Friday, January 20, 2012

Belize- immigration problems - 5 years trying to renew Belize passport.


He is a child of my daughter, Sharon Auxillou ( Mrs. Sharon Urscheler ) Stefan Urscheler, my grandson,has travelled internationally a few times on his Belize Passport, but it expired. In the meantime, apparently the IMMIGRATION DEPARTMENT refused to RENEW his passport when he turned it in. Something to do with being a child or something. In the meantime, while he is on the backlog list, he has become an adult and still without a NEW REPLACEMENT RENEWED BELIZE PASSPORT. As far as we know, you just turn in your old passport, but apparently this is not so. Been to do it through the Belize Embassy in Washington, D.C. At the moment he is studying at Florida International University, so who knows when he will get his passport renewed somehow? He was down on the Caye Caulker at home, a few months back. Think it was for either THANKSGIVING or something. We just don´t have the money for plane tickets and running up and down to Belmopan. Flying in and out, and being told to come back next month, repeatedly, just does not cut it. Costs too much money. Last mysterious request from Immigration, was for a NATURALIZATION CERTIFICATE. What kind of nonsense is that. Stefan has used his Belizean PASSPORT since he was around 5 years old, travelling with his mother. The ways of a bureaucracy in Belmopan are confusing and mysterious indeed? We speak English, imagine an immigrant speaking Chinese,German, or Swiss or something? What a mess that department is.

Stefan's Passport renewal is still pending in Belize City, he has paid the fees, taken the photos, presented his old one, filled the application-all the steps needed to renew. Now the Belize city passport office claims he needs a naturalization certificate even though he has had 3 previous passports confirming he is a Belizean citizen and the original expired passports were presented to Belize Immigration & passport office with renewal. At the time of his birth the requirements for proof of belizean citizenship was present Stefan's orignal birth certificate, present his belizean parent's birth certifcate and present the marriage certificate. This was done and his citizenship confirmed therefore he was issued a belizean passort. Prior to his most recent attempt to renew in Belize city last year, he had tried to renew in San Pedro, Ambergris and was told he was not able to because the passport office there was under investigation for passport scams. He was then given by Belmopan a temporary 2 yr. extension on the old passport (pending the passport office investigation )which has since expired so he went to renew again this time in Belize City. Why does he need a naturalization certificate if he is already a belizean citizen as confirmed by his 3 prior passports is my question and why are they holding up his renewal passport when he has presented his expired one for renewal. It was not lost or missing. A Belizean passport is supposed to be proof of citizenship so why can't he get a renewed one? Hopefully one day soon he can actually receive his renewed passport. He is now over the age of 21 and we started trying for his passport renewal back in 2006 visiting belmopan, visiting belize city, visiting San Pedro Offices only to get some other reason for the delay in issuing.

Sharon Urscheler

Ray, Interesting but disturbing tale. I recently realized my passport is expired and I can't get anyone on the phone at Immigration to tell me where the passport offices are. I went into Immigration in Dangriga Immigration office a couple of weeks ago and their first response was I need to go to the US Embassy. When I asked if we'd been conquered by Uncle Sam, the officer said I could apply for renewal in Dangriga but it would take 6 to 8 weeks through their office and that I needed to present my Certificate of Naturalization, which I did not have on me because I keep it in my safe deposit box at my bank. Certificate of Naturalization seems an unreasonable request since I have my two-month expired Belize Passport, my SS card, Voter ID and Driver Permit which all state I am citizen of Belize.

The only phone number I find for Passport Office in the btl directory is a number in Belize City and I've dialed it about 20 times with no success. All I get is a voice message that says "the number you have dialed is busy; please try again later."

So, anyone know how many passport offices there are in Belize? And where they are located?

Ray, I hope your grandson gets his passport issue resolved soon.



CATCH 22 SITUATION. You born here, why would you need to naturalize? You mean to tell me EVERY MEMBER OF GOVERNMENT WHO IS A BELIZEAN WITH A VALID BELIZE PASSPORT AND ALL THE OTHER STUFF, HAVE TO GO AND NATURALIZE IN HIS OR HER OWN COUNTRY, WHEN IT COMES TO RENEW THE PASSPORT? I wouldn´t even know where to start. I came here BEFORE BELIZE EXISTED. I was a COLONIAL from ENGLAND. Upon INDEPENDENCE, my status changed to citizen of Belize. When my passport expires, you telling me I would after 60 years thereabouts, have to NATURALIZE to renew my passport? CRAZY! CRAZY !

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