Friday, February 26, 2010

How to get your Austrian Passport if you live outside of Austria

Friday, February 26, 2010
mid - Feb 2010

So here is me living a nice quiet life in this wonderful country of New Zealand - and we were discussing passports - when I decided to check mine out and see how much longer it is current for.

EEEEK end of this year!!!

I need to get my paws into gear and start the process on getting a new passport. I almost wish I had not. Once upon a time (pre 9/11 event) it used to be reasonably straight forward. As an Austrian Citizen living outside of Austria - all I had to provide was one original passport / one copy of my (Austrian) citizenship paper / one application form / one half decent mugshot and some dinares (Australian Dollars) and post the lot of to our Embassy in Canberra Australia. Should be easy - right ? ? ? Used to take about a month or so.

So here is the daily / weekly / Monthly process so far (which will be updated if and when there is a new activity)

End of Feb 2010
Having researched the web and googled Austrian Consulate NZ -- I found there are three honorary Consulates in NZ - Way to go - one even right here in sleepy Christchurch. Should be easy - right?? A couple of emails later - hmmmmm a daunting process - what the heck is a BIO-metric passport??? More research on the net. Seems the only place that does that is in Auckland!! A U C K L A N D!!!
That's like living in Salzburg and having to go to Hamburg (in distance).
That means a day of work - and all day traveling . . . .
Still I am kinda lucky - I am glad they have one in NZ - just imagine I had to go to Canberra for the day - that's like over 4000 km to our west - a near 4 hour plus flight there - and of course another 4 hours return - or I could be living in the pacific islands like Fiji or Solomon's or . . . . . hmmmmm wonder what the Airlines are charging these days. Come to think of it - I need a set of wheels in Auckland as the Consulate is at the other end of Auckland from the Airport - so that could be a 2 hour car trip across town and 2 back. No subway here making cross town travel quick and easy!!

8 March 2010
One set of passport photos taken at local chemist - Cost NZ 15!! So far so good!

12 March 2010 - made phone call to NZ Ministry of Internal Affairs. I need a form from the NZ Gov telling the Austrian Gov that I have not taken out a NZ citizenship (as I am not allowed dual citizenship). Should be easy. Yep we post one application form to you asap. Cost - NZ $ 110. While on the phone I asked about the "Apostillie" needed - which apparently they can do at the same time - I just need to ask for it on the form. Cost - NZ $35. Hmmmm this is starting to add up !! :(

I had to google what an apostillie is - since then I call it "the French horn" - yeah I know its a stretch. However I can't fathom the reasoning - here is me being required to get a very official NZ Government issued document (saying I'm not one of their citizens) on their (NZ) letterhead and stamped no less - and that's not good enough - I need to get them (the NZ gov) to provide a legal doco that says the form of denial issued by the NZ gov I S a genuine NZ gov issued doco. Go figure . . . .

18 March 2010
Yahhhh - one form from NZ Ministry of Internal Affairs has finally arrived - addressed to Mr. Nuller - hmmmmm not exactly reassuring that. Filled out the form right there and then - got all the necessary stuff/info together (like my parents vitals) and ready for return posting. I drunk to that small success - one glass of home made Rhubarb wine!

19 March 2010
One application form for "denial of NZ citizenship" posted. Cost NZ $0.50.-
One application form from the Austrian Website downloaded and printed.

23 March 2010
wohooo - one email received confirming the actual street address of the consulate in Auckland. I did Google this and came up with two different places / ph. numbers - and seeing I had already had one email from the Christchurch Consulate I just asked the question which one is the correct place in Auckland.
They must have recently shifted in Auckland and one website has not updated its data. Just as well I checked it out - would not do to fly up there and then get lost . . .

30 March 2010
Excitement rippled through the house today as we received a letter from our Austrian Embassy. Progress at last I wonder???
Raised hopes were dashed very quickly, as the 5 A4 pages inside the envelope relate to the upcoming election of "Prasidante" of Austria!! It mentions yellow and blue forms to receive a Election card (which in turn will be in colour) and if needed a second card (in white).
Having read the thing twice - I stumbled on the fact - that I need to fill out a application form (the yellow one) and post that back to, well, good ol Austria in the hope that this then will give me a election (speak Voting) card and whence the ability to vote. Said form has to be received by Austrian Authorities no later then 1 April 2010. Me checks todays DATE ----------> 30 March 2010 - and me considers the miracles of pidgin mail . . . . . . . . . . . . across the Ocean's (posted snail mail from Europe HAS been known to take 3 full days only, a delivery record to-date!!)

(foot note - not ever having heard anything from any prospective Electoral people - how the heck am I supposed to make a "informed" decision??????)


Post script - me checks the date on the letterhead (no less from our Embassy in Canberra / Australia - wait for it - 15 March2010!!!!)

double sighs . . . .

7 April 2010
Great excitement in the House. My french horn has arrived today. OK - I know it is an Apostille. Flash looking double bound A4 page, with Ribbon and wax seal on a special printed paper. Wohoooooooo
The mischievous guy in me notes that it was posted on 1 April (Fools day) and with Easter in--between not surprised it took till today to arrive.
I am almost tempted to scan it and show it here as a pic - but - thinks - nahhhh
someone might complain about ownership and poss forgery.
So it is official -- I am NOT repeat N O T a New Zealand citizen. yet!!
Right; let's see what else I need - me goes in hunt for other papers . . . . .

7 April 2010 - 2 hours later
Wohooo -- found all the stuff needed and emailed the consulate to get a date sorted for a flying visit.
Guess need to start thinking about booking a seat on a plane - oh and a hip set of wheels. Hmmm wonder if the Dale Hilton has a spare bed for me on Sunday night . . .

8 April 2010
Received email from Auckland Consulate. Yep Mondays is good and they can see me 11 am-ish. I have spent 2 hours on internet trying to figure out the best and cheapest way to fly to Auckland given the time table of meeting time and travel time across Auckland. A "regular" seat (one way) costs NZ $239 and I saw one seat at NZ $399 (one way only). I'd be stupid to pay that much dinare. For the cost of flying up there (and back again), I just about can get a NZ citizenship. Hmmmmmmm that's worth thinking about . . .
meh - maybe next time. Meanwhile - I placed a call to a friend - but missed her, ah well it'll keep till tonight.

8 April 2010 - at urm - 9.25pm-ish
Righto -I managed to get in contact with the *Dale Hilton* in Waiuku and it seems, it has a bed available for me - wohoooo. That settled it - I went online and booked a seat on a wing. Just as well that I did that tonight, as one of the real cheap seats was already snapped up by then. So no sitting over the engine then - thats ok - I prefer a rear back seat near the window anyhow.
Also booked a set of wheels - after looking at the Auckland Public Transport system and working out that I would spend more time on the bus then on anything else that day!! Credit cards can be wonderful.
Hmmmmm the cheap airline tickets are costing about as much as the car hire for the one day!! Ponder that for a while.

Sent a email to consulate - advising my time / day of arrival. Seems they only want me for 15 min - thats how long it takes to get me finger printed!!! These new fangled Biometric passports have a lot to answer for.

25 April 2010 - ANZAC Day
Today is the day. It is Anzac day and for the last 12 years I have marched with the scouts and remembered all fallen soldiers during the last few wars. Always a solemn occasion, but TODAY is the first time I have missed it, due to the fact I am actually flying up to Auckland and sort out my Passport application.
Got there ok and even got the car ok - a little sputnik of a Toyota Corolla - small but heaps of space for one traveler. It had 7!!!! yes 7 Gears - 6 forwards and one return. That was a new one for me.
I had previously decided to travel light, so on purpose left my vacuum cleaner (actually a CPAP machine) at home, but bringing a small empty bucket for some special black sand from near Waiuku Beach instead. All fitted nicely in my back pack so no luggage required.
Anywoo - by around late lunch time I arrived at the "Dale Hilton" and yep it was expecting me all-right. I have to recommend the local proprietor - very friendly, even got a big hug!!!
In exchange for a bed and hospitality I ended up volunteering to help with the chores and washed the floor's and yep had to make my own bed!! You should have seen the linen!! All seams dead center and straight, not a crease in sight - whooooho I still got it . . .
After wards I was allowed to tag along to a special local family's birthday party - which was nice. Came home and ended up watching a interesting, if slow moving DVD. All in all very relaxing.

26 April 2010
7 am - Time to get up and have breakfast - brought my own Nuttella ^^ and Milo - then a quick shower and made plans for later in the day. Arranged to meet the host late afternoon for dinner - but before then had to go to the local post shop and buy one pre-paid postal envelope. Consulate it would seem, would like one, if I do not want to pick up my Austrian Passport from the Auckland Consulate (like I really want to spend another few hundred bucks doing that!!) Left the Dale Hilton 9am and found the drive pretty good going, not much traffic. Hit the Auckland harbor bridge and did a wee mental jig / dance - it's all new virgin territory from here on in for me now. Never been north this far before. Like I said roads pretty easy to drive and only got lost once - the name on the turnoff sign post was not the same as in the map. ^^ Decided that my scouting skills come in handy and laid a compass on th ecity map, and seeing I crossed a river/creak - that was marked on map way further ahead - I figured I gone to far and did a stylish 1 point turnaround on the highway. Found the Austrian Consulate eventually and set in motion my 5 min fingerprint reading. Seems my electronic fingerprint is been sent straight to a building in Vienna which does the actual processing thereof. The power of modern communication.
The prints also only exist for 5 weeks then (so I'm told) they vanish from cyberspace. Lets just hope they don't loose my fingerprints in the meantime. I did offer a drop of blood (for genetic fingerprinting) but this was politely declined!! Wonder why . . . ^^
Scary thing is that you can see it coming - next "passport security improvement" will be Iris recognition!! Sadly in this respect the terrorists (9/11) have won!! Grrrr
Had everything filled out ok and it was time to leave. Seeing I had spare time I decided to check out Devonport - found the local Info place, and they gave me a map of a local 1 hr tourist walk with important sights to see. I did this in 25 min flat!! Dunno if I was fit or bored or there is a generous timetable for "lingering"??!! Followed with lunch at Maccas and a, shall we say, a "scenic" route taken back to urm Manakau city. Met the friendly local proprietor again for dinner and had a great time - then it was off to drop the car back (having done 254 km travel in it for the day) and catch a plane home - left Auckland in sunshine and 20 degrees - arrived in Christchurch with 12 degrees and drizzle. I was beginning to wonder the wisdom of living in Christchurch. Anywoo - got met and hugged at the airport by this lovely voluptous bear wearing a rainbow jacket - ahhhh it is good to be back home.
Now I have to wait for the passport to be made. I get them to mail it to the Christchurch Consulate - where I will pick it up later.

One more thing - real freaky - I ended up with a strong deja vu feeling. Had to go to a local pit stop so asked consulate staff about local shops - instructions where go down this road turn left up the hill past the shops and school and you will find some local shops - ended up in Albany Westfield Mall.
Walked in - yep its like any other mall - maybe a bit nicer and roomier - but hey - I was busting so headed for the nearest John - right at the other end of the mall - inside the movie theater actually. Once suitably relieved walked out the "back-end" and got this creepy crawly feeling of having seen this place before. Walked back out through the mall on other side (where the car was parked) and yep - I have definitely been here before - so strong was this feeling. Maybe there is an other me in another dimension - or I exist in two time periods - well I can't explain it but I do know while I have never been there till today and it is impossible, I know that I have seen this place before, have been there . . . . - F R E A K Y with a Capital F

30 April 2010
So now one waits for the return on the masterpiece . . . . . Wonder how long it will take?!
Bets anyone??????

1 June 2010
wohoooo - great excitement rippled through the bear cave - the elves are dancing and everyone is joyous. Received an email from the Austrian Consulate in Auckland that a brand spanking new passport (in MY name no less) has arrived and where would I like it to be posted??
Hmmmm lets ponder this for a minute.
Ding (did you see the light bulb come on??)- I KNOW -- here - of course.
Need to be home though, it is a delivery against signature only . . . ^^

3 June 2010
There was singing and dancing on the ceiling this morning! Wohoooooo
It has arrived!! My lovely teenager son (who overslept and missed his lecture at Uni) was on hand to receive the couriered parcel. Slight concern - he did not ask for a signature!!!!! Wonder if he would have just left it on the doorstep? ?

I got my brand new Austrian passport - cant see the micro ship but it must be there. Eeeek that pic of me looks - urm - challenging ^^
So this started mid feb - and still I am journeying.
I was tempted to break open a bottle of red medicinal fruit juice (from Spain me thinks) and drink to a succesfull venture - alas I have to go out again soon and drive th ecar ^^ - ahem - maybe later

In order to be a legal long term resident I need my permanent residency visa thing in my N E W passport - no big deal - you just roll into NZ immigration (I think) and get them to transfer the stamp from the old one to the new one. Hmmmm wonder how much THAT costs?????? Just as well that I got next week of as annual leave.

8 June 2010
It is done - finished - finito - the end -
Yesterday - on my birthday - I came home late from a scout camp and after washing the van down in the dark and in teeming rain (2 degrees - and sleet) a n d after having my presents and dinner - I dropped like a dead stone into bed and happily ignored any sound of rain - full well knowing that I had to get up at 6 am the next morning and get ready to drop the Van back into town. W H I L E being in town I visited the NZ Immigration office. 'Sure - we can transfer your Residents Visa to new Passport - we can do this now if you can wait some 20 minutes- or you can come back in 2 weeks time to collect!' Urm - tough choice this was, think I needed to do - me considers this for 2 milliseconds and chooses to wait. So some 20 minutes later I get ushered into a nice warm and dry office and after some pointed questions about my wife (who apparently did NOT exist on the computer records) and current postal details, a new residents permit visa label got thermally printed and glued into my brand new Austrian Passport. Oooops - a small matter of NZ $80 for this service needs to be handed over. I paid electronically and walked out back into the hail and sleet happy - knowing that for the next ten years I am a full legal resident in this urm - wet and cold place (which is really lovely - ol NZ!)

Finite - no more to be continued . . . . . . THE END

Running Total - so far (I wish I could use a table here and a "add sum function" so that the total would just update itself every-time a new cost is listed . . . )
  1. $ 15.- Passport Photos
  2. $110.- Denial of NZ Cit.-ship paper from NZ dep. of Internal Affairs
  3. $ 35.- One French Horn (apostille)
  4. $ 0.50.- Postage to NZ Internal affairs
  5. $178.- one return Airfare CHCH - Auckland (on the cheap)
  6. $167.38.- One set of wheels (smallest car available)
  7. $158.- Consular fee
  8. $ 2.70.- Self addressed stamped envelope
  9. $32.- Petrol on rental car
  10. $10.50.- Lunch Monday in Auckland
  11. $25.70.- meal out Mon evening in Auckland
  12. $80.- Residents permit added thermally
Grand Total $ 814.78.-

bear print

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