Last month I was preparing to leave Chile for an upcoming trip to Greece. In the midst of this preparation I had a break in into my car and my EU (German) passport was stolen!!

Although I now live in Chile, I have a German passport via my late biological father and a South African passport from being born and raised there.

Once I had the necessary documents from the officials to request a replacement of my EU passport, I visited the German Embassy in Santiago and asked for their express replacement of passports service – which generally takes 2-3 weeks. As I had a month and a half before my departure date for Greece, I felt that my EU/German passport would be ready in time.

At the same time, I had a strong sense that I should also apply for a visa on my South African passport. Even though I initially received contradictory information, I went ahead anyway, with support from close friends regarding letters of recommendation, and also which documents would be required for the application.

I approached the official at the Greek Embassy with all the confidence and belief I could muster and after a couple of visits my application was accepted.

Two weeks before I was leaving for Greece, I went to the Greek Embassy and collected my South African passport with the visa, and afterwards I went to the German Embassy to collect my German passport. I was informed that it was ready, but the staff would NOT issue me the German passport!!! The Embassy officials said they required further documentation regarding my father, from which I can only assume that from the time I received my original German passport, the Germans are now making the process of re-issuing passports much stricter!! Now I have a further process to go through with the German Embassy, which process may more than likely take a couple of MONTHS to resolve!!

Had I decided before to leave things to chance, then my outcome would have been dependent on THAT chance! Instead I chose to trust the process, to believe, even though at times I couldn’t really figure out why I also needed the visa on my South African passport 🙂

Georg Beining
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