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Saturday, April 08, 2017

My citizenship application has been submitted

For awhile there, I thought I would wait for Trudeau to implement his promised changes to the Citizenship Act. But really getting anything done doesn't seem to be a Liberal priority these days. It's easier to make speeches and promises than it is to do the trench work that turns them into policies that change people's lives for the better. Harper did a lot of harm to immigrants. He made it harder to get into the country, he made it take longer to qualify for citizenship. He even made it more expensive. I thought Trudeau would've undone a lot of the mess he made by now. He hasn't.

After five-plus years in Canada, I passed the bar where I am able to apply for citizenship. My wife said not to wait any longer, so I didn't. I applied a few days ago.

Gathering the application materials wasn't difficult. I found a local notary to create the "certified true copies" of my university diploma, passports, two- pieces of photo ID (I used my driver's license and health card), and my immigration form signed on landing back in 2011...I had to wait for the police clearance from the FBI as I had spent enough time back in the US over the last five years t require one. Then I used the online tool at CIC to document all my trips out of the country, printed it, put the application and checklist together, and that was it - they are off to Nova Scotia for processing.

If there aren't any issues with processing, the next step should be the scheduling of my citizenship test. I've been reading Discover Canada and taking both the CIC's mock tests as well as tests through an Andriod application (Canadian Citizenship Test Free by Alpca+Fox). I'm confident I'll be ready for the test once it's scheduled.

So how long will I have to wait? Depending on the current volume, the process could take a year. Again - the Liberals aren't helping things with practical solutions like staffing, but after my immigration experience and years in Canada, I know that patience is required and I've always been a patient man.

Where are you on your immigration journey? At whatever stage, let me encourage you to be diligent in your applications to provide everything that's asked for, advocate for yourself every step of the way (even if you have a lawyer), be patient, and never lose hope that you will succeed. My own immigration journey took a long time, but was it worth it? Yes.

Canada is the greatest nation in the world and soon, I won't only be a permanent resident - I'll be a citizen.

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