I am lucky enough to be born a duel citizen. Even though I was brought into this world in the land down under, I was paternally recognised as a citizen from the land of the free. Although I have the birth certificate to prove that I am a yankee, obtaining that eagle-embellished US passport was not an easy chore, especially considering I was living in Bucharest at the time.
If you are in a similar situation to me I will warn you now, getting a US passport will involve time and patience. And if you are living in Romania, it will involve twice as much of each.
How to Obtain the US Passport while living in Romania:
Time Required: Indefinite
Step 1: Get in touch with the nearest embassy. Email them, (they probably won’t reply with anything useful so you may as well skip to step 2).
Step 2: Make an appointment to apply at the embassy. Convince someone to escort you there for emotional support. The Embassy will probably involve a long seedy bus ride, where gypsies will get on and serenade you. You will probably be the last person on the bus. Get off at the bus stop called ‘US Consulate’. Because that is literally the only thing there. Expect to be told that whoever is with you cannot come into the embassy with you and must wait outside in the snow.
Step 3: Get through security. They will confiscate your phone, your camera and your dignity. Who needs communication with the outside world when you have US citizenship.
Step 4: Wait for a very long time and finally get to see someone. Expect to be told that your passport from your other country of citizenship doesn’t prove your identity at all and they require the original copy of your birth certificate. They also require ‘progressive photos of you aging’. I am not kidding, they want to see your baby photos. (American logic).
Step 5: Leave, disappointed. Recover the poor boy that waited came along for emotional support and whine to him until he buys you hot chocolate and convinces you to eat ice-cream (that you’re allergic to).
Step 6: Get your mother to send your birth certificate and baby photos in the post. Make sure the photos make you look really American. Standing in front of the Grand Canyon or eating donuts. Make sure you have an expression of freedom and bravery etched across your face.
Step 7: Pray to a higher power that a gypsy doesn’t steal your post.
Step 9: Spent Christmas confused about your own identity. Who are you? Where do you come from? Are you really American?
Step 10: Return. Armed with the birth certificate and baby photos. Fight through a blizzard to get there. Lose all your Christmas spirit and feeling in your hands on the journey there.
Step 11: They will reluctantly give in. They admit that you have earned that document. You were born free and brave and anyone willing to battle through the harsh Romanian blizzard conditions to get a passport deserves every eagle-crested page. Embrace the person who helped you through this emotional experience and be eternally grateful to them for putting up with you during the entire process.
Step 12: Move into a small midwestern town and only ever use the passport once for your honeymoon in the Bahamas. (JUST KIDDING!) Explore the world like the free citizen that you are.
Things you could do instead of getting a US passport that would take less time and be less emotionally draining:
- Climbing a Mt Everest. Whilst holding your breath.
- Counting every hair on your head.
- Learning how to roller-skate on a tightrope.
If you are still going to attempt to get the passport – Good luck.