Whoever claimed that Israeli bureaucracy was worse than other country bureaucracies was dead wrong. American bureaucracy is much worse.
This morning, my wife and I took J-cop Jr. to get him registered at the Us Embassy as a US citizen and to get him a passport.
I did all my research beforehand, made sure I filled out every document that they wanted, gathered my old passports and we were on our way.
The most difficult part of transferring citizenship to your child is proving that YOU deserve to be able to transfer it. Therefore the US gov't has a policy of proof of presence.
The truth is P.O.P. is pretty silly. In Israel, any citizen or non-citizen for that matter, can get a printout that would list all entry's and exits from Israel. In the US they apparently don't have such a system, so one must bring proof that they were actually in America at the time they say.
In order for a US citizen to transfer his citizenship to his child, he must prove that he lived in the US for at least 5 years and only 2 of those years must be over age 14.
So how does one prove that he was in the US through the age of 18 (when I came here to Israel)?
The most common method can be a passport. My passport which was issued to me when I was 16, proves that I was in the US from age 16-18.5 That gives me 2.5 years of the 5 years. The clerk kept asking me if I have proof of when I was in Israel and I tried explaining to him that from when I came here in '92 until now, I have not been away from Israel for more than 3 weeks, (unless you count 2 months in Lebanon while in the IDF). So if I did as he suggested by bringing that printout from here, it would prove that I wasn't in Israel before July 1990, but not that I was in the states. Go figure.
A friend suggested that I bring in report cards or transcripts from high school. I called my old school to get them and the day school I went to from 3rd grade until 12th, moved and they dont know where my transcripts are. So what I did was, I brought the yearbooks from 7th grade thru 12th which each had a picture of me with my class. The consular looked at it and said ok, I believe that you were there on the day of the pictures, so I will give you 1 days for each picture?
Can you believe that????
They then told me that If I was in the hospital and had proof that would be helpful (how many days would that give me if they are counting for 5 full years of 365 days? School years are only 9 months according to them).
What kind of official documentation would one have for a minor that would be sufficient proof of more than one day?
With thos logic, my birth certificate could probably get me 8 days, since I also have the document about my brit.
In the end, it turns out that my mother might have some old report cards of mine. Hopefully that will help.
AMERICA.....WHAT A COUNTRY.
The possibility that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.
– Abraham Lincoln