Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Consulate - and starting the process of dual citizenship

Well today was my visit to the Honduras consulate. Just picture it - an 8 months pregnant woman, her husband who hates to wait, a 4 yr old, a 3 yr old, a 2 yr old and a 1 yr old. Put us all into a 12'x12' room with 30+ other people - add a wait time of almost 5 hours and you have my day in a nutshell. Oh yeah and throw in a bit of Johan and Jolani being videotaped by Central America TV for an upcoming show. (just video of the "gringo catrachos" as the guy said - no questions or anything, LOL) If you haven't guessed, a fun day was had by all.

We get there, and we got to stand on the steps outside of the consulate where there has got to be the gum of every person who has walked by stuck on the wall and ground. I know this because I must have said "Johan/Mickey/Isa" (you choose the child) "do not touch the nasty gum" or some version of the same thing at least 500 times in the 10 minutes we were on the steps. I also said "We do not stick out fingers/sisters hair/Jolani's sippy cup into the pile of gum that is stuck in that hole" quite a few times as well.

When we finally get inside the door and get upstairs we sit down - and take up 4 of the 12 chairs that are in this 12'x12' space. I then make my first of many trips to the bathroom. Why they don't have a bathroom out in the main waiting area is beyond me - but you would think as long as they make you wait for everything they would have at least one bathroom out there. Nope not at all. I was excited because no sooner was I gone, that they brought the application to my husband to fill out, so I figured that today was going to go quickly. We filled out the application, he went and turned them in, and then we sat and waited. And watched the room fill up with people. And more people, and more people. Then some more people came in as well. My four were having fun smiling at people and just being good. They colored in the books that I brought for them and played nicely. My husband was called back after about 15 minutes, and he waited in the back for a good 20 - 30 minutes before he came out to get the birth certificates from me. I went back with him, and the kids and sat there and we waited some more. There was a hold up because my passport has my married name on it, and the kids birth certificates has my maiden name on it. (even though I pointed out to him it clearly states - Mothers last name before first marriage - they didn't understand why my last name is now different.) So we had some issues with that. But that was taken care of and we were again sent out to the main waiting room to wait. By now we no longer had seats to sit in, and the temperature in the room was well above 85, with no fans, no AC in the main waiting room, and it was filled with 30+ people. Finally we got a seat, and we waited, and waited and waited. I passed the time telling my kids that it was not ok to eat the gum off the windowsill/bottom of the chair/floorboard/floors/walls, and people watching.

While people watching this older asian guy came in begging for change, he apparently couldn't talk, as he was making guestures that he was hungry and wanted money. One guy - who was very obviously well fed looked at him and said that they were both in the same boat, that he was hungry too, and I had to laugh. The older asian guy made a motion with his hands that the Honduran guy was fat so he could deal with being hungry while the asian guy was skinny and please give him some money.

I also noticed that 90% of the women that visited the consulate today don't have a clue what size they really are. But my question is do these people look in the mirror and think they look good, or do they not realize that there clothes are 3 to 4 sizes to small? Or is this a culture thing? I ask because my sister in law was the same way before she got pregnant. And before anyone gets in an uproar - I am just making an observation, not making fun or anything else.

Around noon the kids were crying and hot and cranky and hungry as it was past their lunch time, and it was now their naptime. My husband was in the back doing who knows what, while I was in the waiting room with the 1 yr old fighting sleep on my left leg, my 2 yr old hot and sweaty and heavy like a sack of potatoes sleeping on my right leg. My 3 and 4 yr old, also hot and sweaty - tired of sitting quietly decided they were going to fight and tattle. Finally at almost 1:30PM my husband walks out and says lets go. I don't think I was ever so glad to see him in my life, LOL.

However, once this baby is born I get to do it all over again. And then once I get their birth certificates from Honduras, I get to go back yet again to get their passports. Oh I cannot wait!

For those who are about to try to get dual citizenship for your children, and aren't sure what you need to do or what it is you need to bring - here is the list.

  • two passport sized pictures
  • birth certificate of the child
  • passport of the non Honduran parent
  • passport or cedula of the Honduran parent *if the honduran parent isn't available, a notarized, verified by a lawyer, letter of authorization can be subsituted in place of the Honduran parent. The letter must say that permission is given to the other parent to apply for nationilization for the child*

You will turn all this information in along with an application, and after the consulate signs the paperwork and whatever else they do to the paperwork back there, the paperwork is sent to Honduras (to Teguc) so that the child can be registered there. Once the child is registered in Honduras the child's Honduras birth certificate must be sent back to the parent(s) in the US. Then the parent if they so desire, can call and make an appointment to get a passport at the consulate. To get the passport they will need

  • the Honduras birth certificate
  • passport of the non Honduran parent
  • passport or cedula of the Honduran parent *if the Honduran paren't isnt available, a notarized, verified by a lawyer, letter of authorization can be substituted in place of the Honduran parent. The letter must say that permission is given to the other parent to get a passport for the child*

Next up - getting the car to the port.


Trish said...

Oh Jennifer, I am enjoying your blog! Partly because I have been to all the same places you have been (Consulate in DC, the DMV/MVA (Why can't MD decide which to call it?), and all of these places I was toting around 5 small children!

Sounds like you have the right attitude to "make it" in Honduras . . . I believe you HAVE to be able to laugh at the absurdities or you will just shrivel up and die!

Honduras Sprout said...

Wow. What a day!

I''m confused why you are having this done in the US??? You can have it done here in Honduras very easily with a lot less hassle. Seriously. They will take your money at the consulate just because you are there and they want your money. I got ripped off myself at the Honduran consulate thinking I needed to apply for residency while I was still in the US when that is far from the truth and I ended up spending A LOT more than I had to.

We are doing exactly what you are doing for your children there with our son, but only here in Honduras (dual citizenship).

There is no need to send things back and forth between Honduras and the US.
I brought my kids to Honduras on the 90 day tourist visa and am having the legal work done here to get my son his dual citizenship. My daughter is from a previous relationship. Just made sure I had extra copies of birth certificate when I came.

I have a name of a really good lawyer in SPS if you are in need and they are charging us L3000 ($160).

Melissa Ceveda said...

Hi - I'm interested in pursuing Honduran citizenship for my U.S. born kids. Do you know how to do this while in Honduras? Where would we go in Tegus, Sigua or SPS? Or, do you know of a Honduran immigration lawyer who could assist?