|These are our passports- mine and the children's!|
This was supposed to be a rant post. You know, the one where I complain endlessly about the ridiculousness of international beaurocracy. The one where I describe in great detail how hard it is to get things done when everybody tells you something different, and in different languages.
But this won’t be that kinds of post. It will be a victorious post in which I describe in great detail how we managed to get Markian a passport and a Polish passport at that.
But first, I actually do need to rant, because what would a blog post be without a rant? So I don’t know if you read Anabelle’s post about her difficulties with getting married. Not due to problems between her (French) and her husband (Portuguese). But because, despite the EU has done a great deal to help couples like hers - and mine, getting any formalities done is still a pain in the neck. Besides, my experiences of getting married were rather similar, and also required international cooperation between three countries, help of both of our families, and lots of nerves. I still think it’s a miracle that we arranged a whole wedding in all of 4 months.
Another thing that annoys me even more is the way authorities deal with children who have a dual citizenship. I really wanted Klara to have both passports- a Polish and a German one. And then, as we like to say in Polish, “the stairs began”. Each country had different ideas on what had to be done in order to get a passport for a child. Some required us and the children to be registered in our home countries. Others didn’t want it and required proof of not being registered. It took thousands of phone calls, going to embassies, and asking both of our families to help us out with acquiring information and getting the necessary documents.
Another thing is that some countries prefer the children to have only one nationality, and the children then are required to choose. While for some expats this is not important, it is to me because I want my children’s many cultural identities to be mirrored in their official documents.
Getting passports for Klara and Julia was a nightmare, and we realized that we needed to go through it again. We are invited to a wedding in June and we’re taking Markian with us- this is a topic for another blog post. The wedding is in Italy and of course, we needed a passport for him.
Thus began the phone calls to embassies and family, the questions, the getting documents ready. We didn’t have all the documents to get a German passport for Markian. We didn’t have everything ready for a Polish one, either. Until I called the Polish embassy where the kind man explained that since this is Markian’s first passport, the document is not needed. He listed all the documents I needed and I had them all. We went to the embassy, anxious that we missed something or that the kind man on the phone forgot to mention some Very Important Document or other.
None of that happened. The lady smiled, took our 27 euro, and told me to come back next week to collect the passport. This Monday, I did just that. The passport is only valid for a year, but we can use it without problems, and we have a year to get all the necessary documents for a “real” passport (his is only temporary).
I am proud. Not only did the help come from my own country (thank you, Poland!), but Markian is the only one of my children to have a Polish passport. Again, yaaay for Poland!
What about you? Do your children have dual citizenship? Was it just as hard to get formalities done? Can you relate to this story?