The Quest for Yet Another Passport

by - Sunday, October 08, 2017

I am Canadian by birth (and damn proud of it!), but also carry a UK passport (pretty much the only think my bio-dad was good for was being born in London).

That passport has been great - short lineups at Heathrow, a cheaper visa for Turkey, and no fee visas for New Zealand and Australia. I also haul it out when I’m passing through EU checkpoints in European airports, since having my picture taken in some little booth is way quicker than standing in the non-resident lineups (provided, of course, that I already have a passport stamp of that country in my Canadian passport. I’m a bit of a passport stamp collector). 

I got my UK passport almost ten years ago, after my first European trip as an adult (I’d been to England as a child, but then not again until I was 30) when, on a whim, I decided that I was going to pack up all of my possessions and move overseas to work. 

Alas, that did not happen. 

Until recently, that UK passport has been my gateway to the EU. I’ve seriously considered moving overseas for at least part of the year when I retire (some people head to Arizona, my plan is to head to Europe). That is, until a bunch of stodgy arsehole Brits (I’m not blaming the Scots for this) decided they wanted to exit the EU, only thinking about themselves, and not the future generations. Or me. They didn’t think about me! Bastards!

So now, for the purposes I really want it for, that passport will soon be rather useless.

But... my grandfather (who died before I was born) was born in Ireland! And they aren’t part of the UK! I’ve found another gateway to the EU!

The first step in securing an Irish passport is to register my birth as an Irish citizen born overseas. And that costs almost €300. For real. It also means that I have to track down my grandfather’s birth certificate, which should be really fun given his combination of first and last name (a super popular combination) and the fact that I don’t actually know where in Ireland he was born, or exactly when he was born. 

So - I’ve been researching my paternal family tree. I’ve found records of the birth of all of my aunts, uncle and bio-dad, and information on my grandparents marriage. The tough part is - back then, they didn’t list birthdates on marriage certificates, so tracking down the Irish birth certificate of my grandfather is a bit like trying to find a needle in a haystack. 

But I think I’ve done it. My grandmother was born in 1912, so I’m assuming the person I’ve found with my grandfather’s name, born in 1908 is a likely candidate. Luckily I do have one cousin in Ireland (who has an Irish birth ceritificate through this lineage due to not being able to secure a UK one through her mother because until the 1980s women mean shite in the UK and couldn’t pass on citizenship), and she’s going to work to confirm the information I found... and then the next step is to become Irish!

For only a small (starting) fee of €300. Maybe I should start a Go Fund Me. I mean, everyone needs a third passport, right? 

I’m going to need a bigger passport wallet.

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