VIRTUAL CITIZENSHIP CEREMONY EXPERIENCEOkay, so as promised, detailed below is my citizenship ceremony experience. I'll post it as three parts because I can't fit everything in one post.
: Mississauga IRCC
Oath Ceremony Date
: August 23rd, 2021
Oath Ceremony Time
: 8:30 AM EST
IRCC Crew: 1 Citizenship Judge + 1 Administrator for Zoom + 1 Main Clerk + 3 IRCC officials (referred to as clerks)
Total # of applicants: 44
On the ceremony day
I woke up to my first alarm at 6:45 AM (and then I disabled the 6 other alarms I had created the night before).
Got ready, was browsing the forum for a while until 7:55 AM. I closed other applications, made sure my UPS was correctly working, connected my desktop to my mobile hotspot (if there are issues with the Wi-Fi modem/router), checked camera / microphone and had the Zoom application open.
At 8:00 AM sharp, I keyed in the meeting ID and the password and it said "Please wait for the host to start the meeting". At around 8:15 AM, I saw the message "The meeting host will let you in soon" and also, in the chat window, there was a message asking all of us to "rename" ourselves using the last name. It was that way until 8:25 AM when I was put in a room with the others and the administrator. The administrator was talking to another participant when I joined. I was on mute for about 2 minutes. The administrator then asked me to unmute myself and asked for my last name. I told him and then he gave me a seat # (Seat # is basically the breakout room # that you will be put in).
Breakout Room - Before administering oath ( 43 minutes - From 8:27 AM to 9:10 AM)
I was in the breakout room by 8:27 AM. At 8:28 AM, one of the IRCC officials joined me in the breakout room. This is how the conversation went in the breakout room before proceeding to the main event of the day!
1. I was asked my full name
2. I was told since we are using 3rd party tool, confidentiality cannot be guaranteed during the ceremony
3. I was told if I happened to get disconnected, I can re-join using the same link / meeting ID and password to rejoin.
4. I was told my video froze (I clicked on "Stop Video" and then "Start Video" again to fix it)
5. The officer confirmed that I was physically present in Canada
6. The officer asked me if I was signing the oath form on paper or electronically (I said I'll sign it electronically). The officer asked me if I had a chance to go over the instructions on how to sign the form electronically and I said "Yes" (I already had Adobe Reader DC setup with the signatures). He insisted that he still wants to go over on how to do it and I politely agreed. Basically, he asked that we don't use the mouse to sign. You'd have to sign on a piece of paper, scan it, import it to your computer and then use that image as signature in Adobe Reader. I said "Okay, thank you".
7. The officer reminded me that if the signature doesn't meet the standards, he'll give me a call within 2 business days and ask me to re-sign the form.
8. He then asked me 2 questions - "Are there any situations that may prevent you from becoming a citizen today?" and "In the past 5 years, have you ever been in trouble with the law or immigration". I answered "No" and "No, never" respectively.
9. The officer said my video froze and wanted me to restart it. I did that (same steps as in Step 4).
10. I was asked for my DL and PR card. I showed him the PR card first (front and back) and told him I have a temporary DL as the physical card is yet to come in the mail and I asked him if I can show him my health card instead (I still showed him the license that I had). He agreed and I showed him the health card.
11. He then provided some instructions - To put phone in silent mode, a holy book can be used during oath, you can stay seated and there is no need to standup at any point during the ceremony and not to take pictures or record the ceremony but picture with the judge is allowed after oath ceremony in the breakout room.
12. I was then asked if I had any questions and I told him I need the citizenship certificate urgently. He looked at my file and he told me that since Urgent Processing was approved in my case, the citizenship certificate will be expedited as long as I send the oath form correctly and on time.
13. He then told me he'll give me the contact number for Passport services after the oath ceremony.
14. He then told me if my video were to freeze while taking oath, he'll send me a DM on Zoom and ask me to restart the video.
That's it. The officer left the breakout room at around 8:35 (conversation took around 8 minutes) I was told to wait in the room and I'll be connected to the main room when the oath ceremony begins. I was waiting in the breakout room until 9:10 AM EST.