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American passports......AAAARRRRGGHHH!!!! - Page 2

post #21 of 38
I thought I might avoid this. But remember rules are different depending on if one parent is a US citizen or both are. Since my husband is not American I can only pass on my citizenship to my dd if I lived in the States for a certain number years after the age of 14. I have to prove it by submitting my transcripts from high school. I barely qualify. If they bug me about her citizenship I'm going to tell them I'm not eligible to pass it on.
post #22 of 38
Quote:
I thought I might avoid this. But remember rules are different depending on if one parent is a US citizen or both are. Since my husband is not American I can only pass on my citizenship to my dd if I lived in the States for a certain number years after the age of 14. I have to prove it by submitting my transcripts from high school. I barely qualify. If they bug me about her citizenship I'm going to tell them I'm not eligible to pass it on.
Hmmmm...I know that is the official policy, but I think so much depends on the mood of the embassy official We were in the same boat (I am a US citizen who had been living abroad for a number of years, my dh is not a citizen), but no one asked me to prove anything when we applied for dd's consular report of birth abroad and US passport. I guess we got lucky
post #23 of 38
Quote:
I know dealing with all the US laws can be a pain. I wanted to go on a visit to see some family after not seeing them for 3 years. My husband, daughter (dual citizen) and I couldn't go because they labelled my husband a "Russian bride" (they even used those words in his interview) and said he was too risky and we'd have to apply for the greencard. Which is what we had to do. Russian Bride my ass! We've been together for five years, married for three and we have a baby. If it was a joke, don't you think we would have gone to America in the first 3 years we were together? I fought with them, it did no good. Bah on them.
Aargh That is just so insulting on many levels :

As for the result, though, they were following the law by not granting your dh a tourist visa. I know of a few exceptions, but generally spouses of US citizens are not eligible for US tourist visas as they are de facto potential immigrants (and the law specifically states that a potential immigrant is not eligible for a tourist visa). It is stupid and I will be first to say that our immigration system is in deperate need of a massive overhaul, but at least they were ultimately following the current law (as opposed to just discriminating against you as their nasty comments would otherwise indicate).
post #24 of 38
Thread Starter 
Well now that is interesting. My DH didn't have any dramas when he wanted to go the US with me as my spouse in 1997 & in 2001.

Are you all saying that if he were travelling on to the US (he's not, this time) from Europe, he might have trouble getting a temp. visa because he has the misfortune to be married to a dual citizen American?? If so, that's kinda of freaky to me...... Again, I do wonder why it is a benefit to have dual US nationality (other than voting & having absolute right to visit my parents immediately should they become seriously ill).....


.......................


(and thanks guys for the internet fraud sympathy, too, i'm still working all that out- will be doing the stat dec thing at the bank tomorrow, submitting police report #s, etc. Personally, I hate to having to deal with the police...)
post #25 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by aussiemum View Post
Well now that is interesting. My DH didn't have any dramas when he wanted to go the US with me as my spouse in 1997 & in 2001.

Are you all saying that if he were travelling on to the US (he's not, this time) from Europe, he might have trouble getting a temp. visa because he has the misfortune to be married to a dual citizen American??

It can be a problem. A lot really does depend on the mood of the person processing the visa request (there can be A LOT of inconsistency in how the regulations are interpreted and enforced even from day to day--I have worked on exchange programs and seen near identical candidates get VERY different results on their visa applications). It also depends to some degree on the country of the person's citizenship--some citizenships are more "suspicious" than others and therefore are subject to stricted interpretation of regulations.

But here for example:

http://www.visa2003.com/visa.htm

Quote:
Meeting conditions to qualify for a U.S. visa.

All applicants for the visa to The United States must show not only that they qualify to receive a visa under the Immigration and Nationality Act, but they also have to demonstrate that they are not intending immigrants. bThe USCIS treats every visitor to the U.S. as a potential immigrant. In order to demonstrate otherwise visa applicants have to show that:

- they are coming to America to conduct business, for medical treatment, or for pleasure i.e. to visit family members, friends, or as tourists.

- they will stay in the U.S. for a certain period of time

- they have an established residence in another country, and "binding ties" which can insure that they will return back to their countries. Examples of those ties are: owning a property, having a family, employment in their country, and community ties.
A consular official CAN interpret this as meaning that any spouse of a US citizen is potential immigrant whose ties to his/her home country are no longer strong enough to ensure that he/she return at the end of the visa.

HOWEVER, some officials have no problem allowing for a tourist visa EVEN WHEN they know in advance that the visitor intends to adjust status after arriving in the US. I have seen that as well, although not very often.

So it is always something of a crap shoot, in my opinion. If you win over the consular official, you'll get your visa. If not, you won't.
post #26 of 38
Thread Starter 
For me, I have now accepted my fate where it applies to US passports. I have tried, & spent god knows how much on the phone bill, but the reality is that the kids & I will be flying to Sydney mid-April for a consulate visit. I don't know where we are staying yet, but we are going to Sydney for those American passports. It is going to cost around $2000 for us three (as US citizens, with dual nationality) to enter the US for 19 days. If we were straight up Aussies, it would be free.....

I am coming to terms with that....


And because I am the person that I am.... I will not take this lying down. I am writing a letter of complaint to the US Ambassador to Australia (Robert McCallum, Jr.), who presumably works in this place in Sydney (that I have to visit), & also to the US-Ohio representative that I am paying so much money for the priviledge of having as a representative.

Quite frankly, this new law is an ass for anybody who lives overseas with children.
post #27 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by aussiemum View Post
and just as an afterthought- alcyone, my dd's first passport photo was taken at 6 weeks. It took at least an hour for me to balance her on the chair, with the right colour background, without any visible influence from me. It was a requirement that she sat up straight. At 6 weeks .


You'd think I'd be used to this sort of thing, eh? :
I remember doing the same thing for my first Ds. I had dressed him in coveralls, and sort of hung him up over the stool they use to take the pics on, luckily he held his head up long enough to take the shot, it was still a bit lopsided, but what the heck he was 6weeks old. I never realized we needed our US passports to enter US, the whole family is Dual, we enter US on US passports and UK on Uk passports, it's flippin expensive having 10 passports in my lock box. Three are due for renewal this summer, 2 UK and 1 US.
post #28 of 38

how to take passport pics of baby

Quote:
Originally Posted by MCR View Post
I remember doing the same thing for my first Ds. I had dressed him in coveralls, and sort of hung him up over the stool they use to take the pics on, luckily he held his head up long enough to take the shot, it was still a bit lopsided, but what the heck he was 6weeks old. US.
Not so much to say on US passports. But an idea for taking passport pics of baby:
I did it 3x with a baby between 2-3 months old, for Belgian passports:
I held the baby on my lap, slightly reclined so that the head would not flip too much forward, and had a bright white cloth diaper draped over my front, so that baby was 'sitting upright' and the background was evenly white/neutral. Nowadays it is done digitally so background can be adjusted if shadows still occur. I first inquired at the photographer's if he could take the pictures while the baby was lying down on a white cloth, but got a no.
You can also check immediately if the picture was good or not and let photographer take as many shots until you got the perfect picture of baby in the right position, and you let that one be developed. So the cost is the same.
Suppose the baby's head does not show fully upright in the picture and you see more of it's 'high forehead' than a real frontal shot would do, I'm sure it will still be accepted for the passport. Belgium got strict rules for passport photographs too, but our consulate hasn't rejected any of the ones we brought.
post #29 of 38
Pippi L., this is true and applies to a generation until around 1985 when the law was changed again. My sister is one of them and when she birthed a child in Germany, she just went to the consulate and got a "Report of Birth Abroad" for her child. Nobody ever asked her when she had last lived in the U.S.. You could do that, too, you have nothing to lose.

To you others who were mentioning "applying for US citizenship" for your children: You need not apply for U.S. citizenship if you are American and eligible to pass on citizenship. You just get a "Report of Birth Abroad" for the child, that is NOT the same as naturalization. Applying for citizenship would be N600, very expensive and totally not needed in your case. The Report of Birth Abroad is basically registering your child and costs no more than a few bucks if anything at all.

And yes, U.S. law demands that every U.S. citizen enter the States with a valid U.S. passport. BTW, Germany for example does not demand this, I can enter Germany either with my German or with my U.S. passport. Gotta know your country's demands.
post #30 of 38
Oh, and for the passport picture: I laid the baby on a grey cloth on the floor and the photographer took the picture from above. No head bobbing here.
post #31 of 38
i took all the passport photos and when they were babies I just laid them down flat on a beige carpet and it was fine.

in Japan we have to appear in person for renewals because of international kidnapping fears... a few years ago we could renew by mail, but now we must appear in person... both mother, father and child.... on a week day.. rather expensive to travel to the consulate and troublesome....

my husband keeps questioning the need for 2 passports, but I think having both is security for both of us.... and also probably necessary for entering and returning to either country.

It's kind of a drag being a double culture family. Not as "cool" as everyone thinks....
post #32 of 38
Aussiemom,

I'm so sorry about all the hassle you're going through. And to have it be topped off by internet fraud is just not fair! I'm so sorry.

I so understand your passport drama. You make me realize that I'm fortunate that I live in Rome and the US embassy is right here. I am sorry that you have to spend so much to comply with US rules.




Quote:
Originally Posted by RachelEve14 View Post
Be very careful trying to get a child into the US without a US passport. I know someone who tried to bring their kids in on the UK passports and they were refuesed entry since they are "potential" citizens (even though they weren't citizens at the time). Since they qualified for citizenship, they couldn't get in on a non US passport.

Here they went to an appointment system and it takes about 6 months for an appointment. I have to bring the baby at some point, but we aren't planning on traveling any time soon so I'm putting it off and hoping they work the kinks out of the appointment system soon
:

Quote:
Originally Posted by aussiemum View Post
Well now that is interesting. My DH didn't have any dramas when he wanted to go the US with me as my spouse in 1997 & in 2001.

Are you all saying that if he were travelling on to the US (he's not, this time) from Europe, he might have trouble getting a temp. visa because he has the misfortune to be married to a dual citizen American?? If so, that's kinda of freaky to me...... Again, I do wonder why it is a benefit to have dual US nationality (other than voting & having absolute right to visit my parents immediately should they become seriously ill).....


.......................


(and thanks guys for the internet fraud sympathy, too, i'm still working all that out- will be doing the stat dec thing at the bank tomorrow, submitting police report #s, etc. Personally, I hate to having to deal with the police...)
I've never had any trouble when DH (Italian) has traveled to California with me. They even let him through the line with me since he is my husband, he didn't need to stand in the "Non US passport holders" line. But maybe the policy for Europeans is different for Russians???


Quote:
Originally Posted by Alcyone View Post
You have to have an interview to get a passport? Erm… why? Yeah, I'm confused now too!

We are going to the US in December and I am giving birth in September. So I think I just have to not apply for citizenship for the baby until after the trip, because that's not enough time to process all the BS to get baby a US passport. Getting a Danish one will be relatively straightforward.

And yeah, I'm jealous you can do dual too!
It's been said before, but it's worth repeating.
Anyone who has the right to be a US citizen (ie: the child of a US citizen) must enter the US with a US Passport.

Due to Italian Bureaucracy () I wasn't going to get DD's US passport in time, so I just thought I'd travel with her Italian Passport. Then I was informed that we would be turned away at the boarder. The mere thought of flying 15 hours, arriving exhausted, and then being told I had to trun around and go back was enough for me to do anything I needed to get the US passport in time. In the end, since I'd already purchased the tix the Wonderful folks at the Passport office issued me a temporary US "non citizen" passport that was good only for 3 months. By that time the single piece of paper that I needed from the Italians would be ready and I could complete DD's US "Report of birth abroad" and get her Real US passport.

Oh, and for the Photo, we put a white cloth on DD's bouncy seat and proped her up on that and then took a bunch of photos til we got one that was good enough. ("Eyes Open, Not Crying") There was a wee bit of shadow in the background, but no one said anything about it.

I could go on and Rant a bit too, but DD needs me now.

GOOD LUCK!!!
post #33 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by umsami View Post
We went through this with all of our kids. They were all around one month when we got their first passports. Somebody later recommended to me that I put a white poster board on the ground, and lie DC on it. Worked much easier... and no worries about a little piece of my hand showing.
with ds1 (9 months old), the photographer put a white sheet behind him while he was sitting in a stroller, and took the photo that way.

With ds2 (3 months old), he laid a sheet on the floor, then photographed him lying on his back, photographer shooting the photo straight down.

Dead easy.

RE: dual... both my boys qualify for dual US/UK (actually, they are triads - US/UK/Ireland). We haven't bothered to get them UK or Irish passports, though ds1 is registered with the embassy. But I travel into the UK on my Irish Passport, DH on his British. Never had a problem so far, but then the US immigration is notorious for being more insane than most...

also, I know the rules for getting passports got A LOT more stringent after 9/11 (similarly to how the rules for driver's licenses got insane around here - our local DMV gave one of the hijackers his VA driver's license, which resulted in the DMV changing its rules where they wouldn't accept my marriage certificate because it was outside the US, but that is another thread for another time). Add on to that the biometric passport requirements... the backlog in the US of passport applications is only now clearing out.
post #34 of 38
We are a dual nationality family as well. We now live in the US, but we did live in England for several years. After my fist child was born in the UK, we took a family trip to the US to show off the baby to my family. He only had a British passport at that time, and the stateside entry and exit were uneventful. He didn't get a US passport until a couple of years later. We've done the same thing, as well as the opposite, several times now with different kids, and nothing has ever been mentioned.

Good luck!
post #35 of 38
When you go through, do you all go through as a family? I'm wondering if this has something to do with it. DH only has a Danish passport and I only have a US passport. I have been told that technically we could go through the same line at the airport since we're married but we haven't had the chance since the wedding so it hasn't come up. Maybe the people who "get away with" not giving the kid a US passport are just having the kid go with the parent who has the matching passport, in a separate line?
post #36 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alcyone View Post
When you go through, do you all go through as a family? I'm wondering if this has something to do with it. DH only has a Danish passport and I only have a US passport. I have been told that technically we could go through the same line at the airport since we're married but we haven't had the chance since the wedding so it hasn't come up. Maybe the people who "get away with" not giving the kid a US passport are just having the kid go with the parent who has the matching passport, in a separate line?
I hold a Philippine passport and whenever I enter the US with my husband, I go through the same line as DH does (DH is a US citizen).

If travelling alone though, I have to go through the alien line.
post #37 of 38
Sorry if my question wasn't clear. I'm asking specifically about taking a child through. That is, if you and your DH go through together with a child vs. if the child + one parent go in one line and the other parent goes in another line.
post #38 of 38
Thread Starter 
I don't know the answer to your question, Alcyone, but I can report back that two days ago the kids & I went through passport control in Washington DC with our freshly minted American passports, & it was an absolute breeze. Took five minutes, not counting baggage & customs stuff.

Believe it or not, every guard we have met has been rather nice- a bit formal of course, but nice.

London Heathrow airport, however, was an absolute nightmare. When they say get to the airport 3 hours before your international flight, they really do mean it. We spent the night on the floor of Terminal 3, & by the time we finished brushing our teeth at 5am & went to join the queue for section G, it was several hundred people long. For an 8am flight. I barely had time for a nasty coffee before we had to board the plane.
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