This month, my husband completed all necessary steps and became a citizen of this great country. It took almost 5 years but finally this great journey has been completed. It has been something we have been waiting on for a long time. Now, he can apply for a passport and we can relax about a few things!
He was over the moon with happiness! I made several cute videos to capture the moment. I have to say that I, who never had any reason to attend such a thing in the past, found the ceremony and oath taking to be very moving. It was a beautiful thing to see 60 people from 15 different countries become naturalized citizens. There was so much diversity and excitement in the room. It was solemn but full of positivity and ceremony.
I really have come to value symbolism and ceremony much more than I used to. Marking occasions and honoring important transitions really gives one time to reflect on things which is something we do not make enough time to do. I realized, I have taken for granted the privilege of holding citizenship as I was born here but have to say that this experience truly made me proud of this wonderful multicultural nation in a way I never have been before. I am very proud that I am employed at a workplace that supports newcomers achieve their dreams. Attending my husband’s ceremony really brought my life and work to a beautiful point this month. Any time I feel discouraged this year, I will just think back to this special day.
To conclude, I just wanted to take a moment to reflect on the journey thus far:
- May 2011-Got engaged and rejected for a tourist visa (would have been nice for him to see my country at least once before we got married)
- July 2011-Got married “in a fever hotter than a pepper sprout” (but the fire is still not out, thank goodness 🙂 !)
- August 2011-Sent in completed immigration application including proof of a relationship and translated documents to the government once I returned from honeymoon.
- December 2011-January 2012-Met in a visa free country and took a vacation together after being newlyweds apart since August.
- January 2012-Immigration interview and medical completed for the husband.
- February 2012-Approved and immigrated.
- Rest of 2012-Major struggle with settling and adapting to this country.
- 2013 & 2014-Progress such as finding decent work, learning English, making friends, understanding the culture and values within this society.
- June 2015-Eligible to apply for citizenship but law changes 2 days before and must wait another year!
- May 2016-Eligible to apply for citizenship and must complete language tests.
- September 2016-Language test completed. All documents gathered and mailed for citizenship.
- November 2016-Approved for next step-history and country knowledge test-and fingerprints requested and forwarded.
- December 2016-Knowledge test passed and informed to wait 2-3 months for swearing of oath and granting of citizenship.
- January 2017-Called in to take the oath and granted citizenship!