Tag Archives: passport

A Morning at the Embassy

On Friday the 19th, I went to the Canadian Embassy with my daughter.  The Embassy is in Akasaka in Tokyo, which is an area that has many embassies, shopping areas, and is just plain rich-looking.  The Canadian Embassy is across the street from the Crown Prince’s residence.  You can’t see the house from the Embassy, just trees.  It’s surrounded by a wall with cameras and police officers patrolling the perimeter.

I posted these pictures last night, hoping you could guess what they were.

The front of the Canadian Embassy.
The front of the Canadian Embassy.
The west side of the Embassy.
The west side of the Embassy.
The southwest corner of the Embassy.
The southwest corner of the Embassy.

It’s a pretty modern building and quite massive for an embassy.  There are other buildings on the embassy lands, including one that looks like it’s a hall for events.  In the main building, the first floor is a library, but to get inside, you have to take an escalator up to the fourth floor first.  That’s the entrance.  I was able to get in another way, since I had my daughter, and she was in her stroller.

Once inside, I made sure all my paperwork was done and ready.  I had two tasks.  First was the renewal of my passport.  That went well, and they said to expect my passport to arrive in two to three weeks.  The next part was my appointment with someone who could notarise my ID so I can apply for a replacement birth certificate.  Once that was done, I later mailed it out.  The cost?  18,100 yen for the passport, 4,800 yen for the notarial service.

Next task is when my birth certificate arrives.  I have to apply for my daughter’s citizenship certificate, and also request that it be done urgently due to the fact that we need it in three months.  Hope it all goes well.

A couple other things.  The station we had to use, Aoyama-1-chome, is very confusing.  It’s difficult to find the correct exit, and difficult to find out where there are any elevators. There are three different subway lines that go through there.  And the nearby office building with restaurants in the basement floor has inadequate bathrooms for changing a child’s diaper.  I did find one in the station, though.

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Bumps in the Road to Canada

320px-Flag_of_Canada.svgInevitably, we’re going to have problems with our paperwork.  But we can’t afford problems.  We need them to be perfect.

To begin with, I’ll just update you on what we’ve done so far.  We got our pictures taken!  Mine had to be 5cm x 7 cm, but photo studios don’t do that in Japan, so the embassy said 5 x 5 was okay.  So, I have 2 of them done for my passport renewal.  My wife had 15 done, all 3.5cm x 4.5cm.  9 for her visa application, 5 for her medical exam, and 1 for her passport renewal.  And then my daughter had 2 done, both were 3.5cm x 4.5cm.  Those were for her citizenship certificate application.  And boy was it fun trying to get her to sit still for her picture.  She’s not patient for that kind of thing yet.

Now, for the problem.  As I was reading through the required documents for applying for a family class visa, I noticed one section said that if the applicant has any children who are Canadian citizens (like my daughter is), they require a copy of her citizenship certificate or birth certificate.  Crap.  We’re applying for that next week.  It takes about 9 months for us to get it.  Double crap.  We need it in 3 months.  So, I guess that means we apply for the certificate as an urgent case.  If not, our move to Canada will be delayed by several months, and our daughter can’t start Kindergarten in Canada.

Well, we’ll apply for my passport renewal and my daughter’s citizenship certificate on Thursday at the embassy in Tokyo.  If everything goes well, they’ll say okay to the urgency of our situation.  Wish us luck!

My Future Relationship with Citizenship and Immigration Canada

320px-Flag_of_Canada.svg

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?

August’s To Do List

This month is busy.  I feel like I have too much to do, and not just at home.  It’s actually a fairly quiet month for work, but there are other things to do, as well as things I want to do.

Reading

I’m 6 books behind in my Goodreads challenge.  Only read 11 out of 30 books so far.  I should be at 17.  Well, thank the long books for that.  I’m currently reading A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin, a book that’s more than 1100 pages long.  I’m also reading an eBook called The Somali Doctrine, which is much shorter, and I should be able to finish it within a couple weeks.  After that, I have these to read:

  • The Seeds of Earth, by Michael Cobley (kind of long)
  • So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, by Douglas Adams (a short one)
  • 3001: The Final Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke (another short one)

That’s just the next three books.  The next three eBooks are:

  • The Circle of Sorcerers, by Brian Kittrell (no idea about this one)
  • First Contact, by Michael R. Hicks (really looking forward to it)
  • Blood Skies, by Steven Montano (again, I don’t know much about it)

Writing

Of course, I want to get Journey to Ariadne part 2 up, get part 3 critiqued, get part 4 written.  Also, try to get at least 3 flash fiction stories a week written. The “Daily” part of the name is my target, really, not the reality.

Home Stuff

I want to organise my library (that is, my book closet) and get a picture of it. It’s a mess right now.  Too many books for them to be arranged nicely.  I’ll need to stack vertically.  Also, I want to get my daughter’s toys organised.  They’re a complete mess, but she does that every day.

Official Stuff

I have to get my passport renewed.  Annoying to do, but necessary, considering I don’t live in my home country.  I also can’t believe how expensive it is.

Photography

I’ve been neglecting my photo blog recently.  I’ve fallen behind.  Lots of photos to post.  I also need to choose a new theme for that blog.  It doesn’t display images properly on the homepage.

Blogging

Keep things going as always, but also try to interact more on other blogs.  More commenting, more following, especially amongst writing blogs.  I also need to update the rest of my reviews to the new format.  I haven’t been doing that recently.  And on the topic of reviews, I have two to write: Moving PIctures, by Terry Pratchett and The Sword and the Dragon, by M. R. Mathias.

Vlogging

Get more videos done.  Try at least two a week.  Also, try promoting my YouTube channel to gain more followers.  That means you! So, go over to it and subscribe.

Other Things

Continue with my exercising and finish level 1 for push-ups and sit-ups on Runtastic’s apps.  Read more to my daughter.  Welcome my new niece (my wife’s sister is having a baby this month).  And there’s just so much more.  I also have to start preparing to get my daughter’s Canadian citizenship sorted out.  But that can wait.  It’ll happen, though.

So, how’s your August?  Busy?