Citizenship Certificate Application (aka What’s Killing My Writing)

Today, my family’s continued adventure into the world of immigration lead us back to the Embassy of Canada.  It was a frustrating day with a few bumps.  It started out with me ready to go to the embassy with my daughter, but I did some double-checking.  That’s what brought about my first bump.  It said I needed an affidavit signed by the translator of any Japanese documents in front of a Commissioner of Oaths.  Panic time.  I thought I’d have to wait until next week.  I sent an email to the embassy, and they responded quickly.  That wasn’t required.  No affidavit.  Whew!

So, why is no affidavit needed?  Japan doesn’t have a system for certifying documents or doing oaths like that.  So, all I need to do is make sure the translation is done neatly, accurately, and typed.  Okay, that was fine.  So, we rushed out to the embassy.  I knew we’d have time to get there.  And we got there just in time, 15 minutes before the Consular Section is supposed to close.  I gave all of the documents and translations to the embassy staff.  What we had translated for my daughter’s citizenship certificate is the family registry, her birth registration, and her national health insurance card.  Next bump coming up.  They asked me if I had an original of the birth registration, because it looked like I only had a copy.  Well, I was certain that was the only copy we had. More on that later.  Next bump.  I forgot my daughter’s photos!  Damn it!  Well, they said it was fine, just mail it to them.  So, that was that.

I was done at the embassy, except for a trip to the bathroom.  You see, my daughter poured her water all over herself.  It made her look like she wet herself.  But it was just water.  I couldn’t do anything about it until we got home.

When we got home, I asked my wife about the birth registration.  What I gave the embassy was the copy that was made for us by the city.  In fact, it had never been made before.  This was THE original, first ever copy.  In Canada, we’re given a birth certificate after we’re born.  In Japan, the important document is the family registry.  When a child is born, they join the family registry, rather than have a birth certificate issued.  Therefore, the family registry is the big official document.  The birth registration document had to be typed, then given to us, so it took them some time to prepare it.

We’ve sent the photos and a letter explaining that this was the original birth registration document.  They should have her citizenship certificate application sent out next week.  Unfortunately, it’ll take up to a year for us to receive it. This creates a little problem with my wife’s visa application.  We’re supposed to include it in her application, but now we can’t.  We’ll have to explain to Immigration that it’s being processed.

I think one of the more frustrating things is that the embassy’s website isn’t very clear on a few things.  What the embassy staff says, what the website says, and what the forms say are often different.  It’s hard to know what exactly we’re supposed to do. Anyway, the only thing left we have to do is the visa application.  But that’s a lot of pages.

I’d planned to have a video done, but YouTube’s taking its time processing the videos.  I’ll put it up in another post when it’s ready.