“I swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, her heirs and successors, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfill my duties as a Canadian citizen.”
On September 2, 2014, my husband and I together with our 2 kids (my youngest was born here in Canada) took our Oath of Canadian Citizenship thus, making as Canadian citizens.
There are two ways to become a Canadian citizen, one is through birth and secondly through naturalization. And immigrants who landed as permanent residents like us can apply for naturalization. I have previously discussed the topic on how to apply for Canadian citizenship (through naturalization) in my post entitled, Becoming a Canadian Citizen. The processing time was not short and the documentary requirements were not few. In fact, during the time that I submitted my family’s application for naturalization (citizenship), it was simpler. Earlier this year (2014), there have been changes to Canadian citizenship and immigration policy. Thankfully, I decided to submit our application for citizenship before the end of 2012. The new Citizenship Act increased the length of residency requirement. In addition to this it also imposed a more stringent language requirements and the fees are even higher. It also establishes Ministerial discretion to revoke, deny, and grant citizenship under specified conditions. I am not in the position to explain these changes because I am not an expert but for my readers who are about to apply for citizenship, I suggest that you visit Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (CIC) official website so you can further understand the process and the requirements.
As for me, I am just thankful that our application was processed prior to the changes that were implemented by CIC and that we passed the citizenship test and had our oath taking ceremony 2 months after. And I thought of sharing this one important event in an immigrants’ life.
The citizenship ceremony is considered to be the final step to becoming a Canadian citizenship. In about two months after my husband and I passed the citizenship test, we received a notice from CIC telling us to attend the ceremony to take the oath. A person who is aged 14 and above are required to attend the ceremony. Our notice indicated that it is important for me and my husband to attend the ceremony and our children (since they are both below 14 years of age) do not have to go — but they are welcome to come with us. The documents including our permanent resident card, record of landing and other documents that we need to bring with us are also listed in the notice that we received.
When we arrived at the ceremony venue, we presented the required documents. The ceremony was presided by a citizenship judge and leads the Oath of Citizenship. Attendees or candidates for citizenship are each given a copy of the oath and each candidate is required to recite the oath. The judge may not issue the citizenship certificate should the candidate failed to recite the oath (or follow after the judge).
After the oath the judge will allow the guest official/s or police officer (if any) that also came to join the ceremony to speak and greet the new “Canadians.” After which, each person or each family will be called to receive their certificate of citizenship from the judge.
So yes – if you will ask me now, I can now be defined as Canadian and I have the rights and responsibilities as other Canadians.