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Name Change, Citizenship, PR Card, Etc

Discussion in 'Citizenship' started by RedShoes, Jun 26, 2008.

  1. I worry I'm overcomplicating things, so bear with me.

    First of all - I'm an American, have been a Permanent Resident of Canada since July 2005. My husband is Canadian - we got married a year ago, and I applied for an official name change b/c I didn't want to simply assume his last name (I kept my maiden as a middle).

    I finally got my official name change certificate a few weeks ago and need to get a number of things changed (Heath Card, SIN card, driver's license, passport, etc etc etc). I'm going to send in my (US) passport application/renewal with the new name as soon as I get photos done. As I understand it, the wait time for a US passport is about 4 weeks.

    I would also like to get my PR card changed to match the new name. The current wait time for a new PR card is nearly three months - I'll be traveling into the US before that - so I called the CIC help phone, and they told me if the passport/PR card don't match names, I can simply show my name change form at the border and that is ok.

    So that got me thinking... I am a few months away from being eligible for Canadian Citizenship, which I plan on applying for as soon as I can. I called the citizenship help line and asked if it was ok if my PR card name didn't match the name I'm applying for citizenship with due to a recent name change... they said that was fine and that there is a place on the citizenship form to indicate name change. I then have to include the name change documentation in the application. Citizenship processing currently takes about 15 months to process.

    Bottom line question: Can I just not change my name on my PR card? It seems like all that means is that while I wait for the citizenship stuff, I will always have to travel with my old name PR card + new name passport + name change form. I typically drive and/or fly into the US 2-3 times a year. Has anyone else dealt with this? Does the border hassle you if your passport/PR card doesn't match?

    Thanks in advance for any help anyone can offer!

    Edited to Add: I usually travel into the US via car twice a year, and average about 1 plane trip/year into the US or abroad.
  2. Maybe you should try it out and see if they hassle you before you decide if to go for a new PR card.

    If the citizenship application is now taking only 15 months, they've certainly speeded it up. I applied for my citizenship back in February of 2006. I got the acknowlegement letter in March 2006, then in June 2008 finally got called in to do the test and I am not a citizen yet until I do the ceremony which at the test they told me would be appoximately 3 months later, which could mean 3 or 6 or 9. I don' t know. So anyway, my advice, if you decide to wait for the citizenship, be aware that it might take longer than they say.

    I had even given up on waiting, applied to get my PR card renewed the day before I got the letter to go for the test. Now I might not need it after all. Unless the ceremony is further away than they said, then I might need it after all. You just never know.
  3. Thanks for that information, Leon.

    So it's taking you nearly twice as long as I'm seeing, huh? Seems crazy that you can apply for citizenship after having your PR for three years, but that it takes 2 (or more!) to actually have it completed.

    I'll probably just go ahead and apply for a new PR card then. I go in and out of the country regularly enough that I don't want to be paranoid each time that I'm going to be hassled at the border. My concern there, of course, is that you have to turn in your old PR card in order to get the new one. The wait time currently says 3 months... but I worry it could take a lot longer than that. I guess I need to plan on being ok without my PR card for at least six months? Yikes.
  4. Actually you don't have to turn in your PR card until you go pick up the new one so you apply now, keep your old PR card for 3 or 6 months or whatever until you get the letter to pick up the new one, then go exchange old for new.
  5. Hmm... the document checklist for the PR card application [IMM 54474 (05-2005) - DOCUMENT CHECKLIST] lists "Your current PR Card, if you are applying for a renewal or to replace a damaged card" as the first item on the list. It also says "If you do not enclose all required documents, your entire application will be returned to you, causing delays in the processing of your application."

    What am I missing?
  6. Hi

    Not reading the changes on the page where you clicked on the quide


    The following changes are now in effect:

    Permanent Card applicants are no longer required to obtain the signature of a guarantor or make a statutory declaration in lieu of a guarantor.

    Permanent residents applying to renew their PR card:

    * may hold on to their still valid PR card and return it to a Citizenship and Immigration Canada officer when they pick up their new card;
    * should return it with the application for a new card, if the card has already expired.

    In all cases, a replacement card will not be issued until the previous card is returned or otherwise accounted for.
  7. My soon to be wife is exactly in your situation.
    So what did you end up doing? Obviously the 'New PP + Old PR Card + Marriage Certificate' is the more cost effective solition. But did that get you heckled everytime you crossed border? And one more question - did you try to visit any other country than USA with set of documents I mentioned in the last sentence?

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