Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Bloody British Bureaucracy

So, having finally won my battle with the Spanish bureaucracy - registering Rosie's birth and getting paternity and maternity benefits for Kate and I - after only three trips to Social Security, one to the Register Civil, one to the Post Office, one to the Health Centre and another to a translator's office, my skirmish with the British Consulate begins. As annoying as the Spanish paperwork had been, at least it hadn't cost me anything.

€117 - That's how much it costs to register Rosie's birth with the British Consulate.

This isn't mandatory - we can apply for Rosie's passport (€95) without registering her - but if Rosie ever wants to enjoy any of the benefits of British Citizenship (the NHS, education, etc) it needs to be done. Merely registering her, however, wont be enough; upon return to the UK we'll need to prove she has been registered and for that we'll need a certificate. A snip at €75, plus €13 for delivery.

Of course registering her was never going to be straightforward. I had the form all filled out plus our marriage certificate, hospital papers, our passports, Rosie's Spanish birth certificate, both our short form birth certificates and Kate's long form birth certificate. What I didn't have was my long form birth certificate. Apparently they need it because it gives the details of my parents - the fact that these are also on Rosie's birth certificate and our marriage certificate was neither here nor there. Ironically, had I been Spanish, my details wouldn't be needed - Rosie could still be registered as British using Kate's papers alone. But I am British. So they need my long form birth certificate. A mere £25 and 5 working days; a bargain really considering the prices of the other bits of paper paying the rent for the British Consulate's panoramic views at Torre Espacio.

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