Citizenship, Immigrants, Immigration Process, Permanent Resident, Speaking from Experience

On the path to Citizenship

Depositphotos_49557547_l-2015

Welcome Back Blog Readers,

I know that it’s been a while since my last post. Life happens, being an adult means doing things like working to pay the bills and remembering when the important identification cards are about to expire.

That’s what I’ve been dealing with lately. By dealing with, I mean acknowledging that these are tasks that I will focus on, at some point very soon. Just not today.

My Drivers License, Health Card, and Permanent Resident Card all expire in 2020. Naturally, they all require a new updated picture so I can’t renew them online.

One task that I do need to focus on is reading through the Discover Canada study guide and finish filling out the application to start the process of becoming a dual citizen. Since the application time for Citizenship is unknown, I will have to renew my PR card and pay the $50 fee just to be on the safe side. I do have until April 2020 before my PR card expires, but I don’t want to take the chance of having my Citizenship application/test/interview/Oath run longer than that. It’s not worth the risk of having my PR card expire when it’s something I have to hand in during the process.

For those of you that don’t know, a Canadian Permanent Resident card has to be renewed every 5 years. I’ve already renewed it once back in 2014 and being the procrastinator that I am, I thought that I would have already become a Canadian Citizen before having to renew my PR card a second time. Like I said before, Life happens.

What will becoming a Canadian citizen mean for me?

I won’t have to fill out applications or renew a PR card ever again, yay.  Once I get a Canadian Passport, I won’t have to renew my US passport, yay.  I will have all of the same rights as a natural-born citizen, included the chance to vote and serve on a jury (something I can’t do up here). Becoming a Canadian citizen doesn’t automatically mean I’m no longer a US citizen. That’s where the DUAL part comes in.

I can hold both passports (but most likely won’t). I will be able to vote for both US and Canadian elections. I will be able to apply for any benefits that I am eligible for when that time comes. I will still have to file a ZERO return for the USA as well as the Federal/Provincial taxes in Canada every year.  Sadly, filing a US Zero return is required even though I left the US in 2009. It doesn’t mean that I owe, nor do I get a refund. It’s a 1040EZ and another form that basically states that I made nothing for the US to tax me on and I owe nothing. The only way to get out of that is to renounce my US citizenship and pay a hefty fee. No thanks, I’ll pass on that option.

Anyway, that is the news for now.

If anyone has any questions about the US to Canada immigration process, I’m happy to answer and provide links to help you learn more.

One last tidbit before signing off….

For those of you going through the process, DOCUMENT all visits outside of the country. Keep a journal and log each trip, the dates, where you went. Same with all of your addresses going back 5 years and where you worked/studied. this information will be super handy when it comes time to renew your PR card or apply for citizenship later on.

 

 

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