I'm in the process of getting all my paperwork work ready for my next ship.
I am Australian born and raised. I am an Australian Citizen by birth. In 2009 I became a Canadian Citizen. So now I have dual Citizenship. I have two passports. An Australian passport and a Canadian passport. I am however not a resident of Australia, I am technically deemed a foreign resident. I am a Canadian resident. In every day life it doesn't really matter which Citizenship I hold.
For travelling and working on cruise ships it does matter.
For the longest time I was a Australian Citizen with Canadian Permanent Residency. I didn't really see the need to become a Canadian Citizen. As a resident I could do everything but vote, run for public office or join the Defence Forces. Given that I didn't want to run for office or join the Navy, Army or Airforce I was okay with being a resident not a citizen.
But back when Dave and I were still married and flying to the US lots in our plane it was an issue. I had an Aussie passport with a US visa but I couldn't enter the US in a private plane or private boat only on a commercial flight, a cruise or at the land borders. We wanted to fly to the States a lot. The San Juan Islands, the Oregon Coast, Everett, Seattle etc. So I became a Canadian Citizen.
As a dual citizen the requirements for travel are that I am required to leave and enter Canada with my Canadian passport. I am required to enter and leave Australia using my Australian passport. When I travel from Vancouver to Hobart to visit my family I use both passports. I leave Canada and arrive into the US with my Canadian passport.
I can't leave the US for Australia on my Canadian passport because it doesn't have the correct visas to enter Australia. I can't get the correct visas in my Canadian passport because Australian Citizens cannot be be issued Australian visas. Doesn't matter if they are travelling on a passport issued by another country.
So when I leave the US and then arrive into Australia I use my Australian passport. Because I am leaving the US with my Aussie passport it has to have a US tourist visa in it.
Working on the cruise ships I use my Canadian passport. I leave Canada to enter the US on my Canadian passport. As a Canadian Citizen who is transiting the US for other countries on the ship I don't require a US visa.
So I spend a fortune on passports and visas. I have a Canadian passport valid for 5 years. An Australian passport valid for 10 years. A US visa in my Australian passport also valid for 10 years.
I will be joining my next ship in Seattle in the US. We will cruise in Alaska and Hawaii. I will do that with my Canadian passport. But then the ship will reposition to the Pacific and home port in Sydney, Australia. I have to enter and leave Australia on my Australian passport. My Australian passport just expired this year. I just applied to renew it.
Holy crap is it ever expensive. I had to have three sets of passport photos taken. Not because I needed three sets but because the Australian Consulate in Vancouver is really picky:
- The first set was 1mm too small or too large. I don't remember, just that it was 1mm out (the pair on the top right).
- The second set my face was too shiny (the pair on the bottom left).
- The third set was good (the pair on the top right).
- The single photo was for my medical, I was allowed to smile for that one.
At $15.00 per set, I'm already at $45.00. The renewal fee is $250.00. Plus for the privilege of renewing it outside Australian I get to pay an overseas processing fee of $100.00. That's just under $400.00 for my passport!!!!!!
And guess what the US visa in my old expired passport is still valid. It doesn't expire until 2018. It gets noted that my US visa is VIOPP. (visa in other passport). When it does need renewing it's another $160.00. Crap. So I need to take all three passports with me.
Good thing my Canadian passport doesn't expire for another three years. A 10 year passport will only be $160.00 plus photos. Anyway it will be less than $200.00. Half the cost of my Aussie passport.
But on a high note...I had my "interview" and submitted my application to the Australian Consulate on Monday August 10th. They said with 8-10 business days for processing, I would have it back by the 21st at the latest. They phoned on Thursday August 13th that it was ready for pick up. 4 days! Awesome.
Gotta say I prefer my new passport. Inside the pages are a pretty blue with gum leaves, Aussie animals and scenes from Aussie life. The old one was brown pages with I'm not sure what.
Also my new passport is the new (well new to me, it's been since October 2005) electronic passport. It's got a smart ass chip in it loaded with my biometrics. Or something. Kind a scary.
I will however miss all the stamps in my old passport. I wish most countries still actually stamped my passport.