The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Mark Hillary Headshot

I Was Not Born in Belfast, But That's What My Brazil ID Card Says...

Posted: Updated:
Print Article

I am a Londoner, but I live and work in São Paulo in Brazil. This week I collected my Brazilian permanent ID card. It's taken months of bureaucracy and many visits to the policia federal in Lapa to get this far. Though my permanent resident status was approved back in September 2011, it has taken about six months for them to produce a plastic card - and I had to go in person to fetch it.

The card says that I am British - quite correct. But it says that I was born in Northern Ireland - wrong. I was born in Surrey, England.

The federal police said that they cannot choose the UK, Great Britain, or England as a place of birth on their computer system, so they chose Northern Ireland as it is "pretty close"... I explained that it was wrong, but they said that my nationality is correct and I won't have any problem using the card even if my place of birth is not correct.

Imagine that. The Brazilian police and immigration officials can't even put my correct country of birth on my ID card because of a computer system SNAFU.

Still, I don't mind being from the Emerald Isle. It could have been worse, France is closer to Surrey than Northern Ireland!

Brazil ID