A visit to the Honorary Consul’s office may be best

Dear Editor,

So sorry to hear about the upset the lady in Barbados experienced in getting her passport renewed.  I tend to agree with the advice that a visit in person to the Honorary Consul’s office may be best.  One need not seek a face-to-face interview; one can always request printed notes, to be taken away and read at leisure.

In the 1980s, when I still travelled abroad from London on a Guyana passport and needed it renewed, I telephoned the High Commission to find out what should be done.  As I asked questions, the lady’s voice at the other end kept rising; she was not rude, she seemed exasperated.  I asked her to post me a printout of the procedures and rules for renewing passports and she invited me to call in person to collect them, together with a form for filling out.  I did so and, when I saw the conditions under which the staff worked, I understood her impatience.

When my passport was ready, the lady rang and asked me to collect it or send a large, stamped envelope for it to be posted to me!  I gathered that High Commission funds could not stretch to covering the postage of passports!

These days new passports, especially if one intends to visit the USA, require so many extra features, so many added procedures, that people are often bewildered and find overseas travel very off-putting.

Yours faithfully,
Geralda Dennison

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