What came first...
The Hague Travel Blog› entry 1 of 2 › view all entries
As my daughters were both born in Australia from an Australian father and a Dutch mother they are lucky enough to have dual citizenship. This means that they have an Australian and a Dutch passport and can live in whichever country they choose without going through the hassles of applying for visa's etc. I consider this a great privilege. The first time my eldest daughter travelled outside of Australia was in 2003 and this is when we first applied for an Australian passport. As an Australian children's passport is only valid for 5 years this expired in 2008.
Since she is now living in The Netherlands she will have to renew her Australian passport on a regular basis because otherwise she will lose her Australian citizenship. Of course as she is a minor she can't do this herself but I have to do this for her. Now this sounds pretty simple right? Think again! This is what applying for her passport involved:
Call Australian Embassy in The Hague to get an application form. Fill out the appropriate sections of the forms and sign it in front of a witness. Get two passport photographs taken to Australian passport photograph standards. Of course these are different than the Dutch ones so they took a few tries and I had to pay for all of these. Then I had to find a guarantor to fill out a section of the form as well and they also had to sign the back of the passport photograph to say it was an actual photograph of my daughter. Now this sounds easy enough but there were the following requirements of the guarantor:
They had to have known Reagan for a minimum of one year. They had to be in an "approved" profession, for instance a lawyer, solicitor, police person or teacher. Now because we don't really know anyone like that personally apart from teacher's of course this caused a bit of a problem as Reagan's teacher hasn't known her for a year yet. In the end I got her pre-school teacher to sign the form and luckily this was accepted.
The next obstacle was the fact that BOTH parents have to give their consent for the application and as Reagan's dad lives in Australia this involved him getting another form and sign the parental consent section, then sending it to the Australian Passport Application people who then had to get it to the Australian Embassy in The Hague to get it matched up with my form.
I could also do the application by mail but as I had to include original birth certificates and my own Australian passport I thought it would be safer to do it in person. I didn't really trust the Dutch postal system to get everything there safely to be honest...
So all that done, I could make an appointment and that was April 23rd 2009 at noon.