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Are the posted questions getting worse? Expand / Collapse
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Posted Friday, July 12, 2013 11:55 AM


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On the topic of renewing government documents.. Allow me to share a story:

Last September my car was broken into while I was at the gym. Of course, this is the only time I ever left my wallet in my car and better yet I had been at the DMV that day so ALL my documents were in my car while I worked out. (In hindsight.. I was really asking for this to happen)

So I'm a British citizen from Scotland and I'm also a green card holder. Boy oh boy... never, ever lose your green card folks.

Here's the vicious circle I went through: Immigration -> British Embassy -> DMV -> Social Security. Repeat.


Every single one of them told me to talk to the next to declare my residency. Months of phonecalls and I-90 appointments with fingerprinting at each one. Finally, 10 months after the initial request to renew my greencard I hired an immigration lawyer who, for $250, got me a private consult with US Immigration officers at the British Embassy and they stamped my Passport so that the DMV and Social Security would assign me new cards.


There's a whole lot more details to each phase of this, but that's pretty much a general summary of what happened.
Post #1473186
Posted Friday, July 12, 2013 12:10 PM


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Sean Lange (7/12/2013)
Greg Edwards-268690 (7/12/2013)
Sean Lange (7/12/2013)
Steve Jones - SSC Editor (7/11/2013)
I renewed my passport last year. There still was expedited service, but I didn't choose it. Got mine in under 4 weeks.


I am not doing the expedited service either. I think I have all the paperwork collected and will submit it tomorrow. We will see how long it takes. I should be fine with the predicted 6-8 weeks but many people I have talked to have experience closer to 4 weeks.


A couple years ago, I had to get one to go to China.
The expedited passport took 4 days, and the rest of approval for China took about a week.
Depends on who is pushing, and how many $ grease the wheels.
You may want to pop the extra $30 or so for the hard card for Canada / Mexico.

Also if you have a center in your city (which I did), check with them.
My daughter and spouse got theirs on a free day, no appt needed, and seemed much faster than the normal process.


There is no center in Kansas City. I would have to go to Dallas, Chicago, or Aurora CO. I guess I could go visit Steve at the ranch.

I looked at the passport but it is not eligible for international air travel and I can't drive from Kansas City to Newfoundland. The city we are going to is St. John's which is on the island.

Fortunately I am not in a huge rush.


come on out, though the center here is still weeks. They send it out







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Post #1473202
Posted Friday, July 12, 2013 5:16 PM


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Voide (7/12/2013)
On the topic of renewing government documents.. Allow me to share a story:

Last September my car was broken into while I was at the gym. Of course, this is the only time I ever left my wallet in my car and better yet I had been at the DMV that day so ALL my documents were in my car while I worked out. (In hindsight.. I was really asking for this to happen)

So I'm a British citizen from Scotland and I'm also a green card holder. Boy oh boy... never, ever lose your green card folks.

Here's the vicious circle I went through: Immigration -> British Embassy -> DMV -> Social Security. Repeat.

Sounds very unpleasant. I know that sort of thing is pretty much the norm in the USA, and you have my sympathy. I suspect though that most Americans won't believe that their agencies behave like that - they don't believe that their elected representatives will allow federal agencies to behave like that.

This sort of thing happens because junior grade operatives in the relevant agencies are taught that their job is not to determine whether people should or shouldn't have a green card but to ensure that no-one who shouldn't ever gets one, even if that means ensuring that most people who should get one also don't. Some of them (a minority) learn as they climb through the ranks that the mission of their agency, as mandated by Congress, is to try to get it right as often as possible rather than to ensure that they never get it wrong to the favour of an applicant even if that means that they often get it wrong, or simply refuse to deliver any decision, to the disfavour of an applicant.

Most Americans don't share the attitude instilled into border control operatives - police and sheriff department personal want to help, not hinder, and most of their people are unfailingly polite to foreign visitors - just the opposite of immigration, customs, and border-control operatives. Maybe this is a difference between federal agencies and things done at state or local levels.

Personally I find it very hard to understand why, some years ago, the USA government/administration decided to instill into operatives in its federal services an attitude to border control, immigration, and work permits that makes the country appear for more paranoid and irrationally antagonistic to the citizens of every other nation in the world than were most eastern European communist countries during the cold war. But that's what has happened.


Tom
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Posted Friday, July 12, 2013 5:29 PM


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L' Eomot Inversé (7/12/2013)

Personally I find it very hard to understand why, some years ago, the USA government/administration decided to instill into operatives in its federal services an attitude to border control, immigration, and work permits that makes the country appear for more paranoid and irrationally antagonistic to the citizens of every other nation in the world than were most eastern European communist countries during the cold war. But that's what has happened.


Many of us in the US don't understand this either.







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Post #1473262
Posted Friday, July 12, 2013 5:39 PM


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Steve Jones - SSC Editor (7/12/2013)
L' Eomot Inversé (7/12/2013)

Personally I find it very hard to understand why, some years ago, the USA government/administration decided to instill into operatives in its federal services an attitude to border control, immigration, and work permits that makes the country appear for more paranoid and irrationally antagonistic to the citizens of every other nation in the world than were most eastern European communist countries during the cold war. But that's what has happened.


Many of us in the US don't understand this either.


Frustration in the southwest due to a horribly porous border (that isn't supposed to be, like the one with Canada). Most of our northern and eastern states just don't understand the depth of the problem, but the federal government is everywhere, and overreaction in one area will bleed into the entire system.

Also overt defensiveness to 9/11 because we're horribly anal about not 'stereotyping' so you can't pick on the arabs with dynamite in their backpacks because that would be profiling. Please note, I don't mean the arabs, I mean searching the ones with fuses hanging out of the zipper holes. Okay, that's an illigitimate example, but illustrates the problem with more clarity than my poor attempts to describe intelligence paperwork.

Combine these two things alongside the poor shmuck on the ground floor is just trying to keep his job without coming under investigation because he made a mistake and gave out the wrong green card.

Sorry folks, I agree Americans try to be courteous in general to foreign visitors, there's a huge portion of the country that's still a bit jumpy and touchy on the issue. The further you get away from understanding how international trade and relations work, the more defensive and evasive those people become about sticking their neck out for a non-citizen.



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Post #1473265
Posted Friday, July 12, 2013 6:08 PM


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Brandie Tarvin (7/12/2013)
It's just darned inconvienent to not have ID at hand when ... drinking


I hate it when they do that to me.



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Post #1473269
Posted Friday, July 12, 2013 6:10 PM


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Evil Kraig F (7/12/2013)[hrFrustration in the southwest due to a horribly porous border (that isn't supposed to be, like the one with Canada). Most of our northern and eastern states just don't understand the depth of the problem, but the federal government is everywhere, and overreaction in one area will bleed into the entire system.

OK, I could see that happening if there were a real problem in the southwest; but was there? Or was Woody Guthrie right way back in 1948, when he asked "Is this the best way we can grow our big orchards? Is this the best way we can raise our good crops?", and suggested that the real problem was irrational xenophobia in the southwest?
Also overt defensiveness to 9/11 because we're horribly anal about not 'stereotyping' so you can't pick on the arabs with dynamite in their backpacks because that would be profiling. Please note, I don't mean the arabs, I mean searching the ones with fuses hanging out of the zipper holes. Okay, that's an illigitimate example, but illustrates the problem with more clarity than my poor attempts to describe intelligence paperwork.

9/11 is utterly irrelevant, because the (rather sudden, to us foreigners) change in approach antedates 9/11 by a good few years. It hit western Europeans in 1991, a decade before 9/11 (I don't know when it hit others). If it had happened after 9/11 I could perhaps understand it, or at least recognise a contributory cause. As it was, I couldn't and still can't.


Tom
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Posted Friday, July 12, 2013 7:11 PM


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L' Eomot Inversé (7/12/2013)
Evil Kraig F (7/12/2013)[hrFrustration in the southwest due to a horribly porous border (that isn't supposed to be, like the one with Canada). Most of our northern and eastern states just don't understand the depth of the problem, but the federal government is everywhere, and overreaction in one area will bleed into the entire system.

OK, I could see that happening if there were a real problem in the southwest; but was there? Or was Woody Guthrie right way back in 1948, when he asked "Is this the best way we can grow our big orchards? Is this the best way we can raise our good crops?", and suggested that the real problem was irrational xenophobia in the southwest?


I don't want to get into a huge political debate on this here, but the problem doesn't just stem from the labor discussion, that's just the public club. It's the 'born here: citizen' concerns that have poor pregnant women risking death and dehydration to avoid the border patrols. It's the tax on our medical systems. I don't mean if the Mexicans (or whomever) are/aren't paying illegal taxes, but they're not on the rolls so the public funding doesn't get there for the population needs. It's the concern you feel when you have a barrio next to your neighborhood. There's a lot of subtle things.

For the record, I live in a Mexican neighborhood and they're no better or worse than the rest of humanity, and my cul de sac makes me proud to be a neighbor to my immediate neighbors. I'm the worst one on the block, actually... but I'm pretty torn on the issue in general.

9/11 is utterly irrelevant, because the (rather sudden, to us foreigners) change in approach antedates 9/11 by a good few years. It hit western Europeans in 1991, a decade before 9/11 (I don't know when it hit others). If it had happened after 9/11 I could perhaps understand it, or at least recognise a contributory cause. As it was, I couldn't and still can't.


This is news to me, but I was 15 years old in 1991 and honestly cared more about the girl next door then the border patrol. I only started really paying attention with all the media insanity, my own personal rage, and the instigation of the Patriot Act. I was perfectly content to ignore the issue previously. I know it got worse then, but I had assumed that it was a larger change than it was.



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Posted Friday, July 12, 2013 10:24 PM


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Evil Kraig F (7/12/2013)
L' Eomot Inversé (7/12/2013)
Evil Kraig F (7/12/2013)[hrFrustration in the southwest due to a horribly porous border (that isn't supposed to be, like the one with Canada). Most of our northern and eastern states just don't understand the depth of the problem, but the federal government is everywhere, and overreaction in one area will bleed into the entire system.

OK, I could see that happening if there were a real problem in the southwest; but was there? Or was Woody Guthrie right way back in 1948, when he asked "Is this the best way we can grow our big orchards? Is this the best way we can raise our good crops?", and suggested that the real problem was irrational xenophobia in the southwest?


I don't want to get into a huge political debate on this here, but the problem doesn't just stem from the labor discussion, that's just the public club. It's the 'born here: citizen' concerns that have poor pregnant women risking death and dehydration to avoid the border patrols. It's the tax on our medical systems. I don't mean if the Mexicans (or whomever) are/aren't paying illegal taxes, but they're not on the rolls so the public funding doesn't get there for the population needs. It's the concern you feel when you have a barrio next to your neighborhood. There's a lot of subtle things.

For the record, I live in a Mexican neighborhood and they're no better or worse than the rest of humanity, and my cul de sac makes me proud to be a neighbor to my immediate neighbors. I'm the worst one on the block, actually... but I'm pretty torn on the issue in general.

9/11 is utterly irrelevant, because the (rather sudden, to us foreigners) change in approach antedates 9/11 by a good few years. It hit western Europeans in 1991, a decade before 9/11 (I don't know when it hit others). If it had happened after 9/11 I could perhaps understand it, or at least recognise a contributory cause. As it was, I couldn't and still can't.


This is news to me, but I was 15 years old in 1991 and honestly cared more about the girl next door then the border patrol. I only started really paying attention with all the media insanity, my own personal rage, and the instigation of the Patriot Act. I was perfectly content to ignore the issue previously. I know it got worse then, but I had assumed that it was a larger change than it was.

This is getting dicey. I remember what the crossing the USA-Canadian border used to be 25 years ago -- off-peak, less than 30 seconds, no documents requested or shown as long as your car registration was not on the hot list, while today after NAFTA which was supposed to 'simplify' things you go between sensor traps and it takes 20-30 minutes, off-peak, and you need a passport -- passport, for crying out loud! -- or an enhanced driver's license, and if you have neither, you will be arrested right on the spot.

I suggest we relegate this to a separate topic, if anyone wants to dwell into it. I do not.

</rant>
Post #1473280
Posted Saturday, July 13, 2013 3:46 PM


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Revenant (7/12/2013)

I suggest we relegate this to a separate topic, if anyone wants to dwell into it. I do not.

</rant>


Fair enough Rev.



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