Friday, 25 April 2008

British Bureaucracy at Its Best

Just got off the phone with the UK Border Agency, part of the Home Office. Found their website yesterday, but didn't call as they were having a 'reduced service' (AKA being on strike, I think to support the teachers' strike). After about a 7 minute wait and listening to 7 or 8 recordings nothing to do with me, thank goodness, I got a real person to ask my question.

I have a sticker in my old passport that gives me 'leave to remain' (love that phrase) for an indefinite period. Having just renewed my passport, how do I get that sticker in the new passport. Turns out there are two ways.

One - Post both passports to them, it will cost £160 and take between 4 and 14 weeks


Two - (silly me thought this would be the economy version) Book an appointment, show up in person in Croydon (near London) and it will be done on the same day; this costs £500 (+ the train fare, etc)

The third option is to carry both passports, but she didn't recommend this if I travelled very much, ie for business.

Guess which option I'm going to choose?

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