... to my local MP regarding the misinformation his staff gave me regarding the citizenship status of my 14 year old son. I wonder if he will ever get to read it, or if it will simply end up in the hands of the person I had the offending phone call with. It made me wonder where emails go that you send to govt officials and how the system is run. If for example, it was indeed his Executive Assistant that I spoke with and then wrote a complaint email about, and she is the one that opens his emails - what happens next? Does she have any way of not showing it to him, or deleting it? I have no idea. I would surely hope that my email does not suddenly go missing in action but this situation made me wonder about that.
Anyhow I had to report her for telling me first that my son is a Permanent Resident. He is not. He was born outside of Canada, but to a Canadian-born parent, and according to Immigration Canada itself, that makes him 'automatically a Canadian citizen'. All he requires for paper proof is for me to fill out an application that is full of questions about my birth place, and his, and then copies of all pertaining documents such as my birth certificate, and his. The entire document is only about those details. But she told me he should have had a permanent resident card and was actually getting quite rude about it. She told me I should have done that a long time ago for my son. She was stressing how important that was. She directly stated that 'he has to have a Permanent Resident Card before he can apply for Citizenship'. I told her he is not a Permanent Resident and is not applying FOR citizenship but for proof of citizenship, two entirely different documents, and explained the number of times I have flown in and out of Canada with him and how people at the passport desk were sometimes confused by his british passport, so they would send me to Customs, and the people there (you know, the ones who are fully aware of the law cos it's their direct job), would say 'why did you get sent here? your son is a Canadian citizen by your birth, so you can carry on. Sorry you got sent here. Have a nice day' etc. But she did not listen to me. She kept saying he needed that document and should not have been in the country since 1998 without this paperwork. WTF?
After I kept trying to explain that my son is not a Permanent Resident and getting so frustrated my coworkers were staring at me, wondering what was going on on the phone, she then told me that my son has NO STATUS in Canada and that he has been a 'visitor' all this time. I was so mad. She said things about how I need to get this sorted out as soon as possible because he has been a visitor for 13 years and blah blah blah crap bullcrap. It was SO utterly frustrating and maddening. All I wanted was some help filing the forms for proof of citizenship to make sure it all got done right, in hopes it might actually get done faster and he would have the document in hand when he flies solo to England this June, or to have it ready for when he came back so that I would bring it to the airport to pick him up, and also so that I can order a Social Insurance Card for him so he can get a job. He will be 15 this summer.
I have not needed a proof of citizenship document before because even flying in and out of Canada, I just had to show his long form birth certificate and mine. His shows that his mom is Canadian. Mine shows that me and my parents were all born in Canada. I just happened to give birth to him during the short time I lived in England. I have lived in Canada 35 out of my 39 years. But anyway, according to the Canada Immigration site, a 'Visitor' is a tourist, student, or temporary worker. Which one of those applies to my son? Geezus. A tourist??? Is she insane? I don't understand why people in these offices talk as though they understand the law without even attempting to look it up. I had some correspondance with an MPs office in BC and while some of the information given to me still seems incorrect as it is purely a document for 'Permanent Residents Abroad', they contacted departments and gave me links to various pieces of paperwork and guides to read to help fill them out, lots of correspondence, etc - none of which my local office even attempted to do. I should have been at the very least offered a chance to come down and have them look over the documents to help make sure they were filled out or to make sure all was there, get help understanding parts of the forms if need-be, etc. That is their job to help with Federal matters. But I was offered none of that. She told me to get this sorted out without even offering to help do it. I would have gladly went down there with my papers and shown her where she was wrong lol. But still - the offer did not come. Nothing did apart from telling me two completely wrong pieces of information and then berating me for not doing it sooner. If my son was considered a Canadian citizen the moment he was born to me, and has lived here since he was an infant and is now almost 15 years old, why would I think before this that I needed some more paperwork?
What alerted me to this need was going to fill out an SIN application and trying to get him a Canadian passport to use along with his British Passport for ease of travel, and seeing that I needed a Proof of Citizenship certificate for him. In the past, all I have needed to do for anything was to show our birth certificates so I assumed again it would be the same for the SIN - sending in certified copies of our birth certificates along with the application. But instead I found a link to Proof of Citizenship if the applicant (my son) does not have a Canadian birth certificate ... And here I am trying to get one and instead being told by endless people that he isnt even a Citizen, but is a permanent resident, or a tourist/student studying abroad/temporary worker, or being told to fill out Permanent Resident forms that do not apply to him. Frustrating!
So I hope that the letter I wrote to the MP will be seen by more than one person and a crash course on 1) citizenship rules and 2) how to treat constituents, will be given to all staff 'as soon as possible' in order to 'get this sorted out'.