Thursday, November 2, 2006

O Canada....

Well, yesterday was a very interesting day. I got a letter a couple of weeks ago that said I needed to appear at Immigration Canada on November 1 at 1:00 pm with my husband. Now let me just explain that up until this point, we have been filing paperwork and dishing out $$$ nonstop for them........this whole process started about a year ago. They want so many things........fingerprints from the United States AND the state of PA (what's the difference, who knows?), criminal records checks from the United States, PA, and Canada, results of a physical I had done here in Canada, results of a chest X-ray and bloodwork from here in Canada, tons and tons of little passport photos (I think we counted they wanted 12), a very thick application packet, etc etc etc. They wanted to know when we met, how long we had known each other, where was the wedding, when was the wedding, when did you meet each other's families, and they also wanted pictures of dates we had been on as well as pictures of the wedding! Yeah, I know it sounds crazy, but I guess a lot of people marry out of convenience just to be able to immigrate to Canada........being the proud American that I am, I don't think I would ever do that..........

Anyhow, we get there for our 1 pm appointment, and discover that there are roughly 50-60 other people also there with a 1 pm appointment. Let me just insert here that we, as white people, were definitely in the minority here. Kind of a strange and not-so-nice feeling. Maybe I should think about that the next time I think about judging someone b/c they may be a minority. Back on subject -- a little before 1:00, a lady got up and herded us (like cattle seriously) into another classroom-like room. Then she announced that there were 4 officers who would be conducting the interviews, and our names would be called RANDOMLY. I was like, oh great, we'll be here all day. Just as that thought entered my head, the lady stood up and began calling names, and she called MY NAME first. Woohoo for us......don't know exactly how that worked b/c my last name comes very close to the end of the alphabet, but we weren't asking any questions!!!

As for the interview part itself, that was really a breeze. They asked me a couple of questions such as do I have any children back in the States, have I ever received social assistance from the government, and have I had any trouble with the police since I have moved to Canada. I almost laughed and said, well, my husband here is a cop, and I'm always in trouble with him..........but didn't............lol. They said, okay, great, sign here and here and here and here and welcome to Canada! Then they made sure to inform my husband that did he realize that this was a three year sponsorship agreement, meaning he has to take care of me and provide for me for at least three years or I will be deported. It seems sad that they have to clarify things like that.......it's a harsh reality that people don't take their marriage vows seriously anymore, but thankfully, we intend to stay married a lot longer than three years, til death do us part!!

Anyhow, I am now a permanent resident of Canada. If I so desire, I can apply to become a citizen in three years, but I do not think that will happen. America is where my heart is (countrywise anyways..........my heart truly belongs to God first and then my husband). But for now, here I am in Canada, b/c that's where Jamie is. Why would I want to be anywhere else?

BTW, yes, I do know all the words to the Canadian national anthem O Canada. That is more than I can say for a lot of Canadians.

3 comments:

Anne said...

Does this mean you will have dual-citizenship (in three years of course) or does this mean that you will be strictly "Canadian"? Anyway, glad the process went as smoothly as it did for you... just think if you're name was called last;) God's good and it is proven through the little things!

Melissa said...

hey, thanks, Anne! No dual citizenship, they don't do that anymore for people over 18. So I will retain my American citizenship (don't want to lose that) and just have status as a resident here. Totally fine by me. And yes, God is good....He constantly blesses us with small things that a lot of times are big things in my eyes!

Ruth said...

Hey, yeah, I know Canadians often don't know their own national anthem. I went to high school with a Canadian guy who ccould only make it through the first line. It was so funny!