Saturday, October 14, 2006

Undocumented!

I've had this nagging feeling for the last few days, ever since applying for my passport. Naturally enough, in order to actually get a passport, one must prove eligibility to hold one! In my case, the eligibility is tied to my newly aquired US citizenship and, more specifically, to my naturalisation certificate.

You'd think, wouldn't you (well at least I would but then I'm a simple soul at times), that if the passport application centre has an accredited representative checking applications, that her sighting the certificate and attesting to the same would be sufficient. But no, that's not how it works. Instead, my certificate has to accompany the paperwork to whereever it is that they process the applications. I'm advised that it will come back with the passport, 6 to 8 weeks from now.

Meantime I'm walking about with not a skerrick of proof that I'm here legally. There's a rubber stamped warning at the bottom of the naturalisation certificate advising that it's a federal offence to make a copy. No more greencard; that was taken from me at the oath ceremony. The admission stamps in my Australian passport are long since expired. And I couldn't fake the accent to save my life! Yikes! I'm undocumented!

It's probably a moot point however; in the four years I've been here the *only* people who've shown the slightest interest in any proof of legality were my employer and the USCIS (INS) folks at the various interviews I've had to attend. Oh, and the immigration folk at border crossings. I reckon if I stay within the borders I should be just fine!

Yeah yeah, I know. I worry too much!

2 comments:

Guy said...

I'm surprised that you can't make a copy of it!

What if someone were to take a photo of you proudly holding it up at very close range so that the details of the certificate were easily visible?

Rob said...

I imagine it's like money; you can take a photo of it but woe betide the person trying to use the photo as if it were the real thing!