Wow. What a day we had. Today my wife and I took our citizenship oath this morning in Vancouver on Expo Blvd. It was a beautiful ceremony. We took the oath twice, once in English and again in French. As this is Black History Month, we heard a wonderful address from a prominent BC civil rights attorney from Somalia. Everything went smoothly as planned today, although there were a few minor deviations that occured. Nothing adverse or serious but thought I would mention them.
First, at the ceremony, we checked in. We arrived with all the documents requested in our oath invitation notice:
It turned out that they did not ask for our foreign passports or COPR document. They only asked for our PR cards and Driver License. (I will miss those PR cards. They served us well =o) )
- this notice;
- 2 pieces of personal identification, one of which has your photograph and signature on it; (e.g. driver's license, health card, Permanent Resident Card); Note: minors are not required to show identification with a signature.
- All of the original documents in your possession – Immigration Record of Landing (IMM1000) or Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM5292 or IMM5688);
- Permanent Resident Card (if you have a landing document and a Permanent Resident Card, you must bring both of them);
- All original passports and travel documents in your possession (current and expired);
- (optional) a holy book, of your choice, if you wish to use one to swear the Oath of Citizenship;
- a signed copy of the Permission Release and Consent form (included with this notice).
We asked about legal name changes and we were informed that, yes, we would be required to apply for a new Citizenship Certificate if we apply for a legal name change with the province. They suggested it is easier/cheaper to do a legal name change before reaching the Decision Made point in the citizenship application process. Once the name change certificate has been issued by the province, it is forwarded by the applicant to the IRCC who apply the new name to the pending application. In this case, the initial citizenship oath and certificate are administered and issued in the new name from the start which is then used apply for the new Canadian passport in the new name after taking the oath.
The only exception to this rule, as someone already posted on this thread previously, is if changing to a married name of a spouse when the spouse's family name is on the marriage certificate. In this case, only the marriage certificate is needed to assume the new family name. They said to allow at least 90 days to receive a new Citizenship Certificate with the new name.
The biggest surprise of the day was when we attempted to apply for our new Canadian passports. According to the Canadian Passport agency web site, one should wait 3 business days before applying. During the citizenship ceremony, the presiding clerk advised we should wait 2 days before applying for the passport. However, when we went in to the passport office in the afternoon to inquire more specifically, the reception agent scanned the bar code on the back of our new citizenship certificates and found that our information was already in the system and they were able to accept our passport applications the same day. It would seem if anyone needs to submit their application as early as possible after taking the oath, by all means go to the nearest passport Office and make the attempt on the day of the oath. At least in our case, the staff were quite helpful in determining how soon it can be done.
When applying in person, they did not need copies of our IDs (they said they are needed only if mailing the application). The only ID the passport office needed when applying in person was our Driver License and the new Citizenship Certificate. They mentioned that when we renew in ten years as long as there has been no major change in indentity (name, gender, etc), they will only need our old passport and new passport photos. The certificate and IDs are no longer needed.
Hope this detail helps anyone.