Applying for citizenship could be made easier

Web Lead

To the Editor:

After our citizenship application packages came back for the fourth time each, we are writing this letter because we believe that it is time to let all of you know of the absolutely pathetic, illogical people that are sitting in the Citizenship and Immigration Canada offices in Sydney, N.S.

We were born in Switzerland and moved to Canada in 2003 with our parents. We have attended school in the English part of Canada from kindergarten through Grade 12.

With our Canadian citizenship application we had to hand in “acceptable” proof of language knowledge. This includes a secondary or postsecondary school program transcript or diploma, the results of a Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada test or two other specific courses or tests that they list. Flavia handed her application in with her transcript but it kept coming back until she got her high school diploma and sent that in.

Now, the exact same thing is happening with Dshamilja. We put in an extra form filled out by the principal proving her enrollment at Prince Charles Secondary School. The next time she wrote a friendly letter telling them that she has gone through the whole public school system from kindergarten to Grade 12 in English and suggesting that they look at the marks column of her high school transcript. She obviously could not have achieved such high marks without proper English knowledge. The whole package came back again with the same statement! Just what is a high school program? All her courses from Grade 10 through the first semester of Grade 12 are listed on the transcript.

It is absolutely frustrating. You cannot call and talk to anybody who really knows what is going on. There is no explanation as to why the transcript is not good enough if it is listed on the ‘acceptable proof’ list.

Does the government not trust its own high school education system? Or maybe the citizenship officials can’t speak English themselves. Do people born in the U.S., Britain or Australia all need to go to a big city like Vancouver, Edmonton or Toronto and write a test to prove that they speak English?

It’s very sad if government people like citizenship officials can’t use an ounce of common sense, but completely rely on application forms with boxes to check. They probably already have all the information that they need at their fingertips. One mouse click and they could look up all our records. To us it just seems like they feel that they need to show off their power. Why, though?

As permanent residents, we too pay taxes, which probably pay for these officials, and we obey the same laws as Canadians. It seems that the transition between a permanent resident and a citizen shouldn’t be so extremely complicated. Being treated like this by the government makes a person not really want to become a Canadian citizen anymore.

Flavia and Dshamilja Egli