Grandparents’ Immigration Records

Here is the part where I attempted to collect immigration records (I shouldn’t say attempted — I was successful!). I thought this would be the most difficult part of the process. In fact, I had doubts that I could even obtain the documents I needed.

My fears were stupid. The process, while different for each grandparent, was surprisingly streamlined. I only hit one little snag, which definitely wasn’t my fault and was quickly resolved.

Citizenship & Immigration Records (Canada)

The first thing I did was ask my mum what she knew about her parents’ citizenship. From her I learned that my grandmother became a Canadian citizen at some point, and my grandfather never did, “probably.” I had to submit two different types of request – not due to the differing statuses of my grandparents, but because they had both passed away at different times.

Nonno passed away more than 20 years ago, so I was able to submit a record search request via Access to Information [info here]. I paid $5 (not bad) and received an email confirming that there were no records indicating that my grandfather was ever naturalized as a Canadian citizen. This might be acceptable, but the problem is that you need to search every possible name and birth date that may be associated with your person of interest, and then somehow show that you did so. I say somehow because the email shows only the name you specified, not the birth date you supplied or any other information. FYI, I have no idea how you would go about doing this (ask your consulate). So to be safe, I also requested my grandmother’s records.

Nonna passed away much more recently, so I had to instead request a record of citizenship status [link here]. This was $75 (not as nice), and took quite a while to get to me: I ordered the document in August and received it in November. To my dismay, it also contained several clerical errors (passed away in 2012, but received citizenship in 2015? Hmmmmm….). Thankfully, after sending the document back with a letter, they quickly processed it again and Xpresspost-ed me a correct version.

If your ancestor was naturalized somewhere in the range of 1915-1951, have a look here…you might get lucky and save some money and effort.

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