had my appointment with BLS Toronto for Surrender certificate today morning. My experience and tip below.
Mostly smooth but please would advise to be extra cautious and vigilant
as usual is the need for us to be sadly when dealing with our own people
When I went and submitted my documents, the clerk casually handed me over a pad and told me to write down my home address (with no indication about purpose) as if its routine requirement. It is good that I got a bit vigilant here and asked her why? To which she said that it is for delivery of surrendered passport by Purolator. On advice of previous contributors here (sincere thank you to those people and to this forum) - I remembered to insist for pickup option as their purolator fees are somehow ATROCIOUSLY HIGH!!
So I told her firmly that I want to choose pick up option so I wont be filling this form. She was being insistent and making excuses like: the system is not allowing to choose pickup... due to covid we dont have pick up option... we only give pick up option for emergency visas... blah blah.. and i sensed that she is taking me for a ride..
but i was calm but firm in my stance and politely
told her that this is an OPTIONAL service. BLS absolutely cannot FORCE me to pay for this. She then went back to speak with a colleague beside to her and not sure about the conversation but she came back to her desk and just told me hand the pad back to her. No update or no conversation - i kept quiet too. after a while she pickup the payment console and keyed in 130.10 CAD. (they charge additional 0.7 CAD which is not mentioned on their website btw, (which mentions the total fees as 129.40, small amount but good to know) and handed me the receipt with tracking information.
I just asked her that how will i be informed that my passport is ready for pickup? She said I will get a phone call or email.
so my TIP to fellow members here:
You ABSOLUTELY CAN
insist for pickup of surrendered passport and save some money. Their purolator fees are atrociously high and not sure if it is due to a commission being incentivised to the clerk for getting us to sign up for purolator.
sincerely now hoping i get done with the surrender process - and then onwards to the next big hurdle: OCI. PLEASE if anyone has any tips to share or advice regarding OCI application process and things to be careful about - would be very grateful