Well as pleasant and efficient as the British Embassy Office staff were in Bangkok, verifying that I had submitted all information as required for the change of name on my UK passport, 2 weeks into the process I received an emailed letter from the Liverpool processing office to say that they are unable to process my application without submission of further documentation. Documentation which it is necessary for me to have my new passport in order to obtain!
They explained that, “we need to confirm that the name you provided in the personal details section of the application is the one that you use for all official purposes.” Well it’s not…..yet! How can it be until I get my new passport, which I need in order to change everything over to my new name! Honestly, what’s the point in putting all requirements on their website for you to strictly follow to the letter only to get rejection once you’ve done it and an unreasonable request which cannot be met?! I’m furious.
They’ve asked for one of the following documents:
- Tax record (e.g. letter from tax authority.) [cannot be obtained until my work permit is changed to my new name which requires submission of my new passport]
- Employment Record (e.g. official letter from employer) [previously submitted]
- Educational record (e.g. school report) [I’m 43 years old!]
- Letter from central, regional or local government department [what government will issue me a letter confirming my new name without submitting a copy of a passport under that name?]
- Driving License (UK or overseas) [cannot change my Thai driving license without the passport, and it is illegal to update my UK driving license unless I am ordinarily resident in the UK for 130 days or more per year]
- Visa or residence permit [This is on my passport]
- Medical/health card [The hospital has previously told me they need a copy of my new passport to change my medical record.]
- Voters card [I am expatriated from the UK and do not have a voters card]
- Baptismal/Confirmation Certificate [I’m 43 years old and non-religious]
- Bank Statement (UK applications only) [UK applications only! Besides, my bank requires that I go in, in person to change my name……I live in Thailand]
The most annoying part of this request is that I submitted an official letter from my employer confirming my employment and stating my previous name, my new name now in use and my address, with my original application which fulfills this request, yet no one is explaining why this is not sufficient.
Hunting on the hmrc UK Government website I found an online form to fill in the event of problems with passport applications. It took a while to find. The fact that this method of recourse was not communicated with my application documentation and the difficulty of finding something on the website suggests that they don’t really want to be bothered with it, but having explained my situation via this route, I received a reply that I should hear back within 3 working days.
In the meantime I have contacted the hospital again and begged them if there is any way they can change my medical record without my new passport if I provide my certified enrolled deed poll certificate, witnessed by a notary here in Thailand, the certificate of the notary’s credentials and a letter from my employer, and thankfully they have agreed! So Saturday I will pay a visit to them to hopefully get it sorted out and get a hard copy of my medical record which I can send to Liverpool, after which there should be no reason why my application should not proceed.
It’s incredibly frustrating to be running around trying to persuade people to go against policy so I can documentation which was not listed as required when I applied for my passport change and I feel discriminated against; not necessarily due to my transgender status, but because I’m living out of the country. Since receiving my enrolled deed poll certificate, this is the first thing that needs to be changed in order to start the process of being me in every aspect of my life and make Ms. Ashley Johnson the name I “use for all official purposes” as per their request.
Aaaaarrggghhh!!! Feel like I need a drink, but being good at least until my blood work on March 3rd!