You know you’re in an international family when…..
Your daughter isn’t even born yet and you have already printed out applications for her passport and Indian P.I.O. Card (Person of Indian Origin).
I know, probably a bit OCD, but I hate the idea of not having her passport and Indian visa in hand as soon as possible. You see, two years ago, my father-in-law suddenly passed away in India, and we had to leave at the drop of a hat. Only problem? After being married at that time for 2+ years, I had finally decided to mail off my passport to get my name changed. So we got the call on a Friday night, and needed to leave on a Sunday morning in order to get to India in time for the funeral. We hadn’t checked the mail yet that day, so we rushed to the mailbox, only to find it empty. The passport had to come the next day, or I was staying home – and I really couldn’t bear the thought of sending my husband alone in that state of shock!
Want to know the coolest part of the story? A couple of weeks earlier, when we had finally quit procrastinating and decided to send off my passport application to get my name changed – something prompted me to ask my husband if we should pay the rush fee to get my passport back sooner. Honestly, other than living near the Canadian border, there was no logical reason I needed my passport. But he quickly agreed that we should pay the extra money and rush it back.
After we got the news that Friday night, I tried calling to check on the status – or at least find out the wait times… all to no avail. So, the next morning, we got to the post office at 8 am – the time when they leave to start delivering mail. We happened to catch someone near the back door and after some begging, managed to convince her to check for us – I was never so relieved in my life, than when she came back out of the post office holding that envelope with my new passport inside. What a relief! We have to admit that it was God’s hand that not only, made us send off that application and put the rush fee on it, but also got it back to us at the last possible minute.
So needless to say, I am very convinced that I need to apply for the baby’s passport without delay. (although at this point, I’m not planning to pay the rush fees!) Once her passport is in hand, we’ll send off for her P.I.O. Card. I was actually confused whether or not she would be eligible for an O.C.I. Card (Overseas Citizen of India). So I emailed the consulate – they were very helpful and replied almost immediately. It turns out that unless my husband becomes a US Citizen and he himself has an O.C.I. Card, she cannot apply until she reaches the age of 18. Good to know! If you’re not sure on the ins and outs of P.I.O. vs. O.C.I. Cards, check my earlier post, or this link.