I don't know how other countries work to get their immigrants new passports in their new home. Here in Toronto, we had to be happy with renewals of the passport every year (a new picture and seal from the consulate). If you wanted a new passport, you had to go to Venezuela to get it!
They just implemented a new process in which we can get our new passports here! We have to register online to get an appointment and you have to check the web page every day to see when is granted and when it is. You can't go when you have time, you can't go before work hours. You'll get a day and you better stick with it even if you don't like it! And the time will be between 9:30 and 12:30! If you miss the date, you can't ask for another appointment for a few months, and then you try again; ask for the appointment and cross your fingers the new day is not as bad for you.
Yesterday I had my appointment. The first day of the process here in Toronto! I always try to be on top of things and do everything as soon as I can. But pioneers have a problem, pioneers always get everything and anything that can go wrong in a completly new thing.
My appointment was set, January 2nd! Really? In Canada? I called 2 times to the Consulate "are you really open on the 2nd?", "yes, we are". Turns out there was a problem with the system (second strike) and the system didn't take into account that it was a holiday here. Oh, and the first strike? When registering for the appointment, the system didn't take letters in the postal code of your current address... really? I choose Canada but can't use letters on the postal code? Use 0000, 1234, whatever, it works.
So I got there at 9:50am, since my appointment was a 10am (they called from the Consulate to let me know of the time). Happy that is a holiday so I don't have to miss work. Just be here maybe an hour and then I can go and enjoy my day! WRONG!! I left at 4pm!
We spent there hours and hours waiting. "The system conexion is down in Caracas (Venezuela), we can't do anything, they are working on it". We got that every hour aprox. At around 2pm, the consul told us that we could leave and they would make a new appointment for us, or we could keep waiting, because it could come back any minute now! (4 little kids and a baby waiting with their parents, poor little guys). So everyone but 2 of us leave. We decide to stay and gamble the afternoon, the system will be back today!
At 4pm they tell us that they are not even picking up the phone in Venezuela anymore. They seemed to have left, without fixing the system, and without informing the Consulate. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I'm pretty sure this is impossible to believe to any Canadian! One guy was missing work and his employer couldn't believe this actually happened, I hope he gets to keep his job!. Another one, his canadian wife wouldn't believe him. I get it, I really do, this is something straight out of the impossible, but really, if we were going to lie about where we spent the whole day, would we choose something as unbelievable and stupid as this?
Welcome to the third world people, we can be waiting for 6 whole hours to get a picture and fingerprint taken, and still go home empty handed to have to come back another day!