14.9.07

Proud to be a Canadian?

Totally off topic, but, Passport Canada is completely insane.

OK, here's where the personal ranting starts. I sent my passport to the great Canadian government to be renewed in June. As of last week, it still hadn't come back, so I called them. They were cheerily pleasant while telling me that they still hadn't opened a file for me, and could I call back in October sometime when they might have more info? Sure, I mean, I don't need any identification saying that I'm in the US legally or anything. Feel free to keep my passport for 5 or 6 months. Longer if you need it!

For a few days, I went merrily on with my life, confident that at least my passport was crawling its way up the queue. Thought I might be able to travel outside the US by Christmas or something. Then, yesterday, a DHL package came. Inside? My passport, birth certificate, application form, pictures. Everything but a new unexpired passport. Why did they send it back untouched? Because my picture has a shadow on it. Not a shadow obscuring my face, mind you. Not an eagle-shaped hand shadow soaring through the background. Just a pale almost indiscernible 2 millimeter shadow, just next to my head – you know, where a shadow would naturally fall if there was, say, a light on in the room.

Can anyone tell me why this should be a problem? Please, because I'm pretty much ready to renounce my Canadian citizenship and just go full Brit instead of trying to get a magically shadowless picture and spending another $50 sending my passport off to be lost in the bowels of Passport Canada for the rest of the year.

On further investigation, I found that, according to good 'ol Passport Canada's website, fully "47% of all passport applications received from Canadians living in the United States are rejected. The primary cause for rejection is the quality of passport photos being submitted." Guys, did you ever consider that if you're rejecting that many applications based solely on picture quality, your regulations are way to frickin' harsh? My pictures were done by a pro passport picture taking person here in the US. Wanna bet they'd be perfectly fine for a US or European Union passport? I would. Arrggh!

1 comment:

Tim W. said...

Actually, you can blame the US government for the time your passport renewal is taking. Well, partly. When they started requiring a passport to cross the border, rather than just any government issued picture i.d., millions of Canadians seemed to all require a new passport immediately, thus completely swamping Passport Canada. Yes, the Canadian government could have simply thrown some money at the department in order to get them through this inundation of passport renewals, but that's government for you. No matter for what country.

Good luck.