Thursday, May 03, 2007

I'm a Temporary Permanent Resident

On Tuesday morning, I had an interview appointment with Immigration Canada to determine my status in Canada. Not knowing exactly what to expect, we arrived early for our appointed time in a downtown government building(which happens to describe most of the city!). After waiting for about 20 minutes in a room with several other people, a woman with dyed curled hair, and a French accent appeared at counter completely enclosed behind glass. The only openings were for passing items under the glass and rows of holes drilled to provide for communication.
My name was called fairly quickly and I came to the counter alone. First things first, paying the remainder of the fees. Using our credit card, she gave me a receipt for the paid landing fees. I guess that meant I was approved. No, they probably would refund your money if they later found you inadequate.

Next, she asked for my passport and then asked for my husband to submit his photo id. After she confirmed he was who he claimed to be, he was allowed to return to his seat to be with our son. I submitted the pictures which I had had taken the day before at a large retail outlet. The photos were a little dark and the immigration officer was concerned they might be rejected, so she said one of her colleagues would retake the pictures at no extra charge. She then asked if I wanted the Permanent Resident card issued in my married name or maiden name. Having just gone through the hassle of getting my American passport changed to my married name, I felt like saying, "umm, if my passport is in my married name, wouldn't I want this card to match it?". But of course, I just said, "Yes, I would like it to be issued in my married name."

For several minutes, she typed various keys on her computer, making strange faces and hmmm sounds. Then she brightened, held some paperwork in her hand and said she had four questions to ask me. I think I've written them down correctly, but #3 and #4 might have been put into one, which means I can't remember the fourth one.
Q1. Do you have any other dependents who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents?
Q2. Have you ever been convicted of a crime or offense?
Q2. Have you ever been refused admission into Canada?
Q4. Have you ever been asked to leave Canada?
None of the answers to these questions provide new information to the Immigration office, but apparently are necessary so that they can have you sign that the statements are true and correct.
With that, she left her desk and disappeared around a corner for about three minutes. She reappeared and said, "Congratulations. You are a Permanent Resident". I thanked her and she then slid my passport and paperwork confirming my status and a follow-up sheet of information under the glass. I was then ushered down a hallway to an alarmed door where her colleague took me to a photo room and re-took the needed photos. After that, I was excused and free to leave. I think the total time spent in the building was about an hour or less. So in about a month, I should receive the photo id PR card which is valid for five years. After three years, I can apply for citizenship, which is strongly being recommended by my husband. :)


  1. Anonymous9:30 PM

    citizenship being strongly recommended!? I mean, who doesn't want to be a Canandian? lol


  2. who doesn't want be Canadian...?
    Well, for starters, most Americans!


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