Gary is currently in , Northwest Territories (Jul 25th, 2014)
 

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Passport Blues

Still no reply from the US Consulate in Melbourne after four days. The consulate is structured such that you cannot actually talk to any Americans if you go to the consulate. The lobby is a security area and they wont let you in unless you have an appointment already. The only way I can get an appointment is to lie on the form or get a reply from my email. I looked into lying on the form and the earliest I can get an appointment is on Feb. 28……10 days from now.

The site says I should mail my application in, but I’m worried that if they can’t reply to an email, if I put my passport into an envelope I’ll never see it again and I’ll be in deeper shit than I am right now. Also, I wont have a return address. If they can’t even schedule a 10 min appointment for 10 days, I’m not sure how they can process a passport in the time I’ll be in Melbourne.

My other option is to try the consulate in Sydney or the Embassy in Canaberra (both of which I’m visiting), or try another country entirely. I know from talking to staff in the Solomon Islands that the Papua New Guinea Embassy does do passports and my guess is that they aren’t that busy. If not that, I could try Singapore.

The key is to get it renewed before April 20. Many countries wont let you in if your passport has less than six months left. Mine expires in October, so that is my hard deadline.

How many people who travel require passport renewals? How often do Americans in Australia require it? They are good for 10 years. Something this simple and done so infrequently shouldn’t be this difficult. When I went to the embassy in Manila, I was able to just go in, take a number, and see someone at a window. It was just like going to the DMV. While going to the DMV isn’t a pleasant experience, it beats the hell out of having to schedule an appointment to go to the DMV.

  • 6 Comments... What's your take?

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Comments

  1. karma says:

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  2. Sire says:

    I’ll keep my fingers crossed for ya mate.

  3. Mo says:

    Best of luck to you.
    I have to go to the DMV tomorrow for a driver’s license renewal. I shall not complain now, thinking of your ordeal. Thanks for the perspective.

  4. Heidi says:

    It is amazing how much red tape there is in getting a passport renewed.
    Patience patience patience.
    I second going to a location that actually allows you to speak to people (customer service).

  5. Nicole says:

    I hope you get this solved soon!!
    Good Luck!

  6. Bick says:

    Gare-Bear: I had the EXACT situation – but in Brisbane and after I found out I was screwed for a trip to Malaysia. So, I was a “rush-job” and it cost me $100USD and only 24 hrs and I had a new Passport. I, of course, always travel with three copies in three different places of everything I might need to get a new PP and lo and behold, it paid off. I’d recommend going to another city and doing it there. I really had no problems in Brissy.

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About Gary Arndt

My name is Gary Arndt. In March 2007 I set out to travel around the world...
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