The long saga that is the process of obtaining an Iranian passport

Yes, today I added a new chapter to the long saga that is the process of obtaining an Iranian passport.

Last year, I started the process by updating my Iranian birth certificate. Shortly before leaving for Zimbabwe, this year, I finally received the document, which was needed for my work permit in Zimbabwe.
I had planned to obtain an Iranian passport, but time didn’t let me, with my trip to Zimbabwe around the corner.

After our return, I had left it for a bit too long, until I visited family in Hamburg some weeks ago, where an aunt of mine, visiting from Iran, helped me in filling in the forms.
I was going to ask for a passport and an ID. Better have two, than none.

Today, together with Vahid, an Iranian I met the first time I went to the embassy, I went over to the embassy to hand over the papers.
Turns out, they have been waiting for the last two months to receive a new shipment of empty passports. Passports are handed over, normally, in two to three days. Now, it seems I shall have to wait a while before I get one.
We did hand over the papers for collecting an ID. But an ID is manufactured in Iran. Meaning that process will take 3 to 4 months. At best.


But don’t think this is typical for a ‘banana republic’. Vahid told me of his problems with the IND, the Dutch governmental body issuing residence and work permits to foreigners. He’s been waiting for nine months for the IND to perform a simple formality.
And then there’s the process of my going to Afghanistan. The organization who should arrange my stay, PSO, yesterday claimed they weren’t clear on some technicalities of my placement. It meant that if I hadn’t called them myself, no one would have done anything to solve the issues they had with it.

Related:  Final stretch

Banana repuplics everywhere, unite.


On a side note… I visited my local COMBI photo store, for shooting some passport pictures I *though* I would need for my passport and discovered that a service by photo equipment producer HENZO has finally gone live.

You can download an ’empty’ photo album and fill it with your own picutres any way you like. Then, you upload the finished product and, within ten days, pick up the album at your local COMBI store.
Prices are on the high side of reasonable: A full album will set you back 55 euros. But a 12 page A3 calendar temporarily only costs 12.50 euros. That’s a steal.

I checked out the software, and it looks good, very good in fact. The flexibility is decent.

Still, I looked through the example photo albums they had sitting around when I was waiting for my pictures to dry and the quality of the prints left a bit to be desired. I was told this was caused by the relatively low quality pictures HENZO used as examples, but I wasn’t so sure.