Thursday, January 12, 2012

Baby Bureaucracy

The Frau has been writing a lot. But not on this blog. Because having a baby is a lot of work. Having a baby abroad is even more work–at least when it comes to paperwork.

There are Swiss and international birth certificates, foreigner cards, passport applications, reports of birth abroad and social security forms, plus photos required for several of these forms, not to mention in-person visits to the U.S. Consulate office in Zurich, the migration department in Aarau, and the city office in Baden. All with a baby who can't even hold her head up yet and a mother who wishes she could put hers down on a big, fat pillow.

Oh, and even more interesting—the price you pay for all this bureaucracy:

Swiss and international birth certificates: CHF 30 each, we ordered three and were also charged CHF 1 for shipping.

Swiss foreigner card for baby (side note: somehow, the Swiss are able to even make a two-month-old look criminal in the photo), valid for four months until it must be renewed again, along with the parents’ cards: CHF 143

Passport photos: Three for CHF 10 (ordered from paspic.com—I highly recommend this site for any passport photo)

U.S. passport/birth reports/social security card: CHF 184

TOTAL: CHF 428 (free headaches included)

11 comments:

Pat said...

This would be hilarious...if it weren't so true. I remember waiting in line at the American Embassy in Paris with newborns (& their mug shots) to complete the paperwork that multiplies with babies born abroad. Bon courage!

Chantal said...

It all seems a bit ridiculous, but it wouldn't be bureaucracy if it wasn't. Our little M is wearing her santa suit in her passport photo because that was the best photo we could get...at least she looks more like a baby and less like a criminal than she does in her photo for her Swiss foreigner card, which I think they made dark on purpose.

Allison L said...

I remember the bureaucracy we went though to get married. Such a pain. Seems like your almost done with it for now.

Hattie said...

I was lucky in that my passport photo of my daughter and me that I had made in Switzerland was just adorable. I don't remember what the ID card looked like.

swisssidejewelleryetc said...

Hi Chantal
Did you manage to get an ID photo of your daughter without your hands in it? I ask because I remember a ridiculous afternoon in a photo booth at a tram station in BL sitting with babe on lap and ducking behind him as the flash went off! Fortunately he could hold his head up by then, but you could still see my hands holding onto him for dear life...
Hang in there!
Vicky

~ Marie ~ said...

my dear dad would still say "that's a good problem to have"

Much love and good wishes to you and that squeeze muffin!

Chantal said...

Vicky,
The trick is to take the photo of them lying on a white/off-white blanket. You can then put your hands under the blanket to support their head.

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Brew Milos said...

Well I too had a good experience with Paspic.com. I would definitely recommend this website for online passport photos.

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