|Heading to Canadian Consulate in Cancun|
No … not Mexico, but in Canada – and the USA.
It’s time. Time for us to renew our passports, and since we live year-around in Mexico we decided to renew from here. First we travelled to the Canadian Consulate in the hotel zone of Cancún to obtain the proper forms. We were told we could not use the quick renewal process requiring only two new photos and our old passport. This service is available to Canadians living in Canada, USA, Lebanon, Guinea, Cape Verde, Gambia and Senegal. It is not available to the estimated 500,000 Canadians living full or part-time in Mexico. We are given the long form to fill in, requiring two new photographs, a qualified guarantor such as a lawyer or doctor, our birth certificates, and our old passports.
A week later: okay, got it all. We returned to the Cancún Consulate and paid for two passport renewals in exact cash – no change available, and no credit cards accepted. The Consul checked our forms for errors and told us to send the completed forms and the receipt, with a pre-paid return envelope included to the Canadian Embassy in Mexico City. Done.
|Filling out request for new birth certificate|
Then we waited. I emailed the Canadian Embassy in Mexico City twice. “Did you receive our applications?” The first reply was: “We don’t do visa applications.” Really? Well, that is certainly a useful, or perhaps, useless piece of information. “Again, did you receive our applications?” No response.
And we waited some more. Two and a half weeks later the Consul in Cancún phoned to say there was a problem with my passport application. My birth certificate was no longer valid. You can probably feel the steam coming from my ears by now. “Not valid? I have had my birth certificate for 70+ years – and now it’s no good! Did I exceed the best-before-date?”
UPS in Cancun – birth certificate arrives
So, back to the computer I go. I obtained the necessary forms on-line from the Manitoba government, downloaded, printed, and filled in the appropriate spaces. But the Manitoba government will not accept a scanned copy. The completed form must be faxed. With much searching around on the island I located an internet business that had an antique fax machine, disconnected, but available for use after a warm-up period. Off goes my application, along with my credit card information to pay for the $100.00 speedy approval and expedited return courier service. Wow! They did an eighteen hour turnaround. The new birth certificate was on its way.
|UPS in Cancun – and birth certificate leaves|
For once, both Canada and the USA, have out-bureaucrat-ed Mexico!