18th December 2011

News and weather too depressing. Time to lighten up. I know, I'll apply for a new passport. It expires in March and you can't travel within 6m of the end date. And so the saga began.  Why does everything need to be so difficult?  First thing to notice is that the application system for French expats has changed. You now need to apply to the Embassy in Paris. But where's the address?  Must have spent hours scrolling before finally finding it: Paris Regional Passport Processing Centre, 18 rue d'Anjou, 75008 Paris. All-important website: ukinfrance.fco.gov.uk. Next big problem is the price.  For 2 people, total cost was c.350 euros!  Have to start saving for the next one now.  After locating 2 willing 'official' people who have known you for 2 years, they countersign the form and photos to say 'I certify that this is a true likeness of....'.  I've never been photogenic, but mine looked so unbelievably ugly, their statement made us all laugh. Anyway, the price includes return of the passports by special courier. But why, when we had to pay twice for 2, did they both come returned in one envelope! Don't even think of contacting the Embassy. Only fight the battles you've got a chance of winning.
After inspecting the new e-passports, complete with embedded e-chips, Him indoors commented:  oh good, now even our travelling will be virtual.  Might as well stay embedded at home then.

1 comment:

Vintagemaison said...

We have same problem coming up. A friend sent her application through her family in UK - saved around €100 on her son's passport. Not strictly the correct thing to do but very tempting.

Last time we went up to Paris for a passport, we approached the door and the queue was literally hundreds of people long and frankly, a bit of a rabble, pushing and shoving and yelling. The security guard saw us, obviously British and middle aged, took me by the arm and escorted us to the front and in through the door. I have never been so embarrassed in my life. There were - and apparently always are - many non EU people applying for visas and I guess some of them are a bit desperate. It was awful outside, but inside was a little haven of peace and a step back to Britain from the 1950s!

So, if you do decide to get one from Paris, be prepared.