And my very useful Canadian/British mother...
In 1956 my Granddad and pregnant Nan were travelling through North America. When they arrived in Vancouver my Nan very handily decided to give birth giving my mum a Canadian birth certificate and rights to citizenship. This, 34 years later, she passed on to me.
Theoretically my ability to get Canadian citizenship should make this process a lot easier by removing the complicated admin of applying for residency or work permits...in reality there is a lot of paperwork and official hoops that need to be jumped through and any slip ups cost a lot of time. So here are my how to's and don't do's for applying for Canadian citizenship...
Everything surrounding visas and citizenship is explained here and once you're sure you qualify you can go through the document checklist here, find the scenario that applies to you and then begin to gather your documents together. For me (scenario 3) I needed:
✓ Proof of Mum’s citizenship (her Canadian birth certificate)
✓ Proof that she’s my Mum (my long birth certificate)
✓ Proof I am who I say I am (certified copies of my passport and driving license)
✓ Proof of payment fee of $450 (my receipt)
✓ My face (2 weird sized photos - 50mm x 70mm)
✓ My completed application form and documentation checklist
One month lost
The first delay came when i sent off for my long birth certificate from here. You can order this on standard delivery for £9.25 or express for £23.40...I went standard (*hand smacking face emoji) this is 14 working days, which over the Christmas period is a month, so go express!
Next I needed my photos. The required photos are not the same as UK passport photos, they have to be 50mm x 70mm and professionally taken with an addresses stamp on the back. I went to a weird little photoshop in the underground exit 9 of Charing Cross - I was going to add the link here but I just googled it and it says closed...(I hope this wasn’t because I told the guy who’d worked there for 15 years to follow his dream and move to the Philippines!)
All photocopies of official documents (birth certificates, IDs etc.) need to be certified. From what I originally read this means signed by a professional with the below statement:
“Certified to be a true copy of the original seen by me,
Two months lost
I got all my document together, certified and sent off...however, my original application came back because I got my friend who is a probation officer to certify my documents. Although this role counts as a profession the note on the return letter said it must be a lawyer or solicitor - so don’t make the same mistake! This lost me another month.
THREE months lost!
So once I had made new copies and had them re-signed by a solicitor friend I resent them. Initial processing time is 4-6 weeks! After which it is sent on to a centre in Canada to begin processing, this can take 5-7 months.
All these delays mean that it will be August before it goes through and by that time we’ll be driving through the USA!
I’m keeping everything crossed it goes through faster than that…