It all started when my co-traveller Maria tried applying for a Turkish visa. The process did not go as planned. She did not get her visa, rather she recieved an automated email response which she then forward to me.
British passport renewal process
A few months previously Maria went through the process of renewing her British passport and her daughters. As her co-travellers, I was kept informed of the progress. I marvelled at the fact that the British passport renewal process had been simplified and digitised. The whole application process was done on her phone. Including the photograph taking. No signature needed. No checking by post office. No office to visit. Simply follow their instructions to take your picture then upload said picture in your application and send, all on her phone. Within 2wks she had recieved her passports. she was also kept informed by text of each stage of her application.
Turkish visa application
A few days later, after Maria’s failed attempt to apply for her Turkish visa, I decided to try applying for mine. My plan was that if I failed, then I was going to be forced to try and locate the Turkish embassy in person. I was immediately dreading this plan because I did not have the capacity, the time to go and physically look for a building in London.
I had previously glanced at the Turkish visa website, some months back. Actually it was last year. It was at the time when I was booking the holiday and I was informed of the requirement for a visa. At that time it seemed easy enough. The visa site claimed that the visa application was in 3 easy steps. Ofcourse I believed what the website said and I put that thought away.
I got my Turkish visa
So on Monday 22/7/19, I decided to test the Turkish visa application process for myself. I started with my own application first. Inputting the details on my passport into the phone. I had 3 applications to make. Within 5 mins, I had applied for and had recieved my Turkish visa. Praise be to God.
I immediately sent my friends (co-travellers) the exciting news. “Guys I’ve got my visa ooo, go and make your visa application”. I was excited, very very pleased. Thinking at that moment that I should just sort this thing out once and for all, for the rest of my travelling party as we are travelling in a few weeks.
I took up the next application and started the process. I typed in all the personal details. Expiry date of the passport needed. Located the expired date. It was at this precise moment that several things happened at once. I not only realised, but can I say that it dawned on me with a heap of confusion and emotions that the other passports were expired. They both expired on 21/7/19. At that moment of discovery, I went through the emotions that would have taken me straight to see my Chi (God). It was indeed an epic fight or flight moment.
British Passport renewal
The first thing I did was to shout “the passports have expired ooooo”. Immediately realising that shouting will not help me. And the responses and questions that followed will definately make things worse. That shout was followed by complete silence…the only thing I said for a long time. As my brain started doing the arithmetic. Within 10 minutes of this realisation, (still positioned in bed) I had gone through that fear, anger, irritation and solution mood. I alone could solve this situation. No need to shout and scream. Give myself high blood pressure for people who are playing game and on their iPad.
Within 10mins I had done my calculations and decided to renew both passports using the 7 day renewal process. I had technically one first adult passport and one child ( till next year) passport. So even though I was excited about using the new digital process for the first adult passport. I did not want to be in two different passport application processes. Thats two different stressors. So the 7 day process it was to be for all applications.
The anxiety of the British passport application process
I immediately booked the appointment for Friday 25/7/19. I had 3 days to collect and complete the application forms, pictures and counter signature included. Can I just say that the British passport application process has a way of generating undue stress and anxiety. It doesn’t help that the application form is now accompanied by a booklet that adds to confuse you even more. Up until both passports were accepted I could say that the anxiety level was unrelenting. What if?…..
Adult passport due
I am glad that the next passport renewal process will be carried out by the main applicant themselves who by then will be well into their 20’s.
I am now waiting for their regular text reminder. I was assured that I will receive the passports by next Friday….