Monday, April 16, 2012

Even more silliness

I had contacted the Canadian High Commission in London this weekend to inquire about a document I was told to use called the Travel Document for Permanent Residents Abroad and I got a call in response today and it left me shaking my head even more.

First off, the woman, an Emily O'Cxxxx, told me that she had 'never heard of a Canadian citizen requesting that particular travel document' because it is 'for Permanent Residents, not citizens of Canada'. But then she went on to say that my son would 'NEED a Canadian passport to get back into the country after his trip'. This is incorrect AS WELL. OMG. No wonder people have such a hard time with immigration services and decide to climb over a fence instead ;) Seriously. I said 'Well that is interesting seeing as he has flown in and out of Canada 5 times so far and has yet to need a Canadian passport, not even last year when he flew by himself'. She asked me to explain and I told her that when he landed in Calgary, alone, last summer, the people at the passport control desk were unsure so they sent him to main Customs. There, he was told that he IS a Canadian citizen as well as British, after viewing both of our long-form birth certificates, and sent him on his way. They also phoned me to tell me that he is a citizen, not a permanent resident'. Anyhow so I explained all of that and this British sounding Canadian sounding woman said 'Well I don't know how they could do that'. WHAT? Anyway she acted as though Calgary was doing it wrong. I said 'I flew into Toronto once as well because one year we had a connecting flight instead of non-stop and they too said he is a Canadian citizen because I am and sent us on our way.

At any rate, she did tell me that she has never given a Travel Doc for Permanent Residents Abroad to a Canadian citizen before and advised against it - although with the rest of the conversation being so mental, who the heck knows lol. I wrote back again to the same email address I used on the weekend and said that I will not be able to take phone calls the rest of the week because I have to work early. Maybe they will respond in writing. I DETEST doing things over the phone for important issues such as this because you never have proof to fall back on if someone denies passing along certain info or you forget something that you were told. I like to have it in writing so I requested that this time. Let's see if I get a reply. I re-asked the same questions in hopes another person will get the file instead. FUN.

Another comment she made that was funny was that I 'should have applied for his proof of citizenship as soon as I arrived in Canada when he was a baby'. Yeah, I should have, and would have if I had known about it's existance. I did not have internet, single mom and all, for a few years and I would phone Canada Immigration to ask questions. They kept telling me for ages that he was a Permanent Resident and would need such-and-such a form and then when I talked to a friend who used to work as passport control, she told me no, she was sure he was a citizen, not a permanent rez... so this went on and on and then one day after I got set up with internet and decided to look things up myself, I found the link for a Proof of Citizenship certificate. But again when I called about it, I got an agent who really did not seem to know anything. He actually told me that the form was for people who had lost their birth certificate and could not get an original long form one because of reasons such as the hospital they were born at burning down and records being destroyed or lost over the years. I was SO confused. I did not see anything about that on the website at all, but here the agent was telling me that. He told me my son was not a citizen and would have to go through the ceremony to become one and that he would have to denounce his British Citizenship first as well. I did not want to do that. He told me that it would cost $300 for my son to become a Canadian citizen (which I could not afford at all), and all this mumbo jumbo. So I put it off again and then suddenly my son was older, wanting a job, flying alone to see his dad instead of me escorting him, etc and here we are - with more people at every level telling me slightly or completely differing information. UNREAL. 

And in other news, no reply from my MP's office either, not even an auto-reply that my email was received. If I hear nothing in a week I will re-send it. I heard back quickly when I wrote before for information on my partner's uncle who was an MP from 1919 to 1926.

5 comments:

  1. You should have claimed refugee status from an Islamic nation that openly supports terrorism against the free world then you would have been granted full citizenship with free health care, housing, food, clothing, extended health benefits such as dental care, free selective abortion if you wanted to choose the sex of your baby, benefits of affirmative action, protection under discrimination laws in case your felling are hurt and free education!

    Just saying….it’s works pretty good here in Canada if you ask me…..!

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  2. I try hard not to think things like that but sometimes I can't help it. I acknowledge that a lot of this is my own fault for not following up on it more but I flew back and forth to London in 1998, 2000, 20005 and 2006 with my son, and he flew alone in 2011 and then has this next trip coming up in 2012. I have never had a serious problem, just had a bit of a longer wait while the customs heads checked my paperwork. After I waited in line there it would literally take like 1 minute for them to look at my original birth certificates (I have my actual real original BC still somehow) and then they would apologize that I was sent to their desk. Now that I want the official piece of paper so my son can do it alone and skip that second customs line, I keep getting the run around.

    With any luck, the paper might be back before his flight home and he can let them know that his mom is standing just outside the doors with the certificate in hand and they can come look at that if they want.

    Another thing is the changed rules. My boss's daughter was born in Scotland and she still is considered a permanent resident because she too has had a complete run around. Her mom was born in Canada and only lived overseas for a couple years, much like me. But because they made her mom fill out a Landed Immigrant card on the plane, she is officially in the system as a Permanent Resident, even though she should be a Canadian citizen. She is almost 40 and cannot vote in provincial and federal elections, etc unless she goes through the whole thing of applying FOR citizenship.

    Yet, she was able to get a social insurance number back in the 80s with no trouble. My son cannot get one now without this certificate. So some rules changed along the way but I honestly did not think that my son would be barred from working when he has lived here since 1998 with his Canadian parent. He can deliver papers but that's about it. Very odd how it can work these days.

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  3. I would go to your MP's office in person and explain the situation. These technocrats don't know anything half the time. Most MPs have contacts inside each department that can help. Baring that I would contact Jason Kenney's office and go from there. This is nuts.

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  4. I would love to go down there and speak to the Executive Assistant in person but I want to get all the paperwork going first. I am supposed to get a letter back when Nova Scotia receives my package, giving me a file number for my son's certificate application, and I will think about going down there. I am a big chicken. I HATE face to face confrontation, but I started out by writing a letter to my MPs office on the weekend so that I could report the date and time I got the phone call and explain exactly what went down. I included quotes and links from the Canada Immigration website. If nothing else, I want to educate the person I spoke to about what she said regarding my son's status. However, with the run-around I have received over the years, I'm not surprised she is confused either. I will give her that at least, but not the parts being rude to me and refusing to listen.

    One thing I wrote in a previous post that is still hilarious to me all these years later is when I called Canada Immigration to question what the other agent told me about needing to denounce my son's British citizenship before he becomes a Canadian. I have seen people at the Calgary airport holding many passports and asking the control desk 'Which one do you want?' lol. Since Canada is part of the Commonwealth, it did not make sense to me that he would have to denounce. My area is FULL of ex-pats from Britian due to the military bases in Alberta and I am sure they did not all give up their citizenship.

    So the next agent told me to go to a website while we were on the phone together. He told me that 'Canada does not allow Dual Citizenship with ANY country'. I could not believe my ears because at the bottom of the link it gave me, I saw a line saying 'List of countries Canada allows Dual Citizenship with'. I clicked it and the list was huge! Great Britain being on there of course. I told him what I was reading and he could not believe it! He asked me where I found that info and I said 'ON the link YOU gave me' lol. GOD. It's really ridiculous.

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    Replies
    1. You don't have to be confrontational at all. Just explain that you are frustrated by the conflicting information you are receiving and are having difficulty getting your son's citizenship documentation sorted out. They are there to help people with problems like this. That is one of the purposes of a constituency office.

      A lot of people are surprised when they find out that the federal government is so dysfunctional, disorganized and have no real policy or procedures for some pretty surprising situations. Your lucky that you don't need a document translated. I had that situation once and every person I talked to had a different version of what was required. My MP's office sorted it out.

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