Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Citizenship Application Update

For any of you who are interested in the process and the timeline of applying for citizenship, here is what has happened with my file so far.

We mailed the application and all supporting documents, including receipt of the paid fee on January 9. I sent this as registered mail, and I was able to see that the documents were received by CIC on January 13.

On Feb. 6, I received a letter dated Jauary 30 stating that Sarah and my applications were received. We also got a separate half-page letter reiterating the fact that if we cannot speak French or English on a functional level, we will not be able to become citizens. I thought this was especially interesting as I come from a country that has no official language or language requirements for citizenship. (And by the way, I think countries SHOULD require language competency for citizenship). With this confirmation letter, we also received the 70-page Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizens. This is our study guide for the Citizenship test. I thought the picture of Team Canada Men's Hockey with their gold medals from the 2010 Olympics on the back cover was an interesting touch.

I do have this study guide on my Blackberry as it is available as an app. In addition, I have saved the PDF version on my computer. But, I am not sure about studying from a digital version. So, since we really need at least two copies of the guide (one for each of us so we can make our own highlights and notes), I went to the CIC site to request additional copies. Requesting additional copies was a very easy process. They have a link to a form where you can request up to 50 copies (!) at no charge and the form is e-mailable. I requested a couple of extra so I can have one in my work bag and one at home and a couple for Sarah.

Yesterday I received another letter from the CIC, and this letter was regarding a problem with my application. The application asked for my name exactly as it is shown on my Immigration document. This I provided, which was my full first, middle, and last name. The next question was a request for a different name to appear on the citizenship certificate, subject to approval by CIC. Well, I filled out this section and requested first, middle initial, and last name. This is what generated the letter stating that in order for my citizenship certificate to show anything other than my full name as on my other documents, I would have to provide a provincial or national identification card that shows my name as such. Much to my dismay, my full middle name appears on all of my government documents. I called CIC today, and they said that I will now have to write a letter stating that it is fine to show my full name, including full middle name, on the citizenship certificate otherwise my application will stay in a suspended status. If I would have known this would cause a problem, I would not have made a special request at the time of application. Hopefully any of you who are going to apply for citizenship will heed this warning!

With a little luck, that will be the last hiccup in the citizenship process!


MSEH said...

That's interesting. My "official documents" cut off the last letter of my middle name. With my names I guess they totaled one letter too many. I would prefer that they show my actual middle name. I guess I'll send a copy of birth certificate, etc. It would be nice to not have the wrong middle name follow me around forever!

MJB said...


Yeah, that's interesting and apparently they are very fussy about the name on the certificate matching names on other official documents. I would have never imagined that asking for just my middle initial on the certificate would cause such a problem. But, if there was an actual typo or letter missing. . .that would be worse!


MJB said...

Update! I requested four extra copies of the study guide on Feb. 13 and received them on Feb. 16. I can't believe it only took three days!