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-   -   Passport Delays (https://britishexpats.com/forum/usa-57/passport-delays-607794/)

aml1982 Jul 8th 2011 10:27 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by vanfan1 (Post 9484069)
aml1982, thanks yes I do intend to keep pushing them and calling them. I guess you have to get lucky to get the right agent? My hubby and son got their canadian passports today, took 10 days and thats includes being mailed from across Canada.

Writing a lot of emails today too, hoping that all the emails and phonecall will finally pay off. Congrats on getting yours escalated, hopefully I'm next :fingerscrossed:

I'm honestly starting to feel that getting the right agent is half the battle. I was told several times that they couldn't help, told to wait, told to write letters, etc., until today, when I got through and the lady helped me right away. Now, I've been firing emails and tweets off left, right and center to various folk in the Foreign Office, my original constituency back home, etc., but the feeling I got from my conversation today was that I got someone who just wanted to help me - she was offering to help before I'd even finished telling her our full situation. It definitely won't hurt you to contact your British MP and see if you can get them in your corner, but in the meantime, keep calling (as much as you can afford to) you will get someone helpful in the end.

aml1982 Jul 8th 2011 10:46 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by Shazban (Post 9484113)
We are supposed to fly august 12th. We're going back for good. Sent my daughter's application mid may expecting it to have been here by now. Makes it difficult to schedule shipping my belongings when I don't know exactly when we will be leaving. It's as if everything is on hold while time is running out. It's a disgusting situation to say the least!!

Of course, I should have remembered from the Twitter thread - you, just_jenn and I are all in pretty much the same boat. I think jenn and I are on almost identical timelines, and you're a couple of weeks ahead of us.

Don't let it drop. I've felt the same way at various points since we sent our little boy's application in - if they would just send our certificates back, we'll chance it with his Canadian passport, deal with the flak from the UK Border Agency, and get a British passport once we are home. Then I think about it more, and I feel like why should I have paid close to $90 sending stuff to Washington, plus the money I've spent on phone calls, for them to just send it back? His application arrived in DC 11 weeks before our travel date, and I feel like they should be able to issue a passport in that time if they could normally do it in 4-6 weeks. I don't care if it arrives the day before we leave - that is fine by me, we don't need it before then, and other people, like yourself, have more pressing plans - I just want a guarantee that it will be here by the time we move back to Britain.

It annoys me that myself, yourself and others in this thread, are having to go to great, time-consuming and expensive measures to get this done, just because they didn't properly plan the move of all processing in the Americas to Washington.

Shazban Jul 8th 2011 11:01 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by aml1982 (Post 9484168)
Of course, I should have remembered from the Twitter thread - you, just_jenn and I are all in pretty much the same boat. I think jenn and I are on almost identical timelines, and you're a couple of weeks ahead of us.

Don't let it drop. I've felt the same way at various points since we sent our little boy's application in - if they would just send our certificates back, we'll chance it with his Canadian passport, deal with the flak from the UK Border Agency, and get a British passport once we are home. Then I think about it more, and I feel like why should I have paid close to $90 sending stuff to Washington, plus the money I've spent on phone calls, for them to just send it back? His application arrived in DC 11 weeks before our travel date, and I feel like they should be able to issue a passport in that time if they could normally do it in 4-6 weeks. I don't care if it arrives the day before we leave - that is fine by me, we don't need it before then, and other people, like yourself, have more pressing plans - I just want a guarantee that it will be here by the time we move back to Britain.

It annoys me that myself, yourself and others in this thread, are having to go to great, time-consuming and expensive measures to get this done, just because they didn't properly plan the move of all processing in the Americas to Washington.

I think just_Jen got her passport no? I feel like such an idiot for even applying. My daughter could have flown on her valid US passport and I on my valid UK passport (which I just got in March of this year btw). But no, trying to do everything above board and correct I send them everything and now we have nothing! Lesson learned though, next time it's right down to Petty France when it's time to renew!

aml1982 Jul 8th 2011 11:08 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by Shazban (Post 9484195)
I think just_Jen got her passport no? I feel like such an idiot for even applying. My daughter could have flown on her valid US passport and I on my valid UK passport (which I just got in March of this year btw). But no, trying to do everything above board and correct I send them everything and now we have nothing! Lesson learned though, next time it's right down to Petty France when it's time to renew!

We're the same. Our boy has a Canadian passport, but after speaking to someone at the border agency (again, someone following a script and reading us the letter of the law) we were told he probably wouldn't get in on his Canadian PP because we were coming in as settlers, not as visitors. Having spoken to other people, obviously that isn't true - it's not an ideal situation, but he could have gotten in on the Canadian passport and we could have applied for his British passport after getting home.

Not to worry - I think with enough pressing we will get things done, but like I said in a previous post, I think you have to get lucky with which agent is helping you at the time.

vanfan1 Jul 8th 2011 11:52 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 
There seems to be a lot of us on a similar timeline.
I applied mid May, CC charged June 28th and told to expect my passport at the end of August! Shazban, I feel like an idiot too, could have gotten my folks in England to send off the forms to me etc. How were we to know if would take 3 1/2 months? Really hope you get yours.
aml1982, will try contacting MP from my hometown again, not sure he cares though. Out of all the emails I sent sent I have received zero response, Embassy in Washington, Ottawa, Vancouver have not responded. Ditto with FCO, no response, ditto with careline complaint. Would be nice if these folk could do the jobs they were paid to do. Also sent off tips to several canadian news sites, CBC, Global and CTV and they're not interested either.
Worse now that because of all the sleepless nights over this, hubby and I are arguing because I have spent so much on this vacation and it's just wasted now...

Shazban Jul 9th 2011 10:27 am

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by vanfan1 (Post 9484256)
There seems to be a lot of us on a similar timeline.
I applied mid May, CC charged June 28th and told to expect my passport at the end of August! Shazban, I feel like an idiot too, could have gotten my folks in England to send off the forms to me etc. How were we to know if would take 3 1/2 months? Really hope you get yours.
aml1982, will try contacting MP from my hometown again, not sure he cares though. Out of all the emails I sent sent I have received zero response, Embassy in Washington, Ottawa, Vancouver have not responded. Ditto with FCO, no response, ditto with careline complaint. Would be nice if these folk could do the jobs they were paid to do. Also sent off tips to several canadian news sites, CBC, Global and CTV and they're not interested either.
Worse now that because of all the sleepless nights over this, hubby and I are arguing because I have spent so much on this vacation and it's just wasted now...

oh gosh! you too??

I felt for sure that a miracle would happen by now as I was feeling pretty optimistic last week. This week,not so much. It would be an absolute nightmare if this trip gets delayed. I have to get the kid in school for September which only leaves me a couple of weeks to find a roof over our heads AND a job. I really need this additional stress. NOT!!!

Hoping my optimism returns very soon so I can go back to thinking positive thoughts for all of us. If not, the stress of it all is going to kill me and we'll have no need for the stupid passports!

Boguespierre Jul 9th 2011 2:46 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by Boguespierre (Post 9467912)
So (3)...

Left a couple of voicemails with helpful Jackie in Boston, but no response yet. Fair enough, they're probably up to their necks in ETD requests.

Something slightly worrying just occurred to me. When I sent off the application back in April I never entered a Travel Date on the form. We didn't have an exact idea back then, but knowing it was a good 4 months away meant I didn't think it should be an issue. Does the lack of a Travel Date on the form de-prioritize your application?

I know it's a very un-British thing to do, but does putting an artificially early Travel date on your forms push you up the queue?

So...(4)

GOT THE PASSPORT!

Came home last night after a week away, and there it was - issued July 4th.

Which makes our particular timeline:

April 27th - application arrived DC
May 31st - card charged
June 29th - found this site, got nervous, phoned Boston Consulate, phoned Careline and got a case number
June 30th - Left Boston Consulate a voicemail with case number
July 4th - Passport issued

Looking at other people's timelines, it looks like SOMETHING happened to expedite things. It could have been the Careline person, it could have been Jackie at the Consulate (she never called me back, so I don't know), or a combination of the two. Interestingly, I never claimed mine was a particularly urgent case (travel date August 25th), though I expressed some concern.

Only special factor I can think of was that my son could not have used an ETD for residence in France. That never came up during my Careline discussion, but Jackie knew about it. So warm thanks to her, I guess!

Best of luck to everyone else. Maybe this is just a sign that the logjam is starting to clear.

Based upon my experience, I would advise:
(1) Phone Careline around 6PM Eastern; from a regular landline; have a credit card handy. Just emphasize that you want your case logged and for them to give you a case number.
(2) Phone your nearest Consulate and press the buttons for Emergency Travel - leave a voicemail and they should call you back. You may well need to speak to them about an ETD anyway.

BellaE Jul 9th 2011 5:30 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by Boguespierre (Post 9485111)
So...(4)

GOT THE PASSPORT!

Came home last night after a week away, and there it was - issued July 4th.

Which makes our particular timeline:

April 27th - application arrived DC
May 31st - card charged
June 29th - found this site, got nervous, phoned Boston Consulate, phoned Careline and got a case number
June 30th - Left Boston Consulate a voicemail with case number
July 4th - Passport issued

Looking at other people's timelines, it looks like SOMETHING happened to expedite things. It could have been the Careline person, it could have been Jackie at the Consulate (she never called me back, so I don't know), or a combination of the two. Interestingly, I never claimed mine was a particularly urgent case (travel date August 25th), though I expressed some concern.

Only special factor I can think of was that my son could not have used an ETD for residence in France. That never came up during my Careline discussion, but Jackie knew about it. So warm thanks to her, I guess!

Best of luck to everyone else. Maybe this is just a sign that the logjam is starting to clear.

Based upon my experience, I would advise:
(1) Phone Careline around 6PM Eastern; from a regular landline; have a credit card handy. Just emphasize that you want your case logged and for them to give you a case number.
(2) Phone your nearest Consulate and press the buttons for Emergency Travel - leave a voicemail and they should call you back. You may well need to speak to them about an ETD anyway.

Well this gives me hope, as my timeline is:
  • sent April 30
  • CC charged June 3
  • Called Careline and got a case number July 7

Haven't tried the consulate yet though...
CONGRATULATIONS!!!:thumbsup:

Hotscot Jul 9th 2011 5:53 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 
This may or may not encourage some people.

Application was received @ May 23rd.

Card charged June 17th

Passport received July 8th


(Saturday 2nd I called Careline, got through in two minutes. Spoke to nice young man called, I think, Scott. Explained my urgent travel, specifically stated that I sent application while it said 4-6 weeks on website.
This may be important, he issued me with a case number with letter 'R' appended to it. This apparently denotes an escalation; at least that's what he said.)

Shazban Jul 9th 2011 6:12 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by hotscot (Post 9485307)
This may or may not encourage some people.

Application was received @ May 23rd.

Card charged June 17th

Passport received July 8th


(Saturday 2nd I called Careline, got through in two minutes. Spoke to nice young man called, I think, Scott. Explained my urgent travel, specifically stated that I sent application while it said 4-6 weeks on website.
This may be important, he issued me with a case number with letter 'R' appended to it. This apparently denotes an escalation; at least that's what he said.)

This is definitely encouraging. Your app was received a few days after mine and your cc charged a few days before mine. I called careline on the 1st and also got a ref number with an R at the end. although i did call again yesterday and was told it hadn't been processed yet but, I'm going to stop fretting at least until the end of next week. LOL!!

Although, I don't think I put a travel date on the form because at the time I hadn't booked the tickets yet. Yesterday careline took down my flight details so maybe that will get something moving.

GBGIRAFFE Jul 9th 2011 10:13 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by Bob (Post 9482250)
even simpler would be to read the donkeyed stuck threads up top at the root of this forum.

IMPORTANT - PASSPORT APPLICATIONS!!!! READ ME!!!!

That one for instance.

Thanks for the reply, Bob. I have no idea what "donkeyed stuck threads up top at the root of this forum" means! I followed the link you gave me, and it led me back to this exact thread. Sue's link led me to the Passsport Office page that tells me how to apply for an ETD. I'm sorry I haven't explained myself properly. I'm looking for someone who has actually been to the Consulate to get an ETD to let me know how it went and if they got the ETD without much trouble or explanations. Is it an Emergency (in the Consulate's eyes) if I have a vacation booked and have no passport?

eanne06 Jul 10th 2011 3:35 am

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by hotscot (Post 9485307)
This may or may not encourage some people.

Application was received @ May 23rd.

Card charged June 17th

Passport received July 8th


(Saturday 2nd I called Careline, got through in two minutes. Spoke to nice young man called, I think, Scott. Explained my urgent travel, specifically stated that I sent application while it said 4-6 weeks on website.
This may be important, he issued me with a case number with letter 'R' appended to it. This apparently denotes an escalation; at least that's what he said.)


Hmm. I spoke with Scott on July 3, told him the same story, and he also gave me a reference # with an R. He said to expect to hear back from the embassy within 3 days. Waited, heard nothing, called back and spoke with a scottish woman. She said to wait an additional week. Still haven't heard anything. Was yours a renewal or a first time?

eanne06 Jul 10th 2011 3:51 am

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by eanne06 (Post 9485818)
Hmm. I spoke with Scott on July 3, told him the same story, and he also gave me a reference # with an R. He said to expect to hear back from the embassy within 3 days. Waited, heard nothing, called back and spoke with a scottish woman. She said to wait an additional week. Still haven't heard anything. Was yours a renewal or a first time?

Also, they have not yet charged my credit card.

Hotscot Jul 10th 2011 3:58 am

Re: Passport Delays
 
Actually on another call I was told they'd only call back if there was some issue with the application and that if I had an R number that it was being expedited behind the scenes.

Mine was a renewal.

Unfortunately I believe they won't do a thing until the card is charged and the application is then in their system.


(I became a US citizen last week. My new US passport took 48 hours from application to delivery. The UK situation is a National disgrace.)

Shazban Jul 10th 2011 4:02 am

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by hotscot (Post 9485841)
Actually on another call I was told they'd only call back if there was some issue with the application and that if I had an R number that it was being expedited behind the scenes.

Mine was a renewal.

Unfortunately I believe they won't do a thing until the card is charged and the application is then in their system.


(I became a US citizen last week. My new US passport took 48 hours from application to delivery. The UK situation is a National disgrace.)

I'm beginning to wonder if those careline reps just make stuff up to appease us. I was told the same thing but I don't believe it for a second! We are paying them to BS us in my opinion.


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