Passport Office fuck up (1st child passport) means Christmas is cancelled...

(130 Posts)
Umlauf Tue 12-Nov-13 17:47:40

... and DSs Christening.

He was born at the end of September. Knowing it would take 6 weeks to apply for his passport I rang the passport office before his birth to triple check what we would need. Was given a list over the phone.

Rang back after his birth to confirm again as was ready to send everything off. Was told to add his four grandparents' birth and marriage certificates to envelope. As these now had to be ordered urgently they were at a cost of 25 pounds each (Spoke to 2 different people at both gave a different list of required contents, but went with the longest list.)

Obtained birth certificates exactly 6 weeks before our flights home for Christmas. Rang a fourth time to go through everything. Everything ticked off and ok to send, hurrah!

Yesterday we get an email to say they need his Spanish birth certificate as well as the international one the previous four people said was the correct one. This needs to be officially translated first which takes 3 days. By the time its done there will be 3 weeks until our flights, not to mention the one week postage time either way..

We're not going are we. Our friends and family aren't going to meet DS, all DHs (and my!) Christmas presents are there, I'll have to cancel his Christening... The total costs of the palaver comes to over a grand now taking the flights, passport crap and car hire into account.. Plus my grandfather is pretty ill and I'm not sure he'll even get to meet his first and only great grandchild now..

How do I complain? On the phone they keep fobbing me off. I'm really upset. I know its a first world problem, but still!

zipzap Tue 12-Nov-13 19:08:49

It's definitely worth ringing up the embassy in tears bs asking what the blazes can be done to get your ds his first passport and if they could help, emphasising poorly grandfather etc. They might even be able to advise you about a Spanish passport or some other solution.

Good luck - there's 6 weeks until Christmas so hopefully they can sort something out for you.

SoupDragon Tue 12-Nov-13 19:08:58

How does a baby born abroad by accident get home?

Umlauf Tue 12-Nov-13 19:09:58

Oh fuck. Really?

What do people who have babies abroad, say prematurely, do?

Emergency Travel Documents are your best bet imo.

I just got my own passport renewed and after reading up on it and talking to the PO, I decided it was probably safer to go to the UK and get the 1-day fast track service. I didn't fancy getting stuck for 4 -6 weeks without a passport (and indeed any way of identifying myself).

I do think they've made it ridiculously complicated. I don't think it's really feasable to expect UK nationals abroad to be without any travel or id documents for that length of time.

There must be babies born abroad all the time - on holiday, or while travelling etc. They must be able to get back to the UK, surely?

x-post with everyone! :O

Maryz Tue 12-Nov-13 19:23:58

It must be tempting to get into a car and drive, and hope the ferries don't check.

NOT that I'm advising it, but it must be tempting.

Umlauf Tue 12-Nov-13 19:26:16

Haha MAryz I just got a marketing email from euro tunnel and I said the same thing to DH!! Could wrap him up as a Christmas present and pretend he's a furby I already put the batteries in...

RandomMess Tue 12-Nov-13 19:27:09

I thought technically you didn't need a passport to enter the UK as a British citizen it just speeds up the process...

starkadder Tue 12-Nov-13 19:27:28

The 6 week processing time is mostly just waiting to get to the front of the queue though - so if you can send the Spanish bc off now, along with a letter explaining the situation plus your flight reservations, I think you should just have enough time.

Maryz Tue 12-Nov-13 19:28:23

You could just turn up innocently and say "oh, we are picking up his passport in London when we get there".

And pray.

Rosa Tue 12-Nov-13 19:28:29

Many years ago there was a British lady who gave birth in Italy 6 weeks early. I am sure that they applied for some kind of emergency travel document that was issued for them to travel one way only . I know that the father went to the embassy / consulate which was a representative office only and then he had to go to the main one in Italy to collect a document to travel . Maybe ask about that and then get the passport sent to your Uk address.

TeamSouthfields Tue 12-Nov-13 19:28:36

do it... it might come... mine took a week.after they had received everything

starkadder Tue 12-Nov-13 19:28:46

Also it is true what Randommess says. But I personally would not want to have an argument about this with Easyjet/BA/ someone at immigration.

Maybe try phoning the Passport Office and asking what if you've had a baby while you happen to be abroad (ie don't mention that you live there). I'd imagine that you can enter the UK with your and your DH's passports and the baby's birth certificate?

Maryz Tue 12-Nov-13 19:29:13

But it might come - I only realised my driving licence was out of date a few days before I went on holiday. I had resigned myself to long convoluted train transfers and blow me didn't it turn up the day before I left.

Miracles happen [hopeful]

galwaygirl Tue 12-Nov-13 19:29:17

Hi OP, ring the embassy.
We got an emergency Swedish passport from our local consulate as DD's first as we hadnt time to get any of the three to which she was entitled. Different country but still EU so would assume rules might be similar? It's definitely worth a try, don't give up yet!

starkadder Tue 12-Nov-13 19:29:56

And (final post!) a good translator should be able to do the birth cert translation same day for you.

runningmad Tue 12-Nov-13 19:33:22

MaryZ if you try to enter the UK without a passport at juxtaposed controls, yes even a baby, the answer is NO for very good reason. And if travelling by air, it's again NO. Having encountered trafficked babies, I do have to agree with this rule, no matter how cruel it is.

Technically YES you need to prove you're British to enter the UK without a passport and you can only do this at a port, not if flying, and without a passport and having never had one and being born abroad too, there is no automatic right to be British so it is a non starter to think a baby can enter the UK without a passport.

No ETDs for babies.

No-one actually works at the British embassy in Madrid you know!

PLEASE read the replies.

runningmad Tue 12-Nov-13 19:34:21

and no-one at Swedish embassies either which are also being closed down at the same rate as British ones, Galwaygirl you are either lucky or applied over 2 years ago.

Alanna1 Tue 12-Nov-13 19:34:35

OP, are any of the grandparents in the UK? Ask them to contact their MP. IUKBA has a MP liaison unit and can sometimes move faster for MPs. And keep asking nicely. Passports can come quickly. Particularly if any if the grandparents are active in their local constituencies, but any MP can write on behalf of their constituent. They should go and see the MP, with all the supporting evidence, and ask the MP politely if they could help.

RandomMess Tue 12-Nov-13 19:35:35

What gives a baby born abroad the right to be British?

SoupDragon Tue 12-Nov-13 19:37:31

British parents.

Maryz Tue 12-Nov-13 19:37:49

That was tongue in cheek, running. I distinctly said I wouldn't advise it.

runningmad Tue 12-Nov-13 19:38:46

Hopeforthebest, a baby's nationality is not determined by showing parents' passports and a birth certificate. British nationality is immensely complicated, however wikipedia has a very informative page on it and by reading it, you'll conclude that you cannot enter the UK without a passport for a baby hoping to individuals showing their passports and who could be anyone and not necessarily the parents will suffice as to entering the UK as a baby.

Trafficking babies is rare but it is terrible when it happens. I once had a Polish baby with staples in her chest trafficked, no passport, just told was Polish, trafficked by a stranger who dumped her on board and scarpered. done so that the baby could get better treatment for free on the NHS, hence staples in chest after heart operation. Imagine doing that, parents gave their baby to a stanger to leave on board a ferry heading to the UK hoping the baby'd be found and taken to hospital - baby contained instructions on heart defect hidden in covers.

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