Presently I am in the process of making plans for another trip to the U.S. Consulate in Toronto Canada in a few weeks. This trip Matt has volunteered to assist me, so I am hoping he will bring me some good luck. I will try and explain the process.
I have been interested in becoming an American citizen for the last few years but was always hesitant because I did not want to denounce my Canadian citizenship. My mother found an article in the newspaper that explained that an old law had been revised which would allow me to become a dual citizen of Canada and the U.S. since my mother is an American citizen. In order to accomplish this, we have to prove that my mother had physical presence (lived) in the U.S. for 10 years around her 14th birthday. I hired a lawyer to help with the issues and was advised as to what the necessary proof would be. Luckily for me, my mother had kept a couple report cards, her drivers license from when she was 16, a few pay stubs and she wrote to Social Security and received a paper showing her contributions. So with all this in hand and a letter from the lawyer, I was ready and excited that I would return to Utah as a dual citizen.
When Mark, mom and I reached the window and I handed over the package and the letter from the lawyer my hopes were dashed when she said “I don”t look at anything from lawyers, it was not necessary for you to get one as you could have done all of this on you own.” She looked threw all the papers and explained that the drivers license did not prove that she lived in Michigan as anyone can get a license. The high school diploma only counted for one year instead of four as she could have moved there the last year. The social security papers showed only a small amount she had contributed 60 years ago, which she said could have been made in less than a year. … So instead of having 10 years of proof, she counted 2 years. We were told to collect more information and return within 6 months. The one good thing they did was allow was for my mother to give her sworn testimony that she is my mother, and sign the affidavit so she does not have to return with me.
For the last couple months my mother has been trying to collect more information from the schools she attended over 70 years ago. It is proving to be VERY difficult since the elementary school she attended was a one room school house that contained grades one thru eight. The school has been gone for many years along with the records. She did find an award that she received in a spelling bee, and a certificate of achievement from the “Boys and Girls Club” stashed in a box in her basement. She has contacted many old school friends in the hopes someone might be able to find something from the school but everyone is at a loss. We are just going to collect everything she has found and take it all with the hopes that it will be enough. I really don’t want to think of the alternative.
I should say that my lawyer was surprised with my news, as in the past the papers she told me to collect were sufficient for the citizenship. She did not have any more ideas than what Mark and I found on the internet, so we are doing the work on our own. So if everyone can be thinking very positive thoughts for me on the morning of Monday March 14th, it just might help.
On a happy note, my whole family is excited to see me again so soon, and Matt is looking forward to getting some good home cooking from my mom.
Yesterday I had to give all the directions to the taxi driver, and we made it there on time. The big test is tomorrow on the 7 chapters we have learned so Grace is coming up to my apartment this afternoon to help me prepare.