The questions are answered (despite the online version not losing the ambiguity of their hard copy counterparts) and at the end of the process the form is submitted with the touch of the 'enter' key. Easy, yeah?
Well, one would think so. Except for the final requirement and the instructions to print, add a passport photo and then head to the post office, so that the forms can be sent off for processing to the relevant government department.
Now, I don't know about you, but I find the passport photos available in pharmacies, post offices and small smelly automatic boxes in squalid corners of railway stations way over-priced and have long believed I am more than capable of reproducing one at home, using a digital camera, shooting me against a neutral background and printing it to the right size on some photo paper at home. Seriously. Not hard at all... right?
Three attempts at the perfect passport photo follows... to get this form to an acceptable and submittable level as required by the authorities that be.
First attempt - photo not on gloss paper. And head too small. Fail.
Second attempt - Too many teeth. Apparently when working with children, teeth are not allowed - no teeth are to be showing. Fail.
Third (and most miserable looking) photo attempt and at last tit's deemed as acceptable. But then, there''s more. Bureaucracy has not done with me yet!
I am told I am also required to produce ID. (My online version didn't make this clear at all). Licence. Credit card. Medicare Card. Utilities bill (with address). Passport. Of course, I don't have them all with me. Expletives follow in the car as I return home to collect what is required.
I have a photo.
On gloss paper.
I am not smiling.
My head is of acceptable proportions.
The form is signed and dated.
My ID is examined and recorded. Passport. Credit Card. Drivers Licence. Medicare card.
Finally, everything is verified and signed off by the post office clerk.
And I'm good to go.
Aye aye aye.
I eventually walk away with a few more grey hairs and a relieved scowl, having lost the best part of 2 hours of my life (across a number of days) that I will never recover. But - the form is IN.
Thanks and good-bye bureauocracy.
Until we meet again.