Canadian, on hold

flagWe have been landed immigrants since we arrived in 1968, and probably would have remained so, because it was convenient, but because of more stringent regulations regarding traveling abroad we decided it was time to go through the hoops to become citizens. We paid our dues, $550.00, had our photographs taken and filled out the forms and mailed them in October and I still haven’t heard a thing. So tomorrow I will be hanging on the phone, probably all day, trying to find out if they did receive our stuff or what is the hold up. They did say that it could take up to 15 months to process but you would think they would acknowledge the receipt of the paperwork. After the 15 months then one has to wait about 3 months more for a Canadian passport. Maybe we won’t be going to Mexico next spring! It might have been quicker to get the new Landed Immigrant card and renew our British passports, but that meant renewing our Landed Immigrant status every few years which means, of course, more cost.

When we came in the ’60’s the Canadian government was practically begging Brits to come here, as long as we were willing to have children, they asked that at the interview. At that time Canada was still considered by Britain to be part of the colonies and there was really no need to consider becoming a citizen. It has never been a problem until now.

My husband, a qualified scientific instrument maker, was told he would have no trouble finding work, in fact he was needed in Canada. When he arrived there were no companies in Canada doing the work he was qualified to do and he had to get a laboring job to pay the bills. He was offered a job in the States but he wanted to stay in Canada, so he changed careers and started his own painting and decorating business instead.

I also had difficulty getting a job because I was told I had no Canadian experience. It was not until I got annoyed at one interview and pointed out that they used IBM machines, an American company, and I spoke better English than they did so where did the Canadian experience come into it, that they hired me. Probably they thought that I would sue them for discrimination, although I don’t think we did that in those days. I did well in that company and ended up working for one of the directors. Admittedly the most difficult man in the building, he had all his previous secretaries depart in tears, but we got on like a house on fire because I would tell him off when he got bad tempered and demanding, and he would burst out laughing and do whatever I told him he should do that day. You have to face up to a bully you know.

Canada has been good to us and we have been good to Canada, producing five responsible Canadians plus their offspring, paying our taxes, keeping the law and acting as well as any good citizen should. You would think after all these years, forty of them, that we would be made honorary Canadians don’t you think?

5 Responses

  1. Vic Grace, we did this a few years ago and it took 10 months almost before the paper work came through and then you have to go to the swearing in ceremony and then get a passport. I really felt embarrassed that we were not Canadian, since we came in 1961 but Australia would not allow dual citizenship until 2002. We applied not long after they changed the law and eventually it all fell into place. I have no idea why it takes so long to process. It seems idiotic to me.
    Good luck with your phone call but I’ll be surprised if you get anywhere.
    Have you changed the commenting again? It used to know I was jmb1 but I had to sign in everything today.

  2. I am glad to find out that Canada is not better than France when paper work is concerned. All the civil servant can say is “Wait, I’ll see what I can do” then, after twenty minutes “You came to the wrong place, you should go to desk 12.” And when you arrive at desk 12 the girl tells you “I am closing now you’ll have to come back tomorrow!!”

    Have a good day on the phone!

    Philippe.

  3. Every once in awhile I get the urge to want to move out of the country, but then I think of the process of getting everything approved and all the paperwork that has to be filled out…just thinking of it gives me a headache.

  4. My family arrived from England in 1967…we became Canadian Citizens in the early 70’s. Because I was under 12, I was not required to attend the ceremony. My parents and brothers attended, but I had to go to school. I’ve always felt that I missed out on something very important.

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