I received my requested 6 certified copies of the enrolled deed poll back from the UK on Saturday. The name Ms. Ashley Johnson is official, and so begins the process of getting everything changed over.
That same day I emailed the British Embassy to request an appointment to submit my application for a new passport, and by Monday afternoon they’d confirmed my appointment to be this coming Friday 27th January at 10:30am. The British Embassy as well as the British Government website is not the most user-friendly. Their appointment confirmation email was clear enough, and reminded me to complete a payment form. However I have a few questions to ensure that I complete it correctly which are not covered in the guidance notes available online. No email address for queries exists, and there is only direction to call a UK number for advice. I had this hassle when completing my UK tax return online last year. There’s no email address to direct questions to which makes it very difficult when living overseas, especially if you don’t have a land line or a mobile service which allows international dialing.
Having read and re-read the application and accompanying guidance notes several times, I’m fairly confident that I have everything together the way they need it, but I guess I’ll only find out on Friday. I have a sinking feeling, from their apparent avoidance of customer contact so far, that the office may have just one sour faced admin staff reminiscent of the “Little Britain” holiday rep character famous for the line, “Computer says no” who will take my documents, tell me I’m missing something crucial, throw it back at me and cough in my face.
However, all being in order, my passport change will be in process by Friday afternoon of this week, and hopefully I should receive my new one within an approximate 6-weeks. Then I’ll need to get my work visa for Thailand transferred over to my new passport and I’m not at all sure of the process of doing that. To avoid any mistake in dealing with the relevant Thai authorities, I will pay a visa/immigrations agent to get that sorted for me. Luckily I know one who is very in with the staff at immigrations and can likely fast track it for me, and who has been arranging my visa and work permit these past 20 years on behalf of my employing company. I don’t know how much she’ll charge but I’m confident she’d never fleece me, and I need to make sure it’s done right.
I’ll also be able to go ahead and buy plane tickets to visit the UK this July, where I’ll need to storm ahead and get everything else changed over – my UK Driver’s License, my bank accounts, my mortgage, my buildings insurances…. There’s a lot to think about and plan ahead of getting there.
It feels like watching a line of dominos cascade in slow motion at the moment. I’ve stacked a lot of what I need to do nice and neatly, but I’m sure I’ll be adding more to the end of the line as they fall. The first in the line (brightly deed poll blue coloured) has been knocked over already and it’s just made contact with the second one which has a red passport coloured hue. Soon that domino will start to incline towards the third Visa tinged domino and so on and so forth. Once I hit the UK I expect it to speed up a little, and by the end of my visit there, almost everything should be in place for an officially validated new me. By the end of July I should be able to pack away the sprawl of domino pieces cluttering my floor, and just get on with being Ms. Ashley Johnson.