My Future Relationship with Citizenship and Immigration Canada

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Over the next year and a half, my family will be dealing with Citizenship and Immigration Canada quite a bit.  We’ll become frequent acquaintances, if not good friends.

No, I couldn’t say friends.  I personally don’t like dealing with government agencies.  In the past, they’ve been rude and arrogant towards me.  When I originally applied for my passport in 2004, they were snippy and had an I’m-better-than-you attitude regarding my questions on the application.  I didn’t appreciate that.  In 2007, they sent me a letter asking why I hadn’t filed my taxes for 2006.  I called them to tell them I didn’t live in Canada and they thankfully told me I was correct, I could disregard the letter.  They actually said it had been sent to many people by mistake.

But it hasn’t all been negative.  Five years ago, I renewed my passport, and the staff at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo were very polite and did a wonderful job.

My friendship is about to be renewed with the Embassy and the entire CIC.  Today, I’m getting my picture taken.  Why?  I’m renewing my passport again next week.  I’ll be going to the Embassy to submit the form (short form, yay!) and pay the fees.  I could do it by mail, but I’m paying in Japanese yen, so I have to do it in person.  But this isn’t the end of it.

Next month (maybe), we’ll be going back to the Embassy with a lot of documents, some translated, to get my daughter’s proof of citizenship, her citizenship certificate.  According to CIC, she is considered a Canadian citizen now because I’m Canadian, but she has no certificates to show that.  So that’s what we’ll be doing.  According to the website, it takes 12-14 months to process the application for a child living overseas.  After that, we’ll apply for her Canadian passport, which takes a whopping 20 days.

Also very soon, we’ll be getting my wife’s family class visa application going.  This involves far more paperwork, and probably the biggest headache.  My passport is the easiest, my daughter’s citizenship is lengthy, but not difficult to fill out the form.  But my wife’s visa application and my sponsorship application are very involved with lots of writing.  Not fun.  I hate paperwork.  And there’s no guarantee it’ll be successful.

I’m going to be chronicling this adventure into the land of CIC on video, as well as on this blog.  I hope it’ll be informative for anyone who is trying to do the same.

Anyone have experience with this?

14 thoughts on “My Future Relationship with Citizenship and Immigration Canada”

  1. I do. I had to go through the permanent residence thing with my ex-husband, who was from England. Talk about hell… At least one of us was in the country when we did it all though. I’m assuming your wife is Japanese?

      1. Just follow the instructions on the website to the letter and you’ll be fine. It’s the wait that’s the worst part. They should have the approximate wait times posted on the site. Whatever you do, don’t pay an outside party to do the work for you – it’s a waste of money and it doesn’t speed it up. The only other advice I can give you is don’t delay.
        If you have any questions about the forms, I’m intimately familiar with them. Let me know. 🙂

        1. Yeah, we wouldn’t trust outside parties. The forms are relatively easy to follow, just a few things aren’t very clear. One thing is when should she have her medical exam, before or after sending the application? And we have a 14 month wait time through the Manila office. Tokyo doesn’t have one anymore.

  2. Canada is efficient – twenty days is speedy for a passport! If you were British it would take at least two months (I’m not even kidding). I did mine this summer and that is exactly how long it took. One of my friends said his took three months and he couldn’t go away on holiday when he wanted to!
    Good luck with all your applications! It sounds torturous but it will be worth it in the end 😀

    1. It would normally take 2 to 3 months in Canada, actually. But I live overseas, so they expedite the renewal process. It’s risky to be without a passport overseas, so they give overseas citizens priority.

      1. Ha ha it’s all backwards in the UK. If you’re in the UK you can get your passport in three weeks, or pay more and get it in a week, or fork out even more and get it in a day.
        But overseas passports take two months. If something happens and I need to travel urgently, I need to go to the Embassy and hand over more cash (in addition to what I spent to renew my passport) to get an Emergency Travel document. Eccentric Brits much?
        They do stuff right in Canada!

        1. Kind of backwards if it takes longer when you’re overseas. Maybe it’s a way to get more money. It is much more expensive to renew a Canadian passport overseas, though.

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