A Maze of Paperwork: An American Passport for My Daughter
We have a story to tell about trying to get an American Passport for our daughter Cassandra. We were going to the Cayman Islands for a wedding and wanted to take her with us, so we decided we better get a passport ASAP. We were set to leave in about two months so we thought that we had plenty of time. We went down to the Passport office in the post office in Burbank and paid the extra money to get it back ASAP in case there were any problems, (and there were).
About three or four days later we got a letter from the Passport Office saying that we needed a Certificate of Citizenship. We had given them the Court order Delayed Registration of Birth (the same one we all received). They were not satisfied. So we didn't know where to start. We called the INS and after about a dozen phone calls we found out that we needed an N-643 form to get the Certificate we needed. They will send it to you free. So we ordered it and about a week later and they sent the wrong one. So again we requested the form and we finally got the right one.
They wanted almost all the same paper work, as did everyone else and a fee of $85. We sent $85 and they sent it back saying they wanted $80--this was another delay. Send only copies, as they will want you to bring the originals to the interview. As you can tell time was starting to run out for us to take Cassandra with us so we made other arrangements just in case. We then sent in the forms with all the copies they asked for and sent it registered so we were sure they received it. By now we had found out it takes about six months in order to get an interview, although it took us almost seven. It was fortunate that we had made other arrangements for our trip.
The interview was very easy, only one parent
needs to go, but be prepared to sit a long time. It took us almost Three Hours and there is nothing around there for kids to do. When you are at the INS Office bring extra Passport size pictures, they lost ours and luckily we had some or we would have had to go back.
So if you are planning any trips out of the country, plan way in advance to get your passport because it can be very involved and very time consuming!
The Form, N-643 800-870-FORM, goes to:
· U.S. Department of Justice
Immigration & Naturalization Services
U.S. Department of Justice
300 North Los Angeles Street
Los Angeles, California
The office we went to was -
· Immigration & Naturalization Services
9858 Artesia Boulevard,
Bellflower, California 90706
© David and Fran Abbott