Well, our second to last mail day in Canada has come and gone and still no sign of Akemi’s new PR card. It all comes down to Monday because, Tuesday morning, we’ll be catching the early flight to Japan. As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog entry, we’ve been trying to get this damn card renewed for over a year now but have continually run into bureaucratic capriciousness and ineptitude that has required us to resubmit our application no less than SIX TIMES. The latest, our second URGENT request was, according to their offices, finally approved, processed, and mailed to us – over three weeks ago! Yes, one could blame the ongoing Canada Post labor dispute for the failure to show, but the fact that our request was marked URGENT and these brilliant bureaucrats mailed it out anyway, in the midst of a mail carriers’ dispute, when they could have simply offered us the option of picking it up speaks volumes. If they were employees of any other company, they would been long dismissed for the half-ass quality of effort they provide, but because they’re government employees, they get a pass.
If the PR Card doesn’t arrive on Monday, we’ll have one of two options…
1: Leave Ivon the mail key in the hopes that the card finally does arrive while we’re in Japan and then have him Fed Ex it to us so we can travel back to Canada. Of course, this assumes that the card IS actually on its way, there will be no further delays, it hasn’t been lost, or we haven’t been lied to about it being processed.
2: Upon our arrival in Japan, make an immediate application for a PR Travel Document that will allow us to travel back without an updated PR Card. The only risk with that is the turnaround. The application is sent to the Canadian embassy in Tokyo and they send it to the appropriate department – which, for some reason, is in Manilla. Then, once it has been approved in Manilla, it is sent back our way. On average, the process takes about a month. Urgent requests can, theoretically, be turned around quicker – but probably not within the eight day window of our stay.
I have tried contacting the appropriate department to inquire about what can be done. Yes, the existing PR card expired late last year, however a quick online check should confirm the card has been renewed. We even have a government email confirming as much. But this, apparently, is not good enough. Their unhelpful response is to contact them if we don’t receive our new card within six weeks of it being mailed out (!).
I have a few other things to rant about, but this one is top of the list. I’ll set the other annoyances for the time being and hope they resolve themselves while I’m away. If they drag on beyond my return, it’ll be time for some tough love – or, barring that, a little getting out while the getting’s good.
Tonight, we are off to watch the premiere of Rob Cooper’s Unspeakable mini-series. There’ll be a reception after the screening so looks like I’ll be out way past my 10 p.m. bedtime!