Thursday, May 07, 2009

On bureaucracy

So my boys' passports have expired. They have always had Swedish passports, since at the time, the choice was Swedish or South African and we thought the former would be less problematic in the future. Given all the problems with the South African Home Office at the moment, this was a good call.

But Swedes are not permitted to hold two passports. Dual citizenship is not an option. Because we live in the UK, we have to demonstrate that they have not taken out British citizenship before the Swedish consulate will renew their passports.

We wrote a little letter to the British Home Office asking them to confirm this, so that we can get a move on with the renewals.

Yesterday some forms arrived. We have to fill these in, requesting "Confirmation of non-acquisition of British citizenship" at a cost of £75 (non-refundable).

So to satisfy the vagaries of the Swedish Home Office, we have to pay the UK Home Office £150 (two sons, remember). This is before the fees associated with getting the new passports.

Good thing I'm feeling so flush at the moment... NOT!


Caroline said...

Interesting - I've never heard of that before (proving that you are not a citizen). I would lodge a complaint and request that they accept a 'selverklæring' on the basis of the expense. Bloody expensive if you ask me!

Karyn Romeis said...

@Caroline - it's worth a shot, I guess. As you say, a ridiculous amount of money. What happened to innocent until proven guilty? ;o)

I notice that you have a lot in common with my husband in terms of your ramblings!