9.04.2008

citizenship application update

Red Sox day game yesterday - great comeback win! - so what better use of our free evening than filling our citizenship applications.

It's very basic stuff: date you began living in Canada, date you became Permanent Resident (those are the same dates for us, but not for everyone), addresses for the past 10 years. You need more photos, and it costs $200 per application.

The only potentially tricky part is the number of days you have actually been physically present in Canada.
To be eligible for Canadian citizenship, you must have lived in Canada for at least three years (1,095 days) out of the four years (1,460 days) preceding your application. Please note that you cannot meet the residence requirements for citizenship without a minimum of two (2) years as a permanent resident.

The counter takes in the last four years, so those of you who moved to Canada before becoming Permanent Residents, a full year of that time counts. You also deduct any time spent outside of Canada. Day trips don't count, so we don't deduct time for picking up friends at the Buffalo airport or picking up Tala in western New York State. But our little trips to New York and Vermont, our US Thanksgiving in New Jersey, vacation in Peru, my trip to Southern California - all that gets deducted.

The CIC site has a very useful and user-friendly online calculator, where you can input all your info, and it tells you exactly when you're eligible to apply for citizenship. You can save it online, and you can also print your results to submit it with your application.

After deducting our various trips out of Canada, we determined we can submit our applications on November 1. Only two months away, not bad! Allan is eligible sooner than me, but we'll submit our applications when we're both ready.

So far, so good!

18 comments:

L-girl said...

West End Bob, now I understand what you were asking in your earlier comment, re keeping a log of when we're out of the country! I keep a daily calendar, so we just went back through those and pulled out the relevant trips.

Idealistic Pragmatist said...

This was the killer for me, too. It's the biggest reason why I applied so long after I moved here, in fact--I just travel so much that it was near-impossible to figure out. I mean, I too went back to look at old calendars, but I'm sure I still missed something. Despite including two extra pages with my application.

They scrutinized my passport stamps very closely when I went in to take the test...

Canada Calling said...

How does the CIC verify/know if you have left the country for any length of time? So I assume any overnight stays to the States count as one day? Time you spent in Canada before you become a Permanent Resident counts? Does that include when we bought the house here and stayed in it for a week (albeit on the floor, camping)? I find the information provided by the CIC on citizenship about as clear as the immigration information they provide (mud). One other question, can you be dual citizens of Canada and the US?

L-girl said...

How does the CIC verify/know if you have left the country for any length of time?

Idealistic Pragmatist's comment, above, might answer some of that - they look at your passport.

But of course when you go to the US, no one stamps your passport. I don't know if or how they would verify. I just know I'm not lying on any of these applications. It just wouldn't the risk.

So I assume any overnight stays to the States count as one day?

Yes.

Time you spent in Canada before you become a Permanent Resident counts?

Yes - but time you lived in Canada, not just visiting.

Does that include when we bought the house here and stayed in it for a week (albeit on the floor, camping)?

That I don't know. But if it's only a week, it doesn't make much of a difference. It would only mean you were applying for citizenship a week later or earlier.

I find the information provided by the CIC on citizenship about as clear as the immigration information they provide (mud).

Hm. I find it pretty clear. Maybe my situation is more straightforward than yours.

One other question, can you be dual citizens of Canada and the US?

Yes.

L-girl said...

I just travel so much that it was near-impossible to figure out.

I am envious.

West End Bob said...

I knew you would figure it out when you got deeper into the prOcess, L-Girl! :)

What's the photo thing all about? More "loving" poses of "drf" and I?

I think the answer to Canada Calling's "queerie" of dual citizenship for both the US and Canada is "Yes", correct?

Thanks for the update, and we're counting down the days with you. Still doesn't seem possible that you're that close, does it ? ? ? ?

L-girl said...

I knew you would figure it out when you got deeper into the prOcess, L-Girl! :)

:-)

What's the photo thing all about? More "loving" poses of "drf" and I?

LOL, just the same stuff that we all did with our PR apps. Two more photos each, specific sizes, blah blah. I guess they want an update, or to compare it to your other apps, or it's just beaurocratic (sp? I can never spell that word) nonsense.

I think the answer to Canada Calling's "queerie" of dual citizenship for both the US and Canada is "Yes", correct?

Yes indeed! And many other countries too. It's part of encouraging immigration, I think - not forcing you to give up your original citizenship.

Thanks for the update, and we're counting down the days with you.

THANK YOU!! :)

Still doesn't seem possible that you're that close, does it ? ? ? ?

It's crazy! The time flew by! Yet at the same time, I feel so at home, it feels like a lifetime ago that I lived in NYC.

rumor said...

First, my slightly premature welcome to the citizenry. Glad to have you! We're richer for it.

Second, as far as the residency requirements go, in one sense the reporting is on the honour system. CIC officials will look for discrepancies that raise questions, but barring that, it really is on your honour. The one very large caveat is that if you happen to lie and CIC one day finds out, there is a process by which your citizenship can be revoked for misrepresentation. (See sections 10 and 18 of the Citizenship Act.)

L-girl said...

First, my slightly premature welcome to the citizenry. Glad to have you! We're richer for it.

Thank you very much!

Second, as far as the residency requirements go, in one sense the reporting is on the honour system. CIC officials will look for discrepancies that raise questions, but barring that, it really is on your honour. The one very large caveat is that if you happen to lie and CIC one day finds out, there is a process by which your citizenship can be revoked for misrepresentation.

Good point.

Personally, I would never lie on any document like this. We were 100% truthful on our PR apps and will be the same on our citizenship apps. If our citizenship is delayed by a few weeks or a few months, what's the difference? Once we're Cdn citizens, that will be for life. I am eager to do it, but only according to the rules.

Alex said...

I fall in the class of living here (work permit) before getting my PR. Even though i've been here for over four years, I still need to wait until next September before I can apply :) I can wait - it's worth it!

gito said...

This is so exciting!! Another reason to check your blog everyday;-] We still have to wait another year before we can apply. This is something we both are looking forward to!

john said...

Good news! So how long after you submit your application will you be swearing allegiance to HM Queen Elizabeth II, her Heirs and Successors? ;-) In other words, how long on average does it take for an application to be processed?

L-girl said...

Thanks everyone! Alex and Gito, citizens-to-be. :)

In other words, how long on average does it take for an application to be processed?

We don't know. And there's no way to find out that I know of. I've heard six months, I've heard a full year. We shall see!

Adam said...

Wow. I didn't know that a year of Canadian residency on work permits would count toward citizenship - assuming we are granted PR status. And then two more years as a PR. Fabulous. *Very* good to know.

L-girl said...

Adam, yes, it's very exciting! I've emailed other people we know who also lived here before getting PR status. You were next on my list. :)

L-girl said...

And you will definitely get PR. I'll be shocked if you don't.

Expat Traveler said...

This is so useful! I forgot and you linked to the site for me, thanks! So if I understand correctly, do you have to use 2 years of permanent res before applying?

But I don't like the log of going out of the country part. Grr...

L-girl said...

Hi Expat Traveler! Probably the best thing to do is go to the CIC site and use their calculator. That will tell you exactly when you're eligible. Good luck!