Timeline

UPDATED: May 24, 2017

How long does this take, anyway? It feels like it’s been an eon since I started my process. Here’s the breakdown:

date time taken
2011? First attempt to acquire grandparents’ birth certificates from Italy. Sent letter by mail, failed.
2011-2014 Got distracted and forgot about it.
early 2015 Poked around public records and found marriage and death records
Apr 2015 Second attempt to acquire birth certificates. Sent email.
Went to Toronto consulate for first time to ask questions. They confirmed requirements.
May 2015 Received birth certificates from Italy 1 month
Made appointment online to go to Toronto consulate (10 month wait at the time; got way longer, well over 1 year now)
Aug 2015 Requested grandmother’s immigration record from Canadian government
Nov 2015 Received original passports & misc. official docs from uncle in Montreal
Got passports & docs certified at Montreal consulate on the spot
Received grandmother’s immigration; had error, government corrected it quickly 3 months
Jan-Feb 2016 Requested & received apostilles for USA documents 1 month
Requested and received Quebec documents; initial failure & issues with typos 2 months
Mar 2016 Requested and received translations of Quebec docs; went to Montreal for pickup 2 weeks
Got translations certified at  Montreal consulate on the spot
*March 16, 2016* Appointment at Toronto consulate; 90% of paperwork submitted & fee paid
Sent USA documents to Chicago consulate
Aug 2016 Received USA documents back 5 months
Sept 2016 Brought USA documents to Toronto consulate; problem with marriage certificate
Dec 2016 Requested new translation of marriage certificate
Jan 2017 Received new translation 1 month
*Feb 1, 2017* Submitted final paperwork. Application processing 3.5 months
May 11, 2017 Application processed – I am a citizen!!!

Here is a list of the errors I’ve had to fix throughout this process (some were my fault, and others weren’t):If we consider April 2015 the official start, then the process to complete my application took a total of 1 year and 9 months. If I had cut out all useless steps (*ahem* sending documents to Chicago) I would have had this done in 1 year and 4 months. And if I had done more in between setting my consulate appointment and actually going to it, I could have theoretically gotten everything done in 10 months – the time between booking & attending the appointment. But remember that no matter how fast you go, there will always be unanticipated errors that you have to work to fix. Especially in Canada.

  • Wrong dates on immigration record
  • Misspelled names & typos on certificates
  • Wrong format of birth certificate
  • Wrong copy of marriage certificate

…which I guess isn’t that bad, but all of these caused their own delays and headaches. Requesting corrections from the Quebec government was the worst.

But it’s all done now. 🙂

 

Final Submission (for real)

Today was an important day — I officially submitted all of my paperwork. My application is being processed! I can’t wait to be officially recognized as a citizen 1 year from now!! (hopefully I didn’t just jinx it)

But wait, let’s back up. My last post was about getting my stamped documents back from Chicago. I believe this was a completely unnecessary, totally time-wasting step. But it’s okay!

I went back to the consulate with these papers, and they told me two things:

  1. “You didn’t need these stamps…why did you get them?” (because you insisted last time….)*
  2. “Your marriage certificate doesn’t match the translation.”

Yeah…..OOPS. I had an official marriage certificate with apostille. But the copy I gave to my translator was a “souvenir copy.” It was what I had in my lockbox, and I never once thought that it was different from an official copy. (Why did the state even give me this useless document?) They look nearly the same, but the official copy has signatures and a lot more boilerplate text.

I had the correct version translated and brought that to the consulate today. And that was it. Yay!

passport_reach
Come to me…..my precioussss

*take home message: if something sounds out of whack, it probably is….don’t trust them! Just go back another day and speak to a different person.