Immigrating to Canada: Becoming a Canadian Citizen [Part 1]

Today I decided I want to become a Canadian Citizen.

This decision came after 5 years living in PEI, working for about 3 years and being married for 4 years.

To translate this. I am eligible for applying for Canadian citizenship.

Many people think I already became a citizen. That is a misconception I get a lot since I married a Canadian man. This is not like in US, where you marry a US citizen and you get a green card. The Canadian residency process is different and there are quite a few programs you can follow. We went with spousal sponsorship, where my husband helped vouch for my well-being here in PEI. There was still a lot of paperwork, a lot of stress and a loooooong period of time of waiting. I received my Work Permit first in about 8 months Then I waited other 8 month to get my PR.

We didn’t hire anybody to help us with the immigration process, but we appealed to the pei Newcomers Association to give us a hand when we were confused by the requirements. Their help was very welcomed. They helped me going through the paperwork and find little mistakes. For instance, you must detail your stay in Canada for the last few years. This was a hassle for me. The timeline has to be perfect and it must include everything…I mean everything you did. From travelling to see your parents to going to school and having an internship on the side. I barely remember what I did a few months ago..but thank God I had Facebook and that helped a bit with timeline.

Last week I went to see my friend Andree from Newcomers Association to give a clear image of the process of becoming Canadian.

I guess the first step would be to find out what the process is. I will try to walk you through the process and let your experience it through my eyes.

There are a few requirements:

  1. Provide proof that you know how to speak and write in 1 of Canada's official languages (either English or French). I will get my IELTS certification in November. I have to go for General Training, as this is accredited for immigration process. I am also studying French in my free time. This will help me succeed and communicate better in different parts on Canada.

  2. Be a Permanent Resident (PR). I did.

  3. Live in Canada as a PR for at least 1,095 days out of the 5 years before you apply. I did. I only travel a few weeks at a time, to visit my family. My whole life is here now. I work and live in PEI. This is my new home.

  4. Have filed your taxes for at least 3 years during the last 5 years and any income tax you may owe must be paid. I did.

Good. I am ready to go. Next step is to get the IELSTS certification. [PART TWO…]