I wouldn't mind but the passports cost nearly double what it would have cost in the Uk so I would have expected something better. We are in our 10th week now....
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Old May 29th 2011, 10:40 am
  #17  
 
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Default Re: Passports

ok.. I may be stupid.. and I do understand that the person at the British High commission here says they can't help, but isn't there still a British High Commissioner here in Barbados?? I think I'd have to go there, in person, armed with as much info as I have and say to her/him.. I've been waiting for these since March.. I live in a foreign country, I'm going to get kicked out soon if I don't get my passport back.. I need your help... I'm just saying.. try it and see what happens...

oh.. and when I do get kicked out, I'm not going to be able to even return to the UK because I don't have my passport...
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Old May 29th 2011, 2:00 pm
  #18  
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Default Re: Passports

Sunnie - the High Commission here seem to have the position that they no longer deal with passports and we have to follow the procedure which is to call the designated Careline. The problem with the Careline is that you have to pay to use it i.e. supply a credit card to talk to someone and they are basically a call centre not located in Washington and all they can see is if you are "in the system" or not - i.e. if you are even at the stage that your card has been charged and then awaiting processing of the passport application. It does not even state on the website that the 4 weeks or whatever they are quoting now only starts when they take payment - and taking payment seems to be any length of time from 10 days to a couple of months. The High Commission will only deal with emergency travel and apparently they can try and escalate by contacting Washington if you are within 5 days of your travel date. As I have no emergency requirement to travel and now nothing currently booked, they do not want to know - at least that is the position of the lady that I spoke to when I called - all she kept repeating was that I had to call the Careline even though I had explained to her that I already had and they were of no help. If you look at this thread "Forum / Living & Moving Abroad / USA / UK Passport Renewal taking a really long time" (not sure how to post an actual link to it) you will see that the problems are affecting a lot of people - it all seems to be in a mess.
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Old May 30th 2011, 1:06 am
  #19  
 
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Default Re: Passports

ok.. so much for redtape.. but why not go to the high commission and try to see someone.. like the head guy.. and refuse to leave unless you do.. These are YOUR tax dollars at work and you have to right to know why it's taken so long for something that should have been back by now.... sorry, I don't take things like this lying down.. book a ticket, fake an emergency travel situation .. sorry.. I'm just saying..
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Old May 30th 2011, 12:16 pm
  #20  
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Default Re: Passports

I had to get an emergency passport in the end. My travel date to england was 1st may return date to barbados of 12 may. They issued me with an emergency passport which was valid 1st - 12th may only. I didnt need to travel to england on an emergency (believe it not I had booked to go to england to renew my passport on the same day service in london, but then had my passport stolen but still wanted to go to england as i had paid for ticket already). Maria at the high commission told me to come down to get my emergency passport. She said it would take a few hours. I went down there for when they opened at 8am and had my emergency passport by 9.40am! My passport from washington arrived at my home in barbados on the 3rd May. It cost BDS $323, but was cheaper than changing my flights/hotels already booked in london etc.

Note - british high commission closes on both barbados and english bank holidays.
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Old May 30th 2011, 12:19 pm
  #21  
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Default Re: Passports

I was allowed to apply for my emergency passport once Maria called the office in washington and was told they were dispatching my passport that day, but we knew it would get here before I flew as it was over the bank holidays in April. You can only apply for emergency passport if you dont have enough time to apply for a full passport, hence why I had to aopply for a full passport in Feb/March.
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