Posted by / Category Cultural Differences, Travel /

It was bound to happen. So it did. What am I talking about? Well, both my passports (the French & the British) had to be renewed. Don’t ask. It was all about some silly visa problems. On the bright side, I was going to do everything at once, and be done for the next 5 years. Well, at least that was the theory…

There was no two ways about it: I had to start. Renewing a passport doesn’t come cheap. If you must know, it costs £72.50 for the British passport. But on the bright side, I could do everything online. So I did. And I sent all the supporting documents by tracked mail, just to be on the safe side. I had almost forgotten about the whole thing when someone rang the bell and delivered me my brand new British passport. The whole process had taken less than 10 days. I was delighted.

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Needless to say, it was a different story with my French passport. Contrary to popular belief, renewing the French passport was more expensive than renewing my British passport. It was going to set me back by £73.28. I understood that it would have been cheaper if I was living in France but as I didn’t, that’s what it would cost. But the worst was yet to come: I needed an appointment at the French consulate. And the first available appointment that worked for me was on 15 of June (of course there were no available appointments on weekends). I was explained that I needed a whole suite of documents (from proof of address to birth certificate  -of me & my parents-…). The passport would be sent a few weeks after the appointment. Complete and utter nightmare. Why do the French have to make life si complicated for themselves? I don’t get it.

In short, I now have my brand new British passport, but I have no idea as to when I will get my French one. I suppose I will just have to wait and see…

To make matters even worse, I had to make a different passport application for my daughter. As it was her first British passport, I had to make an appointment . Guess what: they could offer an appointment on a Sunday. Yep, you read that right: on a SUNDAY.

This would simply never, ever have happened in France. I was stunned.

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  • Lynn Zubir

    Good on you on that British passport. I do have utter respect for any government that can create seamless, fast processes such as this. However, I understand the French side too, especially about working on weekends. The way I look at it, someone would have to sacrifice their weekend to come back to work, but hey, maybe with the excellent processes, it is minimal work after all?

    Hope your daughter’s appointment goes well!

    • Thanks Lynn. It all went well, and I am very pleased with the whole process…How is it in Malaysia? Are they also fast? I wonder.

      • Lynn Zubir

        In Malaysia, when it comes to $$$, everything is fast! It’s annoying and funny at the same time, given the whole 1MDB fiasco. Nowadays, passport renewal takes as short as an hour for the citizens. We have what the govt calls Urban Transformation Centers that open from morning right up to 10 pm!

  • Jacqueline

    I thought you had a EEC passport. Why do you need two passports?

    • Well, you never know with the referendum in June. And I need two passports when I get some visas done on one…

  • dth

    I need to get a French driving license. Uk process for a non-national is fill in form, write check, post both plus license.

    Here i have to go to the prefecture in toulouse with 12 documents and forms including a translation of my license, a points statement translated not more than 30 days old etc etc

    Why dont people strike here for what would improve their everyday lives: reducing bureaucracy?