Serge Currie is Canadian however cannot formally show it, and that has turned the 52-year-old man’s effort to resume his Ontario well being card into a protracted, irritating ordeal whereas he copes with diabetes.
Currie, who was born in Germany in 1966 whereas his mother and father had been serving within the Canadian Air Drive, has been making an attempt to get his proof of citizenship for greater than two years.
“It just baffles me, the amount of time that’s wasted on this,” he advised CBC Information on Tuesday throughout an interview at his residence in Burlington, Ont.
He has a Division of Nationwide Defence (DND) beginning certificates, also called the DND 419. However in 2017, when he tried to resume the well being card he had had since he was a toddler, he realized the DND 419 is not a authorized citizenship standing doc. All it does is verify somebody’s age.
Service Ontario would not settle for it, placing Currie in a bind: he wants his proof of citizenship to resume his well being card and a legitimate well being card to get his proof of citizenship. Furthermore, it might have an effect on his well being.
“If I don’t have a health card, I can’t get my medicine,” he advised CBC Information.
The Division of Nationwide Defence stopped issuing DND 419s in November 1979 after 16 years. When requested why they had been discontinued, the division referred the query, amongst others, to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). IRCC did not reply to CBC’s request to reply the query.
“Why didn’t they reissue birth certificates or replace the card? Don’t just delete it,” Currie stated. “I’ve been a Canadian citizen for 52 years. I think that would mean something.”
Currie acquired two extensions to maintain his present well being card energetic whereas he is going via the method, nevertheless it expires Aug. 28.
A prolonged course of
Currie began the method of getting his proof of citizenship in April 2017. He was first advised to talk with the DND, however stated after months of forwards and backwards, he bought nowhere.
4 months later, he was advised to use for his proof of citizenship, so did. Currie stated he waited for months and did not hear again. Seems, he stated, his utility was accepted, the paperwork despatched, however he stated he by no means acquired them. He needed to reapply.
“‘Can you reissue it?'” Currie recollects asking. “They said, ‘No, you didn’t call us back in time,'” he advised CBC Information.
A spokesperson for IRCC stated Currie’s first utility was accepted in March 2018 and his certificates was despatched to his deal with.
“In February 2019, Mr. Currie indicated that he did not receive it. IRCC advised that Mr. Currie would have to submit a new application for proof of citizenship because the previous document had been sent to Mr. Currie over 180 days prior to the enquiry,” Beatrice Fenelon wrote in an e-mail.
I’m hoping another person does not must undergo this.– Serge Currie
Currie reapplied in February 2019 however forgot to ship a photograph of the again of his driver’s licence — and did not learn about that omission till all his paperwork had been despatched again to him.
Lastly, three months in the past, he despatched in his third utility. Final month, he acquired a letter saying it is being processed.
“This has been super stressful for me. I’m close to a nervous breakdown with this,” he stated.
Fenelon stated it takes 5 months to course of an utility.
“This application is within established processing times,” she wrote.
An uncommon case
Immigration lawyer Evan Inexperienced known as Currie’s case uncommon, however stated he isn’t stunned to listen to about it due to the assorted types of beginning certificates issued.
He stated it is common for candidates to expertise delays when making use of for proof of citizenship and he has typically seen circumstances the place paperwork get misplaced, just like Currie’s expertise.
“I see it every day,” Inexperienced stated.
A easy case can take round 4 months, and whereas it is “unfortunate” there is a lengthy wait, the federal government takes citizenship severely, in keeping with Inexperienced.
“They’re not handing these out willy-nilly. They want to be sure before they give it. But it’s a government, it’s a bureaucracy. Mistakes are made, and things take time.”
On the subject of Currie’s case, Inexperienced stated he has had extra than simply unhealthy luck.
“It seems it’s fallen off the rails.”
If a toddler of Canadian mother and father is born overseas, Inexperienced advises making use of for proof of citizenship as quickly as potential.
A warning for others
Currie hopes he’ll have his proof of citizenship in September. He’ll renew his well being card, then apply for his very first Canadian passport so he can rejoice his official citizenship together with his spouse throughout a visit to Hawaii.
However within the meantime, he hopes others acknowledge the restrictions surrounding the DND 419 and take steps to get the right paperwork.
“I feel so bad for the next person because as soon as someone’s passport expires they’ll have troubles like this,” he stated.
“I’m hoping someone else doesn’t have to go through this.”