Now, we Wait – Citizenship Watch

Now, we Wait – Citizenship Watch

Oh, Canada. After over 11 years living in Vancouver BC (on and off, with a significant “on” during the last 4 years), I’ve (Scott) finally met the residency requirements to apply for Canadian citizenship. It’s a proud moment. Over the years I’ve come to appreciate the differences between Canadians and Americans – whether personalities, knowledge of events outside the country, politics – all are different than I would have expected.

Canada is not perfect; I don’t know any country that is – and I’ve been to over a hundred of ’em. But British Columbia has such charms that I miss it the day I step foot away.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada say 2 to 3 years (update: 12 months or less!) for processing. So with hope, I’ll get the call sometime before Summer 2016.

2 Replies to “Now, we Wait – Citizenship Watch”

  1. Update – November 23rd-ish 2015: I had trouble arranging postal mail forwarding (mis-connect with the intended-recipient) before I left Canada (and it was REALLY a pain to establish later). I learned on November 24th that on November 2nd (the day after I left Vancouver), CIC (Canada Immigration) had mailed this “notice to appear”. It remains sitting on the entranceway floor in my apartment. How silly of me to think that just because I provided email, they’d actually use it?

    CIC makes it pretty much impossible to contact them from outside Canada (it’s a toll free number that doesn’t work in the US) – kind of ironic given that they’re IMMIGRATION. Anyway, there’s a website where you can check your status, and mine had a notice that I had been mailed (postal mail) a “Notice to Appear for Citizenship Test and verification of identity/documents” on Nov 25th. I found a way to request info by email, and on November 24 I got an email response with a copy of the original letter. At the bottom, it caveats that if you’re over 55, no test, no proof of language proficiency. But the abbreviated web status didn’t share that detail.

    So, it’s November 24th, I’m supposed to show up with my documents on Nov 25th, and the notice spells out dire consequences if you no-show. I became… agitated. I actually looked at flights from Phoenix to Vancouver – there was one leaving around 9pm (Arizona does not do Daylight Savings time, so we’re currently an hour later than Pacific). If all went well I could be in Vancouver by 11pm, show up at CIC for my 10:32am (that’s not a typo, it’s was for 10:32) appointment, and fly back the next day. Twelve-thousand frequent flyer miles and probably a hundred dollars worth of fees and taxes. Also it’s 150km to Phoenix… not a casual drive for my casual flight to another country for a 15 minute interview.

    HOWEVER: clever boy that I am (or maybe it was my wife’s idea…), I managed to use a phone app that utilizes my Vancouver phone system. So I was able to call the toll-free number in Canada, “from” Canada (or so it appeared). A mere sixteen minutes of hold time and they told me I had 30 days to send a letter to CIC Vancouver explaining why I no-showed and documenting that I wasn’t in Canada. Which I did.

    So, good news all around! This meeting is, ostensibly, the penultimate step in achieving citizenship. When I wrote them I explained when I’d be back to BC, and that I would be delighted if they could re-schedule for then. After that, it’s the citizenship ceremony (followed by a trip to the post office to get a passport application).

  2. Yay! June 17, 2016 – I’m “in”. Attended a citizenship ceremony here in Vancouver starting at 8am, by 9:30 the ceremony was over, and I (along with candidates from 20 other countries) were sworn in.

    I’ve been working on this since 2011 – I’m proud to be a new citizen of this excellent country and especially happy that the years, paperwork, hassles… are over. Except for applying for a passport.

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