Guess I forgot Susie. Sorry Susie.
Sounds like you had the run around with the boss. Here we can apply for passports on-line. You just have to express post the photos down.
No sending of old passports anymore. You fill in the number of the old one and they look it up when they are reviewing the paperwork to ensure the information is the same. Same applies with Visas mostly - except for those countries who make life difficult (like the USA and Russia). I'm fairly lucky since good ol' little NZ doesn't have to have visas for a number of countries that all others do. Must be something to do with our lovely natures and of course our culture
Not to mention the All Blacks Rugby team and the Haka.