We just came from the American Embassy where we had to get the children’s passports renewed. We were in and out in an hour which was incredible. We were the first ones there when it opened and the first ones out as the line started to grow. Key is to get there at 8:00am on a Thursday morning and you will breeze through.
We are coming close…too close to the expiration date on the children’s passports and put this off too long. I thought that we were going to have to pay an additional $60.00 each to expedite them as you don’t want to be in Costa Rica with an expired passport, especially not the kids. I was suprised to find out that when you get a passport from the Embassy here the processing only takes 10 days and that is with sending them to the US to be processed.
After they made John and I take our oath that we were indeed the parents and we hadn’t lied on the application, the consulate counted heads to make sure we really had 3 kids and that they matched the photos we had given them then pretty much sent us on our way with instructions for one of us to come back in 2 weeks to pick up the finished passports.
This went so smoothly with the exception of having the wrong size photo’s it went without a hitch. And wouldn’t you know it, Fuji had a booth set up to take pictures so we had new pictures for the kids within 5 minutes. For the record, you need photo’s that are 2 x 2 inches in size not 1 x 2 as we had.
The Embassy has really improved their system since my last trip there. Everything was so orderly and efficient. It was not my favorite thing to do on a Thursday morning but it proved quite painless.
Oh another thing….if you take your cell phone or pda they will confiscate it at the front door. You will get it back when you leave but it is sometimes easier just to leave it in the car.